Oscars Red Carpet: The ‘Green’ Dress Phenomenon

Ratings for the Oscars ceremony plummet every year, yet red carpet coverage is only growing. The pinnacle celebrity event of the year is increasingly becoming a fashion focused event. This year, a number of celerities used the platform to spotlight the ‘green’ fashion industry.

Undeniably a reaction to the fast-fashion culture that the contemporary industry has nurtured, the ‘green’ fashion industry has recently focused on pushing high profile brands and red carpet extravagance to an ethical high-ground. This was supported at the Oscars with vocal environmental agendas expressed throughout. Best Actor Leonardo DeCaprio used his platform to advocate for climate change action.

Lily Cole (Snow White and The Huntsman) wore an iridescent Vivienne Westwood gown, sustainably made from melted and then pigmented plastic from melted down bottles. Westwood worked with Red Carpet Green Dress, an environmental fashion initiative whose mission statement follows:

“…the positive fashion campaign sets the challenge for creatives and designers worldwide to create a Red Carpet worthy dress, and now tuxedo, environmentally and socially responsible fabrics.”

Photo: Red Carpet Green Dress
Photo: Red Carpet Green Dress

Also sponsored by Red Carpet Green Dress was Sophie Turner (Game Of Thrones), whose mint green dress was designed by Galvan. The dress, visually stunning, was made in ethical textile conditions, with the brand boasting small batch production and commitment to fair work treatment. The two actresses garnered significant positive press in the dresses, with Turner in particular gracing many best dressed lists.

“As sustainable fashion becomes more urgent, Red Carpet Green Dress is honoured to partner with two rising stars, Sophie Turner and Lily Cole, showcasing that fashion can be humane, environmentally friendly, and absolutely stunning. We’re also thrilled and honoured that the formidable Vivienne Westwood and her team are once again behind the scenes working fashion magic with us.”

Photo: Getty / Todd Williamson
Photo: Getty / Todd Williamson

Ethical fashion on the red carpet is far from a new concept, as over the years many attendees have chosen to embrace vintage dresses with the intent to combat fast-fashion ethics. This year was no exception with Michelle Monaghan wearing a vintage Bill Blass dress to the Vanity Fair Oscars party. Likewise, Liberty Ross chose to recycle the vintage Dior gown she had worn at her wedding breakfast earlier in the year.

The vintage trend lies outside the competitive, million dollar industry that the red carpet cultivates. While this is seen by many as admirable, there are always those who will advocate for the Red Carpet as a show-ground for the latest trends in high end fashion.

Photo: Getty / Alberto E. Rodriguez
Photo: Getty / Alberto E. Rodriguez

Embracing both contemporary dresses and environmental sustainability, H&M is preparing to release a completely sustainable fashion brand this April, the primary thesis of which is to bring luxury to ethical fashion. H&M’s website states, “all garments are exclusively made from materials like organic silk, leather, linen and cotton, recycled polyester and lyocell.”

This initiative from the powerhouse retailer was supported by Vanessa Hudgens (Spring Breakers) at the Vanity Fair Oscars party. The actress wore a one-of-a-kind gown designed by the brand, made from organic silk and wood fibers. In previous years, Both Penelope Cruz and Jessica Chastain have worn H&M’s Conscious range to the Oscars and its respective after parties, giving the fast-fashion retailer legitimacy as a luxury provider, and ethical fashion forward-thinker.

Photo: Getty / Pascal Le Segretain



These were stand-out looks from the progressive celebrities that shone out as the front runners on a vast “Green Carpet.” Other notable contributions came in the form of eco-friendly accessories, with the sustainably produced Chopard Jewelry line being represented by the likes of Saoirse Ronan, Olivia Firth, Julianne Moore and Jennifer Lawrence.