Chalk it up to the UN’s frightening climate reports–in fashion, the sustainability issue has reached a tipping point. Consumer outrage is helping to put an end to this practice of burning unsold merchandise, and lots of leading brands have eliminated using genuine fur. What is changing in our mindset about utilized and second-hand goods, too–a fact made clear this May when the e-commerce giant Farfetch launched its resale segment, Second Life, and again by the style media’s summertime embrace of Depop, the thrifting app cherished of Gen Z.
Amidst these shifts, 1 place has stayed more or less unaffected by the sustainability subject: red rug dressing. Awards shows were politicized in ancient 2018 when actresses wore black in solidarity with all the Time’s Up motion. Could not it be more powerful to observe these very same celebrities re-wearing gowns they have worn in the past–advocating against the throwaway culture that sees customers throw away clothes after one use, just like they do iced-coffee cups? Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of fabrics is landfilled or burnedoff, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
What they do pay attention to is when a bold-facer conveys something twice–or, heaven forbid, more frequently than that. The fashion police consensus? It’s always been a significant no-no. But that may be changing. Stylist Elizabeth Stewart’s clients Cate Blanchett and Julia Roberts often re-wear looks. Says Stewart:”I think clothes are supposed to be cherished and worn for a life, and I have tried to make the point very visibly.”
As host of Saturday Night Live in November 2017, Tiffany Haddish re-wore a 4,000 white Alexander McQueen dress she had previously been photographed at at the premiere of her movie Girls Trip, also in her opening monologueshe lampooned the tired old taboo. “This dress cost way more than my mortgage,” she riffed,”I’m going to wear it several times.” Haddish was not making an explicit stage about the advantages of reuse, but she might as well have been. “Seeing actors re-wear things has a massive effect, of course,” says Sofia Bernardin, a cofounder of Resee, a Paris-based vintage e-commerce site. “Historically, style has made you feel like you have to have what is fresh, but that notion of’so last season’ is shifting…. People shopping for second-hand, not just’classic,’ is a customer trend we’re seeing.”
The “take-make-waste” paradigm is dead-ending. 1 need only look at the burning Amazon for evidence. Shifting from a linear economy will need not only people, but governments and corporations. However, as the Venice Film Festival unfolds over the course of the following two weeks and with the Emmys coming next month, I will be hoping that some brave celebrity pulls a special frock out the closet–or even out of a luxury brand’s archives–dusts it off, and uses the power of her stage to endorse a more circular style system and spark a conversation.
There’s potential to stand up to an Earth-saving round economy, especially now that Arianne Phillips and Carineh Martin have founded Red Carpet Advocacy, an agency that creates partnerships between brands, talent, and non-profits to increase money and awareness to charities. “Any real conversation must begin with talent,” says Phillips, a costume designer whose most recent project is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Unfortunately,”sustainability is a complicated proposal from the brands’ perspectives, because anything round the subject asks for them to be responsible with their own practices, and that’s expensive and complicated. Not to mention,” she adds,”what manufacturer is not encouraging its client to buy every season?” It’s all on loan” In reality, Red Carpet Dresses do frequently get re-worn by models, socialites, and buddies of brands at later dates, and there is something green about that happening, but firms don’t publicize this, and the public is not paying attention at the level anyway.