Stella McCartney's S-Wave Bag: a pioneering use of grape skin material in the fashion industry. Stella McCartney's latest creation is shaking up the fashion industry and raising the bar for sustainable and eco-friendly materials.
The S-Wave bag, which is one of the first pieces from the brand to feature a material made from grape skin, is a sustainable and biodegradable alternative to traditional leather and fur. Since launching her eponymous brand in 2001, McCartney has been committed to avoiding animal skin and fur, making alternative options a necessity.
When she discovered the possibility of using grape waste, she was excited about the local sourcing from wineries close to where her accessories are handcrafted, as well as the opportunity to give grape waste a second life.
“When I came across this grape-waste [leather] option, I was so excited not only because it is sourced locally from the wineries close to where our accessories are handcrafted [in Italy], but it also gives waste a second life,” McCartney writes via email.
The result of years of research and development
According to Samantha Mureau, the founder of Planet of the Grapes, a company that specializes in developing and producing grape leather, the process is still evolving and involves crushing the solid remains of grapes and layering them onto a solid material in a process similar to paper production.
“Twenty years ago, strictly using cruelty-free alternative materials made me something of an ‘eco-weirdo,’” she explains. Experimenting with different types of grapes and different production methods means that the product is constantly being improved.
The S-Wave bag itself is elegant and soft-edged, with a metal "S" clasp, and is inspired by 1990s minimalism. McCartney combines classic shapes with innovative materials to create a unique and stylish piece that is also environmentally friendly.
The result is a bag that is traditional in a sense, while also being entirely new and reflective of the times,” McCartney says. With the S-Wave bag, McCartney is leading the way in using plants as the most powerful ingredient in fashion, and setting a new standard for sustainable materials in the industry.