The Oscars red carpet goes ‘eco-friendly’

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“Skyfall” actress Naomie Harris and Oscar nominee Helen Hunt hit the red carpet at this year’s Oscars show on Sunday wearing two very different dresses, by two distinct labels, but there was one trend tying them together — green fashion. 

Helen Hunt was up for the Best Supporting Actress prize for her role in “The Sessions,” and appeared in a dark blue silk satin, strapless gown. But if you’d peeked at the label you might have got a shock — her outfit wasn’t from one of the big name fashion houses or haute couture designers famed for their Tinseltown frocks — it was produced by Swedish high-street fashion retailer H&M.

So what was behind the decision? According to Hunt, she picked the piece “because it was the most beautiful dress I tried on and they partner with Global Green.” “It was a win-win-win,” she told TV host Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet. 

Admittedly, the gown was custom-made for the star and she did accessorize her look with $700,000 of jewelry by Martin Katz. Nonetheless, it was a brave statement for eco-friendly fashion, and solid publicity for the Global Green garment recycling project. 

Naomie Harris, meanwhile, chose a gold gown by Michael Badger, currently studying at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Mentored by eco-campaigner and designer Vivienne Westwood, he produced the gown, (made from a Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified organic silk crepe de chine) in collaboration with Greenpeace. Harris tweeted that the recycled piece “took 120 hours to make, dyed with camomile and golden rod, hand embroidered with vintage beads and chocolate wrappers!”. 

Meanwhile Colin Firth’s wife Livia, who launched her Green Carpet Challenge in 2009 with British journalist Lucy Siegle to inspire eco-consciousness among both designers and celebrities, wore a dress by New Zealand-born, London-based designer Emilia Wickstead to Elton John’s 21st Annual Elton John Aids Foundation Acadamy Awards Viewing Party on Oscars night. Created as part of the Green Carpet Challenge, Wickstead’s design “fulfilled GCC criteria working with fully traceable GOTS certified silk organza, made in her Westminster atelier,” said Firth. It’s not just about buying new green items — “I also dug out my trusty Oscar accessories; the shoes and clutch bag by Roger Vivier that have stood me in such good stead for the last two Academy Awards. Who says you can’t recycle on the red carpet?” added green campaigner Firth in a blogpost on her Eco-Age site. 

How long until other stars follow suit with more cco-friendly looks when they hit the red carpet? 


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