Stella McCartney found it "shocking" that she had to pay more tax sending non-leather goods to America than she would if she sent real leather.
The fashion designer and animal rights and sustainability activist urged President Joe Biden to change the way it taxes goods and has called for the fashion industry to be "policed" like other industries.
She told Vogue: “We’re not a policed industry.
“We’re not subsidised in a positive way. I get taxed on my non-leather goods going into America sometimes over double that of goods that are made up of animal leather—I take that into my margin, I don’t put that onto my customer. If I put pig leather onto that exact same product, the amount of tax can reduce significantly. To me that is shocking; I’ve spoken to people like Biden at the G7 and John Kerry [about it]. These are the kinds of things we have to change. We have to set in place penalties in our industry—the automotive industry has it; the airline industry has it.”
Stella, 51, admits she found it impossible not to get involved in the politics of fashion upon entering the business.
She quipped: “I just thought I’d go to [Central] Saint Martins and be a fashion designer."
Stella continued: “But there’s a lot of work to be done. I have my political hat on or my fashion hat on; I’m a bit confused as to which one to wear half the time.”
One way Stella's eponymous brand is inspiring change, is by teaming up with tech firms to come up with new ways to make sustainable fashion.
Recently, the label teamed up with biological recycling firm Protein Evolution, Inc. to turn unwanted polyester and nylon transformed into "good-as-new" products.
PEI uses enzyme-based technology to recycle synthetic fabrics and plastic while reducing its carbon footprint.
She commented: “The dreadful amount of fast fashion manufactured that ends up in landfills is absolutely astonishing, both in terms of the natural resources consumed and the sheer amount squandered. Circular and regenerative solutions provide an upbeat view of the future of fashion, and we must take action now to safeguard our world for future generations.”
Last year, Stella launched the first luxury bag made from mushroom leather.