Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Emma Watson Turns The Red Carpet Green (and Black and White)

Monday's Met Ball in New York showed the world how to do glamour right. The general agreement was that actress Emma Watson stole the show in a striking black and white ensemble from Calvin Klein. But a lot of people probably didn't realise that our Emma was doing her bit for ethical fashion too.

Along with Lupita Nyong'o and Margot Robbie, Emma hit the Gala as part of EcoAge's Green Carpet Challenge. The brainchild of Queen of Eco-Fashion Livia Firth, it puts high fashion and sustainability together at the most demanding of situations–the red carpet. Get it right there, and no-one can claim ethical fashion is frumpy or ugly.

Emma's dress in particular stood out for its sustainable credentials. The five piece ensemble is made from recycled plastic bottles, shredded and rewoven into tough yet pliable fabrics. In fact, as Emma's stylist Sarah Slutsky explains, the innovations go further. She said:

"(The dress was crafted) "from three fabrics woven from yarns all made from recycled plastic bottles. Plastic is one of the biggest pollutants — being able to turn this waste into a high quality material is a real success story."

This would be impressive enough, but the dress is also designed to cock a snook at one of the big no-nos of the red carpet scene–reusability. It can be broken down into seperate components, meaning that Emma could use the train, bustier or trousers again as part of another ensemble. It's a smart way of building sustainability into a garment that's usually designed to be one use only.

We've seen the Green Carpet Challenge quietly grow from a niche if clever piece of activism to an incentive that is making headlines across the globe. Emma's striking ensemble has made people sit up and pay attention to the truth about ethical fashion. Being thoughtful about the source and construction of your clothes doesn't mean you can't look good at the same time.

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