Oscars - The Green Carpet Challenge
Originally published February 27, 2012
The GCC or Green Carpet Challenge is not in its freshman flight, it is in its third year since its conception, spearheaded by Livia Firth (Colin Firth's eco-warrior wife). It does give the impression that it is new due to enormous media attention it has garned. While it is a worthwhile endeavor and yes I get it, it is the Oscar's and you be better be looking good walking down that red carpet. I can't help but question the 'green' aspect and how valid it truly is. The marketing allure can be quite tempting - putting a 'green' gown down the red carpet on Oscar night is like the ever coveted beer commercial spot during the Super Bowl. Which is why I can't help but question the validity to get some good 'greenwashing' in on one the most spectacular events of the year.
So what exactly is my problem? Hearing Livia Firth talk about the new 'traceable' pink diamonds from mines in Australia and her hand made couture gown from Valentino, which she will no doubt wear once and then what??? What about all those gowns she has made for all red carpet appearances, what happens to them? At least diamonds are forever but as the eco-warrior she is, did she really need to buy new diamonds? I feel like the wife of Firth is surely not short on breathtaking gems. What would be impressive is if she wore a gown that was repurposed from any of her other red carpets gowns (not vintage gowns from the 1930s) and styled with jewels and accessories she already owned. Imagine being able to walk to the red carpet and say "I bought nothing new!" Oh wait, her husband actually did do that. Colin re-wore his tuxedo from last year. That is fantastic because seriously, who pays attention anyways to the tuxedos the men wear. I would never a) be able to tell if they re-wore b) does anybody actually pay attention to what the men wear. It's always an add-on comment, 'oh and her husband wore.......' Colin could probably wear that tuxedo for the next 10 years and nobody would notice, which is kind of the beauty of men's clothing. You get a few amazing suits, a couple ties, one tux and boom - you are good to go for the next decade. Obviously i'm exaggerating a little bit but you do get my point right?
So there were more participants this year, most notable the ever elegant Meryl Streep wearing the first ever eco-gown from Lanvin. Beautiful yes, actual 'eco' material used to make the gown - that information is not so easily attainable. However, I did find out that the gown adhered to Livia Firth's criteria for sustainable red carpet wears. What???? If these companies truly believed in sustainable fashion wouldn't they just be doing it instead of a one off on what happens to be one of the most widely watched global events of the year.
So yes, it is great that sustainable fashion is getting some spotlight. It does create awareness that sustainable fashion is more than burlap and brown hemp. Am I a little skeptical? yes I am, for the reason that I think if you are going to champion this, CHAMPION IT, do more than just wear a gown made from an eco-textile. What about a carbon-neutral or zero-waste gown? Milk that red carpet moment for everything its got to offer.
Now its time to look at pretty dresses.