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Fashion Icon Diane Von Furstenberg: ‘I Don't Have Many Sins, But I Do Have a Lot of Ecological Sins'

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  • Von Furstenberg is best known for the iconic wrap dress she designed in the 1970s.
  • The designer said that sustainability was partly a "frame of mind."

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

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

Von Furstenberg said: "I personally I always thought … I don't lie, I don't steal … I mean I'm a good person. I don't have many sins but I do have a lot of ecological sins and I think the more we are aware of that, the more we can do something about it."

The fashion industry is reportedly responsible for 92 million metric tons of waste each year. Greenpeace once called it "one of the most lucrative and destructive industries on Earth."

Von Furstenberg said that she had always tried to create timeless, durable clothing.  

With her eponymous brand, von Furstenberg said "it's all about woman before fashion: I have always put the woman first."

"So the clothes are utilitarian, pretty, beautiful and they're supposed to resist, they should be your best friend in your closet and you do not want to throw them out," she said.

Von Furstenberg is best known for the iconic wrap dress she designed in the 1970s. Within two years of its launch, 5 million of her dresses had been sold. She was then put on the cover of Newsweek, in which she was called the "most marketable woman since Coco Chanel."

In her interview with CNBC, von Furstenberg said that she identified as a female entrepreneur because she never worked for anyone else but herself.

She added that it was "good for women to be entrepreneurs because they are used to it — they are entrepreneurs at home, they manage everything."

Copyright CNBC
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