Vegetarian designer Stella McCartney has teamed up with a San Francisco tech firm in order to create vegan-friendly silk.
As silk is traditionally made from silk worms, it is considered to be animal-derived. McCartney avoids using leather in her designs, although she has used wool and silk.
But now, working with Bolt Threads, the designer will be able to create luxury garments with a silk alternative fabric made from natural proteins including yeast. McCartney will reportedly use the fabric in a bid to reduce the environmental impact of her fashion.
According to McCartney, who described the partnership as 'so exciting': "When I first started in fashion design I never thought there would be a day like this, where we would arrive with such an important moment when technology is fused with fashion, one of the most harmful industries to the environment.
"Now is the time to search for answers, for alternatives. For me, I’ve always struggled with the use of silk.
"This is something that I’ve been personally on a journey to find for much of my career and I just feel like there is finally a new opportunity to bring so many industries together and for them to all work as one for a better planet. It is a truly modern and mindful approach to fashion.
“The industry has so much heritage, but at times it can be damaging to the environment and it can also drag you in a backwards direction and for me I always want to move forward in fashion and this is truly a moment to celebrate technology and the future of fashion.”
According to Dan Widmaier, Bolt Thread's CEO, the company has long 'dreamt of partnering with Stella McCartney'. He said: “Not only does she have an unparalleled aesthetic, but her values and pioneering sustainable fashion align perfectly with our vision for the future of fashion.”
The first collaboration between the two will be a one-off, golden knitted dress, made from a fabric called 'spider silk'.
This isn't the first time McCartney has chosen to use high-tech fabrics - earlier this year the designer confirmed she would be working with Parley for the Oceans - a charity which collects plastic rubbish from the oceans and re-purposes it - on a long-term basis.