The term ‘sustainable fashion’ once evoked thoughts of hessian sacks, shoes woven out of seaweed, dreadlocks and patchouli. Suitable for a folk festival, sure. A red carpet? Not in the slightest. The words timeless, refined and modern never would have crossed my mind. Yet these are exactly the descriptors that eco fashion has become synonymous with and it is becoming quite a feature on the red carpet.
“At its heart, fashion is trend-setting and thought provoking,” so reads the campaign description for Suzy Amis Cameron’s Red Carpet Green Dress. “We want to set the right trends and to provoke the right thoughts. We can use fashion to create positive impact through the way we design, what we make, what we throw away and how we reuse things.”
The unique and innovative dress design contest, now going into its seventh year (launched in 2009), sets a challenge for designers to create a red carpet worthy dress - and now tuxedo - that is constructed from environmentally and socially responsible materials.
The campaign has seen the likes of Gina Rodriguez (breakout star of CW show Jane the Virgin), Jake McDorman (American Sniper), Sophie Turner (of HBO's Game of Thrones fame), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), and Lily Cole (Snow White and the Huntsman) donning eco-friendly couture at the Oscars over the past two years as a result of Cameron's campaign. When scrolling through photos from this year's red carpet, you wouldn't even realise that Turner's or Cole's gowns and Fassbender's tuxedo were created via sustainable, ethical methods using organic fabrics. This is a strong indicator that a dress spun from organic silk or made from recycled plastic can indeed be just as elegant as any other couture piece.
Another celebrity who proves this is Emma Watson, who added another feather in her philanthropic cap during her 2015 Regression press tour. The He For She ambassador announced via Instagram that, with the help of stylist Sarah Slutsky, she would be taking her latest red carpet parade green; after being inspired by Livia Firth's groundbreaking documentary The True Cost. A photo of a rack of pieces for the tour was uploaded to Watson's account and captioned “Kicking off Regression! We love our rail! Inspired to consider the whole process of creating a fashion look, we are thinking about all the people, pieces and moving parts! This rack includes designers that are considering local craft and productions, artisan skills, the environment, sustainability and the longevity of fashion!”
With all of the pieces depicted made by designers who have ethical and sustainable methods of producing clothing, never have we had more of a reason to covet Emma Watson's style.
As quoted in Vogue Magazine way back in May 2007, “sustainable fashion does not appear to be a short-term trend but one that could last multiple seasons”.
The sartorial choices of today’s A-listers are certainly proving this prediction to stand true.
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