Stella McCartney’s Swimsuit Collection Is Made From Fishing Nets

Model wearing the Stellawear bandeau in pale pink and burgundy.

Stella McCartney’s latest sustainable collection will take you straight from the bedroom to the pool. Called Stellawear, the line—consisting of bandeaus, briefs, and bodysuits—can be worn as lingerie or swimwear.

The new Stella McCartney swimwear collection features better-for-the-Earth materials, such as Roica Eco-Smart yarn, which is made from pre-consumer recycled content. Other materials include Econyl—regenerated nylon made from carpets, fabric waste, and fishing nets.

“I’ve been talking a lot lately about the colossal amount of waste the fashion industry produces year after year. It’s truly shocking,” says McCartney. “We must stop and consider this waste, and we should buy less and buy better,” she added. “The change is not only going to come from us as an industry, but also from consumer behavior.”

Stellawear’s pieces are UV-tested and safe for both chlorinated and saltwater. McCartney says she hopes the collection will inspire consumers to buy less and wear her pieces more. “They’re made from a sustainable fabric that is built to last,” she said. “And this is a completely new category for us. I am really, really proud of what we’ve created.” 

The company has been using Econyl since 2017, when Stella McCartney partnered with Parley for the Oceans. The non-profit organization upcycles plastic from ocean waste. 

McCartney says the company’s use of Econyl, also featured in the brand’s collection of Falabella GO bags, has prevented more than 10 tonnes of nylon from going to the landfill.

Split image of models wearing the the bodysuit in pale pink (left), and the bandeau in black and beige (right).
In addition to its versatility, Stella McCartney’s new range of swimsuits and lingerie is made with recycled fishing nets. | Stella McCartney.

Stella McCartney and Sustainability

Founded in 2001, Stella McCartney has long since been a pioneer in sustainable fashion. Its vegetarian leather is made with recycled polyester instead of Brazilian calf leather, which has 24 times less of an impact on the environment. In addition to consuming resources, the process of turning cow skin into leather produces pollutants, which are often toxic. Its use of sustainably-sourced viscose shows 150 million trees don’t have to be cut down each year to produce the fabric. 

In March, the brand introduced the world’s first-ever garments made entirely with biotechnology company Bolt Threads’ sustainable mushroom leather. Known as Mylo, the vegan leather is natural and biodegradable.

The Adidas by Stella McCartney’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection also favored sustainability. The activewear collection, called FUTUREPLAYGROUND, features ocean plastic waste and recycled materials from Parley for the Oceans.

In addition to animal-derived leather, the company has never used fur, animal skins, or feathers in any of its products. 

A proponent of faux fur, McCartney launched a campaign earlier this month to call for an end to fur cruelty. The Autumn 2021 “Our Time Has Come” campaign was launched in partnership with animal rights organization Humane Society International. 

The campaign includes a mockumentary, narrated by British comedian David Walliams. And a number of celebrities, including Dame Judi Dench, Leona Lewis, and Sir Paul McCartney, have shown their support for the campaign, posting fur-free videos on Instagram.

“Stella McCartney’s new campaign and brand is everything the fur trade isn’t –fresh, innovative, sustainable, and cruelty-free,” Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International/UK, said.