Naomi Campbell, Lewis Hamilton, H.E.R and Tommy Hilfiger on the catwalkTommy Hilfiger show, Runway, Fall Winter 2020, London Fashion Week, UK - 16 Feb 2020

LONDON — Lewis Hamilton had ecological matters on the top of his agenda when he started collaborating with Tommy Hilfiger. Four seasons in, already 75 percent of their codesigned collection is considered sustainable, he said. In an interview, the Formula One champion talked about his journey from hand-me-downs to a plum fashion gig, and why he’s so adamant about doing good for the planet:

On his first brush with Hilfiger: “I remember seeing Tommy’s collaborations with people like Aaliyah. I had a picture of Aaliyah in my room because she is a goddess. I couldn’t go to the Tommy store back then because we never had the money. All the money went into racing, every penny we had. When I went to my first awards in 1995 when I was 10, we couldn’t afford a suit for me for this gala so I managed to borrow it from the kid that won the previous year.”

On thrift shopping: “I used to always go to a local store. There was like a thrift store kind of thing in my town, which would have all of the secondhand, thirdhand, fourthhand, backdated collections, and that is where I started to get Tommy stuff.”

On his veganism: “I have been vegan for just over two years and some friends started to show me what was happening in the background. I enjoyed foods as people do. I hadn’t even thought about the process that goes into…and the fact that I was contributing to an industry that was harming animals and I love animals. I decided I am absolutely not going to support that anymore.”

On making fashion less damaging: “As I started to go to these fashion shows I started to understand the impact that fashion would also have on our environment, which again, I wasn’t really fully aware of. Sometimes we are naive and it goes over your head. I started to dive into that and I realized there is an area that they have not pushed yet and not taken notice. We’ve just been pushing the team to find the right vendors, find a new technology that’s out there, and just new ways of making the fabrics.”

On his eco idols: “I am a big fan of Stella [McCartney]. I love what she is doing and I love the fact that we are one of the few in the business that are really pushing because I think it starts a chain reaction.”

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