Stella Mccartney is urging for the fashion business to ''change the system''.

The 46-year-old fashion designer - who launched her eponymous cruelty-free label in 2001 - wants other brands, as well as customers, to unite and spark a major overhaul in the industry by stopping animal cruelty and finding alternative materials to use.

Speaking at an event that took place at London's Victoria and Albert Museum, which she co-hosted with Ellen MacArthur, she said: ''We call on the entire industry, brands, and customers to come together and fundamentally change the system.

''We are in a moment of change. This is the time to capture people's imagination, provide solutions, and look at it as a positive. I think now, people are ready to listen.''

And the businesswoman is encouraging consumers to be more conscious of disposing of their clothes and how they wash their garments, as it also harms the environment.

She explained: ''In the last 15 years, we have doubled the amount of clothes we produce. And now they get worn an average of three times before they're thrown away.

''One truckload of textiles goes into landfill every second.

''We don't need to wash our clothes anything like as much as we do, it degrades them. I learned that when I was working as a tailoring intern on Savile Row. Why do we wash our clothes so much? Because we've been sort of lied to by other industries. Every industry does that for benefit.

''It is doable. We just have to want to do it.''

And Stella has revealed she has been faced with a number of hurdles by using alternative fabrics, but she has learnt to accept it.

She said: ''If people in business could find incentives. From policies and from governments ... Leather is a massive impact in my industry. I don't use leather but when I export things to America, I can get taxed because it's not leather. Now I absorb that into my margin.''