The red carpet has long been about the glitz, the glamour, the “Who are you wearing?” Yet more recently, thanks to Red Carpet Green dress, at the forefront of media attention is the ethical nature of a garment.
Meet Red Carpet Green Dress
Red Carpet Green Dress is a female-led environmentally friendly brand pushing for change within the field of sustainability and fashion. Started by actress and environmental advocate Suzy Amis Cameron, the organisation has been creating sustainable fashion for the red carpet since 2010.
A piece must be made in certain ways using certain materials to qualify as a Red Carpet Green Dress garment. For instance made from recycled, organic, or repurposed fibres, feature handmade detailing, or incorporate natural dying processes.
Collaborating with brands and advocating for the importance of sustainability through fashion have shown the industry how beautiful pieces of red carpet worthy clothing, don’t have to harm the environment.
Focusing on the Oscars, we will look at some of the most elegant, eco-friendly garments ever to grace the carpet. If you ever doubted sustainable could be stunning, this is for you.
Emma Roberts, 2017
At her first-ever Oscars, ‘American Horror Story’ star Emma Roberts turned heads in a Vintage Armani Privé dress.
This totally sustainable fashion choice featured a classic Giorgio Armani gown from his first Privé collection, originally debuted in 2005. The two tone vintage creation featured a plunging, lace-trimmed neckline and delicate straps. Though the heavily embroidered bodice and two-tiered white skirt seemed to be the main focus.
This dress marked the first time that Red Carpet Green Dress’ eco-conscious cause had spotlighted vintage fashion.
“By recycling gowns, we are making the ‘old’ new again and finding the beauty that already exists. It is an important form of sustainability.” Amis Cameron
Equally as important as the dress, her accessory choice proved just as influential in encouraging sustainable choices. Bringing conscious finery to the carpet, Roberts wore exclusive diamond pieces from Swarovski’s first fine jewellery collection. Inspired by nature and driven by science, using Swarovski emphasises the sustainable message.
Lakeith Stanfield, 2018
Being one of very few men to ever represent this campaign, Stanfield donned an ethical tuxedo created by Luxury menswear label Ermenegildo Zegna Couture.
The sleek, navy blue suit was handcrafted using a Tussah Silk, a fibre usually found in its natural state. Therefore, unlike most silk yarns which undergo significant amounts of mechanical intervention, Tussah generally escapes any human intervention.
Often left unnoticed with a greater focus placed on womenswear, he showcased sustainable menswear. Encouraging him to act as an ambassador for a widely underrepresented area of sustainable fashion. Additionally, the garment highlights the sustainable option of ethical silk production which when considering eco-friendly clothing manufacturing, is often overlooked.
Laura Harrier, 2019
Making her Oscars debut, the ‘BlacKkKlansman’ lead actress wowed in a bespoke ethical gown made by Luis Vuitton.
By using a TARONI SPA blue crepe silk, the gown became an ethical and eco-responsible garment. In fact, this silk received certification from the Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) – the leading processing standard for organic fibres globally. By focusing on ecological and social criteria, the certification solidifies the goals of the Red Carpet Green Dress campaign.
“The gown is made of blue crepe silk developed with efforts to eliminate all global hazardous chemical use … the handmade embroidery required more than 450 hours of work: glass beads, crystal shards, and sequins were specifically chosen to meet human-ecological requirements.” Laura Harrier for W Magazine
She sparkled and shined under the lights due to the handmade embroidery featured on the gown, as highlighted by Harrier. All respecting the standards of OEKO-TEX, an international quality label for harmless textiles, Vermont Paris added many embellishments.
Although not strictly necessary, the global recognition for how sustainable the dress outfit was justifies the purpose of the movement whilst rejecting any idea that it is all for show.
Kaitlyn Dever, 2020
Entering her first Oscars in style, ‘Booksmart’ actress Kaitlyn Dever donned a crimson Louis Vuitton gown.
By using eco-responsible silk satin, the custom-made gown was made ethically and decorated with red Swarovski crystals and glass beads. Similarly her shoes, Aldo’s Glyndwr platform sandals, carry an ethical message coming from a certified climate-neutral brand.
Pairing it with a vintage inspired wrap, she received a great amount of praise for her timeless glamour look. However it wasn’t the striking colour or classic silhouette that turned heads, it was the sustainable nature that it possessed.
“I’m here supporting sustainable clothing” she said when asked about the environmental aspect of her outfit. “With fashion, I think you can maybe think a bit before you buy something brand new and I think you can support vintage … and also look into the brands you’re supporting.”
Dever’s show-stopping dress is the perfect example of how sustainability and glamour can go hand in hand.
So what comes next for ‘Red Carpet Green Dress’?
The work of Red Carpet Green Dress spotlights fashion and ethics each red carpet season. Thus encouraging well respected designers to consider sustainability and use the spotlight as best they can.
Although initially RCGD was almost flying solo in the world of sustainable fashion, things are starting to change. Finally their influence is taking shape with Elle suggesting “Sustainable Fashion Was The Real Winner Of The 92nd Academy Awards.”
Given that the red carpet designers are starting to look up, it’s time to look further and consider the future designers. Reaching an online audience of 1 billion, RCGD are drawing the attention of emerging talent in the industry to sustainable design.
Working within local communities and striving for change is taking this organisation from strength to strength.