Eco-Friendly Fashion on the Red Carpet

Last week many celebrities gathered for the Golden Globe Awards, one woman held the beacon high for eco-fashion. For the past three years, she has gathered momentum for the Green Carpet Challenge which is an initiative started by her to see more ethical fashion on the red carpet.

She is not merely the wife of Colin Firth, but an icon in her own right. This year, Livia Firth has managed to get several haute-couture designers like Tom Ford, Valentino, Chanel, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney, Roger Vivier, Alberta Ferretti, and Ermenegildo Zegna, to sign up for the challenge.

She herself dresses in second-hand, upcycled, vintage and sustainable gowns by designers like Prophetik, Gary Harvey, and From Somewhere. This year, she wore a gown designed by Armani made out of recycled plastic bottles. In her blog for Vogue, she states that the dress was made from recycling of plastic fibres from the households of Northern Italy. The dress is modern and sophisticated.

Livia Firth has made the case for sustainable fashion time and again, and she may well have dispelled some myths associated with it. With the launch of this year’s Green Carpet Challenge, one can only wait and see what she comes up with for the Academy Awards.

Apart from her, many other celebrities have jumped on the eco-fashion bandwagon. I’m of the opinion that those in the public eye have tremendous opportunities to raise awareness. The garment industry is filled with instance of environmental and social abuse, and the problems seem to escalate with the growing trend of throw-away, cheap fashion. When celebrities take their time in the public eye to promote a healthier way of doing things, it can have an enormous impact on the industry.

Many luxury brands as well as brands like Nike, Adidas and Puma are beginning to realize that they have to take steps to improve the harmful impact of clothing manufacture. They have come up with several innovative technologies that reduce the impact of dyeing, compostable fabric and other initiatives.

Real impact of eco-fashion will only be seen when these technologies and manufacturing innovations trickle down to the high-street and discount stores. It is another challenge altogether for consumers to wean themselves off of mass-produced, ‘one-season-only’ clothing. For a total revolution of how fashion is viewed, the change must come from ground-up, but celebrities sure can put the issue in the public eye especially since many of them own their own clothing labels.

Image Credit: Livia Firth Wearing a Black Armanai Gown Made with Recycled Plastic Bottles. Livia Firth Vogue Blog 

Akhila is the Founding Director of GreenDen Consultancy which is dedicated to offering business analysis, reporting and marketing solutions powered by sustainability and social responsibility. Based in the US, Europe, and India, the GreenDen's consultants share the best practices and innovation from around the globe to achieve real results. She has previously written about CSR and ethical consumption for Justmeans and hopes to put a fresh spin on things for this column. As an IEMA certified CSR practitioner, she hopes to highlight a new way of doing business. She believes that consumers have the immense power to change 'business as usual' through their choices. She is a Graduate in Molecular Biology from the University of Glasgow, UK and in Environmental Management and Law. In her free-time she is a voracious reader and enjoys photography, yoga, travelling and the great outdoors. She can be contacted via Twitter @aksvi and also http://www.thegreenden.net