It was interesting to note during the 2019 Academy Awards Show that several stars as well as couture fashion designers are taking strides to help reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. Elaborate, expensive red carpet gowns worn for one night by a star historically takes hundreds of man hours and thousands of dollars to create.
Red Carpet star Laura Harrier donned a beautiful, sustainable dress by Louis Vuitton as part of the campaign called Red Carpet Green Dress.
Harrier’s gown was 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.
We as consumers should follow suit, and consider ways that we each can make a difference when selected apparel for our own closets.
Consignment is a great way to exercise the whole concept of reduce-reuse-recycle. Consigning is not just a brick-and-mortar thing: there are several online retailers that work with both buyers and seller. ThredUp, theRealReal, and Tradesy are a few of the most established in the business.
Couture rental companies are popping up everywhere; when dressing for a big event where the dress or suit will likely only be worn once, it only makes sense to check out renting. A couple of popular options include Rent the Runway, Armoire, and StyleLend.
What exactly does it mean for a piece of apparel to be sustainable?
- The fabrics should be organic, meaning they are grown without the use of harmful pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified seeds (GMOs).
- Incorporating the use of recycled fabrics.
- Fabrics made in the USA support local community businesses and minimize the carbon footprint from transportation and supporting domestic employment.
- Using Fair Trade practices means apparel is manufactured under fair wages and safe working conditions. This process provides equitable trade opportunities, skill training, and job development-promoting responsible production in an economy that values transparency.
- Made without the use of animal testing, or made with by-products from animals raised humanely.
Stella McCartney is one of the top designers who has long been on the forefront of the sustainable fashion scene:
“We are agents of change. We challenge and push boundaries to make luxurious products in a way that is fit for the world we live in today and the future: beautiful and sustainable. No compromises.
Each decision we make is a symbol of our commitment to defining what the future of fashion looks like. From never using leather or fur and pioneering new alternative materials to utilising cutting edge technologies, pushing towards circularity, protecting ancient and endangered forests and measuring our impact with ground-breaking tools.”
images via stellamccartney, bazaar, marieclare