Sustainable Fashion at Oscars 2021

The red carpet was back for the 2021 Oscars, after a hiatus due to the pandemic. And the award show dress code returned to “glamour”, unlike the Golden Globes and other award shows this year where casual attire was fashioned as the shows were mostly online. Gold, white, and red seemed to be the dominant colors for the gowns this year.

In this blog though, I want to concentrate on a few sustainable gowns. Take a look at this gorgeous dress below worn by actress Marlee Matlin. It’s total Hollywood glam. But what you can’t tell by looking at this dress is that it’s also sustainable. Her black lace gown is made with a newly launched Red Carpet Green Dress vegan textile made with TENCEL.

Marlee Matlin’s Sustainable Oscar Dress

Sustainable Dress at the Oscars Worn by Marlee Matlin

TENCEL® is a brand name for a fiber which is also called Lyocell. It’s considered one of the most environmentally friendly fabrics because it takes less energy and water to manufacture than fabrics like cotton. This dress is from the Vivienne Westwood Couture Collection. Westwood, a fashion designer for more than 40 years, launched sustainability initiatives, changing the way they make their clothes.

Red Carpet Green Dress

The effort to push wearing sustainable luxury clothing to the Oscars has been led by Suzy Amis Cameron who formed an organization called Red Carpet Green Dress. Amis started this organization in 2009 as the movie Avatar, directed by her husband James Cameron was getting global attention. Avatar was nominated for nine Oscars so there was going to be a lot of red carpet action for Suzy Amis Cameron. Amis, an environmental advocate, thought what better way to get attention for sustainable fashion than to be able to answer the famous red carpet question, “what are you wearing?” with “a sustainable gown”. She created a contest for designers to sketch a sustainable look. The winner of that contest was a senior design student at Michigan State University, Jillian Granz, who later collaborated with costume designer Deb Scott for the finished product that was called the eco-dress in the media.

Red Carpet Green Dress is now a female-led global fashion disruptor. The organization even has a research and development division that innovates circular designs. They collaborate and partner with small independent brands to develop sustainable design solutions, from the fabrics to the manufacturing and packaging of clothing.

Now back to the 2021 Oscars. Here is another one of my favorite dresses that brought the “wow” to the red carpet.

Zendaya’s Oscar Dress

Zendaya Wears Valentino Dress to Oscars

Zendaya’s gorgeous yellow gown is made by Valentino. She’s an ambassador for the fashion empire. Her dress is everything. That yellow — just wow! We know why it’s the color of the year. It’s the sunshine we need in our lives right now. Cutouts are of course on trend and the bandeau is back for 2021. I’m including this dress as sustainable because it’s made by Valentino. I do not know the details of this particular dress and how it was made. I’ve tried to find information about it.

I’m including it on this list because I’m trusting Valentino’s commitment to sustainability. Valentino stands out as the most eco-friendly luxury brand that has answered Greenpeace’s challenge of committing to the implementation of zero-deforestation policies for leather, packaging and zero discharge policies to manufacture the clothing. Greenpeace challenged 15 Italian designers in 2013 and Valentino was the first to jump on the band wagon with the most aggressive commitments to sustainability.

Carey Mulligan’s Gold Valentino Skirt

Carey Mulligan’s Valentino Dress at Oscars 2021

Mulligan meshes old Hollywood and current trends with her gold ballgown skirt paired with a bandeau top. This dress was also designed by Valentino so that’s why I’m listing it on my sustainable Oscars list.

Obviously, there were other amazing dresses and suits throughout the night but nothing is comparable to these dresses that are both show-stopping and sustainable. I love seeing big celebrities making efforts to become more sustainable. And as you can see you can still be stylish while being kind to the environment.

You don’t have to be a celebrity or walk the red carpet to join the Red Carpet Green Dress movement. Here’s how young designers and fashionistas can get involved.

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Lexy Silverstein

Lexy Silverstein is a sustainable fashion influencer educating her peers about the dangers of fast fashion. IG:@LexySilverstein Email: