Green or glam? Eco-credentials of red carpet fashion the focus of next Oscars


The Academy will send a sustainable style guide to guests attending the upcoming Oscars in a bid to make the event's red carpet more environmentally-friendly. Photo: AFP

What will guests be wearing to the next Academy Awards ceremony? On March 12, 2023, it won't be the style or brand favoured by celebrities that will be the talk of the upcoming Oscars, but the eco-credentials of their attire.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences intends to step up its sustainability efforts by making its prestigious red carpet greener.

Every year, it's the same story. Guests arriving at the Oscars ceremony are first closely examined from head to toe, before their outfits are analysed in detail and then subjected to the merciless scrutiny of social networks.

This is a real boon for the world's leading luxury fashion houses, who evidently see it as a prime opportunity to publicise creations that are – in general – not yet available to buy.

Read more: 'Difficult and costly': Clothing labels struggle to achieve net-zero in fashion

But this year, the ceremony should take a new turn thanks to a more ecologically minded dress code based on sustainable fashion. A strong move that's being encouraged by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences itself.

Through its partnership with Red Carpet Green Dress (RCGD), an organisation that promotes sustainability in the world of entertainment and design, the Academy is hoping to make its red carpet greener, bringing a sustainable slant to one of the most coveted and watched awards shows of the year.

It hopes to achieve this by adopting the principles of the "Sustainable Style Guide", of which a specially-tailored edition will be sent to guests attending the next ceremony – a first that could revolutionise the red carpets of many events around the world.

Making the red carpet greener

"While the Academy remains consistent in our commitment to operating as a socially responsible organisation with sustainability at our core, we acknowledge that there is always more we can do. We are proud to partner with RCGD Global," explains Jeanell English, Academy executive vice president of impact and inclusion.

"Its thought leadership and expertise, along with the active engagement of Academy members, will continue to support our forward and necessary momentum."

This sustainable red carpet fashion guide, accessible online, aims to encourage guests to turn to vintage pieces, by renting or borrowing clothes from the archives of the great fashion houses. It also promotes upcycling, and encourages guests to favor textiles derived from natural sources, such as linen, hemp and wool, or plant-based biosourced materials.

Regardless of the outfit chosen, the Academy, in partnership with RCDG, is calling on guests to favor more sustainable production methods, especially when it comes to dyes and coloration techniques, as well as to turn to ethical brands.

Read more: Is tackling fast fashion an answer to the industry's sustainability problem?

But this notion of sustainability extends beyond the event itself, taking into consideration the final destination of red carpet outfits.

The guide recommends offering a second life to these exceptional clothes, either by keeping them for another event or by getting them transformed or altered. Otherwise, garments could be sold or donated to a non-profit organisation, for example.

It just remains to be seen if the guests will (really) follow these examples of good practice. Find out in four months' time. – AFP Relaxnews

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