Can the Oscars red carpet ever be sustainable?

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When the British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced a sustainable dress code for its equivalent to the Oscars held last week, activists hoped to have an impact similar to that shown by the Time & # 39; s Up movement in the Golden Globes 2018, when almost all attendees dressed in black. call attention to sexual harassment and abuse. A week and a half before the event, the BAFTAs sent a sustainability guide, urging the stars to wear an outfit again, wear vintage or at least support an ecological designer, such as Stella McCartney or Gabriela Hearst.

That did not happen exactly.

Of course, some stars followed the green mandate. Kate Middleton recycled a cream and gold Alexander McQueen dress that she had originally worn in 2012. The best Oscar-nominated actress and BAFTA nominee, Saoirse Ronan, commissioned a Gucci dress made of discarded satin remains. The nominee for Best Actor Oscar and BAFTA, Joaquin Phoenix, wore the same Stella McCartney tuxedo he promised at all costs in the awards season.

In the BAFTAs of 2020, Kate Middleton wore a Alexander McQueen dress she had worn before in 2012.
In the BAFTA 2020, Kate Middleton was wearing a Alexander McQueen dress she had worn before in 2012.BACKGRID

But in general, the response of the celebrity was little enthusiastic, although the environment is one of the main causes and fashion of Hollywood, a culprit of climate change.

It certainly didn't help that wearing the same outfit twice has long been seen as a false step on the red carpet.

"Part of the reason we have this horrible habit of burning our clothes (the average garment is worn seven times before throwing it away) is because the actresses on the carpet have made it not only great but enviable," says Dana Thomas, author from "Fashionópolis: the price of fast fashion and the future of clothing".

"They did not do this intentionally, but this habit of celebrating women [for] using something once and never being seen again has become influential and micro-influential people on the Internet, and now my teenage daughter. "

Elizabeth Stewart, who designs actresses like Cate Blanchett and Julia Roberts, says she feels guilty in this disposable attitude towards fashion.

"There are these norms that have been established in my world, such as that you don't use the same thing twice or that you don't use the same thing that someone else wore," says Stewart. "And when you stop and think about it, it's crazy."

Lately, he has been encouraging his clients to reuse certain items that they love. When Blanchett put on a black Armani Privé lace at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018 that she had used several years before for the Golden Globes, both the actress and the stylist received much applause.

"It leaks to the general public, in terms of being aware and aware of waste," says Stewart.

Cate Blanchett wore this Armani dress at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and at the 2014 Golden Globes.
Cate Blanchett wore this Armani dress at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and at the 2014 Golden Globes.Corbis through Getty Images

In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. UU. He reported that the Americans sent 10.5 million tons of textiles, most of which were clothing, to landfills. And most of the materials used are not sustainable: even something as basic as a cotton T-shirt requires about 700 gallons of water to produce.

"It's an enigma," says Sara Kozlowski, director of education and professional development for the Council of Fashion Designers of America. “Sometimes, a material has gone around the world three times before reaching the showroom. So there are all these factors that you should keep in mind. ”

Still, he points out that designers like McCartney, Hearst and Maria Cornejo have been at the forefront of using biodegradable and biotechnological materials, such as fiber made from orange peels and cruelty-free silk.

Livia Firth, a film producer who started the Green Carpet Challenge 10 years ago, asking celebrities to use sustainable designs at high-profile events like the Oscars and the Met Gala, believes that the televised red carpet is an ideal place to exhibit this type of environmental innovations

"For actresses, the red carpet is the largest communication platform [they] have, "he tells The Post.

But reducing waste is not just about the fabric, it is also about the general preparation for the event itself. Attendees can take dozens of taxis during the awards season to collect and return items and jewelry to p.r. Agencies and fashion houses. Accessory logs must be sent abroad and throughout the country for timely arrival. And artisans and materials can be moved from Paris for a dress to end in Los Angeles.

Even if you are renting a dress or wearing something made with the cleanest and most recycled materials, carbon emissions and other environmental responsibilities inherent in obtaining an outfit for a star "surpass awakening," says Cameron Silver, owner of Los Angeles Vintage boutique Decades.

Gwyneth Paltrow at Valentino vintage 1962 at the 2019 Emmys.
Gwyneth Paltrow at Valentino vintage 1962 at the 2019 Emmys.Fox

And the stars may not necessarily wear vintage or repeated attire in each event.

"There is a transactional relationship with many of these collaborations on the red carpet, where actresses have very clear sponsorship agreements and ambassadorial positions in design houses," says Silver, who rarely lends garment loans, which requires that Celebrities buy their old costumes.

However, most designers will lend the dress, and sometimes they will even pay the client to use it.

Although, as Thomas points out, the press seems to love when Middleton repeats costumes: why not for a star?

"What I would love to see is an actress doing exactly what Joaquin [Phoenix] She is making and taking a very, very beautiful dress, borrowed or owned, and jogging at each of these events on the red carpet, but dressing it differently, "she says.

Stewart, for example, would love to address her.

"I think it's totally feasible," she says. "That would be a very fun challenge as a stylist."