“I have a lot of ecological sins”

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Legendary fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg told CNBC on Friday that it was important to be aware of our ecological shortcomings in order to make progress on sustainability.

Von Furstenberg was speaking to CNBC’s Karen Tso at the Women’s Forum in Paris on Friday. She said sustainability was partly a ‘state of mind’, in that it was important to have waste awareness throughout the fashion supply chain, for example.

Von Furstenberg said, “Personally, I’ve always thought… I’m not lying, I’m not stealing… I mean I’m a good person. I don’t have a lot of sins but I have a lot of ecological sins and I think the more aware we are of them the more we can do about it. “

The fashion industry would be responsible for 92 million tonnes of waste each year. Greenpeace once called it “one of the most lucrative and destructive industries on the planet”.

Von Furstenberg said she has always tried to create clothes that are timeless and durable.

With his eponymous brand, von Furstenberg said “it’s all about women before fashion: I always put women first”.

“So the clothes are utilitarian, pretty, beautiful and they’re meant to hold up, they should be your best friend in your wardrobe and you don’t want to throw them away,” she said.

Von Furstenberg is best known for the iconic wrap dress she designed in the 1970s. Less than two years after its launch, 5 million of her dresses had been sold. She then made the cover of Newsweek, in which she was called “the most salable woman since Coco Chanel”.

In her interview with CNBC, von Furstenberg said she identified herself as a female entrepreneur because she had never worked for anyone other than herself.

She added that it was “good for women to be entrepreneurs because they are used to it – they are entrepreneurs at home, they run everything.”


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