10 Of The Best Ethical Red Carpet Outfits Ever

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They’re always beautiful, but they’re not always sustainable. Here are some of the best ethical red carpet outfits, ever!

By Katy Caric

From the Golden Globes and Oscars to Cannes and the Met Gala, it seems celebrities are keen to show off their green cred by donning ethical evening wear on the red – or should we say, green – carpet. In fact, a whole range of A listers from Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Cameron Diaz and beyond have won a bit more respect from eco-fashionistas thanks to the sustainable designer gowns and jewellery they’ve worn on various occasions.

There’s no doubt that Livia Firth of the Eco-Age is responsible for much of this behaviour. The wife of Colin Firth is well enough connected to encourage her celebrity friends to work with designers to create outfits that highlight sustainable luxury from head to toe. Her Green Carpet Challenge aims to convert anyone doubtful that green fashion can be chic and glamorous! She also encourages her top designer friends to create couture gowns from recycled fabric and other items, as well as more sustainable materials.

Several designers have been inspired by the GCC, and have created more ethical red carpet outfits for their clients. When it comes from the celeb’s request, that’s even better: it shows attitudes are really changing!

Not sure sustainable evening wear can be super chic? Here, we’ve selected 10 of the best ethical red carpet outfits, ever, to prove it.

Image below: Doina Ciobanu in a Emilio Pucci look, created from organic silk crepe de chine and repurposed plastic-waste sequins. Credit: Eco Age

10 Of The Best Ethical Red Carpet Outfits Ever

1. Gisele Bundchen – The Met Gala (2017)

Gisele is in an embroidered cutout gown made by sustainability leader Stella McCartney for the Green Carpet Challenge from Eco-Age. The dress is made with some beautiful certified organic silk (surprising, considering Stella prizes herself as being a vegan designer), and has recyclable glass bead embroidery over.

Image: Stella McCartney

Ethical Red Carpet Outfits

2. Emma Watson in Calvin Klein – The Met Gala (2016)

For the Green Carpet Challenge in 2016, Emma wore a gown made by Calvin Klein. The dress features organic cotton and Newlife fabric, derived from recycled Italian water bottles. The lining is pure silk, and Emma vowed to wear the dress or parts of it at least 30 times (has she, though…?)

Image: Emma Watson Facebook

emma watson eco friendly dress

3. Emily Blunt in Carolina Herrera – The Met Gala (2013)

This look is from all the way back in 2013! The gown was made with certified vintage 1960 Italian black wool with a certified vintage 1940 French black silk chiffon lining. And Emily’s husband, John Krasinski, was her very best accessory – he wore a sustainable Tom Ford tux made especially for the Green Carpet Challenge, created from OEKOTEX® certified, low environmental impact wool that was European spun.

Image credit: Getty

emily blunt eco friendly dress

4. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen – The Met Gala (2014) 

While we definitely don’t appreciate Mary-Kate and Ashley’s love of fur, we do love these vintage looks that they wore to the Met Gala! Mary-Kate inspired us to hunt down vintage clothing, with her striped vintage Chanel, and Ashley’s vintage military-inspired Gianfranco Ferré is classic enough to be worn again and again.

Image: Reuters

5. Isabelle Boemeke at the Met Gala 2018

Attending the MetGala2018 with Joe Gebs, Isabelle Boemeke looked like a stunning Byzantine goddess, styled by Sarah Slutsky in a J Mendel couture gown, handmade from sustainable materials in New York. Valani NYC, a family run business which has been supporting mining communities across the world for 80 years, made her jewellery. They’re well known for their use of ethically sourced Gemfields coloured gemstones.

Image: Eco Age

met gala outfits

6. Cate Blanchett – Golden Globes 2014 and Cannes 2018

Here’s one celeb that doesn’t mind wearing the same dress twice – at least! As President of The Cannes Film Festival jury, Cate Blanchett opened the Cannes red carpet in style this year in a   Giorgio Armani Privé Couture gown that she had previously worn to The Golden Globes in 2014. The dress is accessorised with sustainably sourced Chopard jewellery.

Image: Eco Age

best ethical red carpet outfits

7. Livia Firth at the Met Gala (2018)

We couldn’t have a list like this without mentioning Livia Firth herself! Here, at the Met Gala this year, she dropped jaws with her pure silk Giambattista Valli gown and Chopard jewellery. Apparently, the designer sourced the exquisite silk from @Taronisilk, a company founded in 1880 in Como and chosen for its commitment to sustainable and responsible production.

Image: Eco Age

livia and colin firth

8. Gisele Bundchen – The Met Gala (2018)

Yep, it’s Gisele again, but just look at that Versace gown! Made the#GreenCarpetChallenge, the fabric, lining and threads are all 100% GOTS organic silk, a certification that ensures the raw materials are organic and no toxic chemicals have been used. The zipper and all the inner materials used for the construction of the dress are made out of organic cotton, recycled plastic and all metal components are lead, nickel, colorants and chemical free. And let’s not forget that Versace has gone 100% fur free!

Image: Eco Age

best ethical red carpet outfits

9. Margot Robbie – Golden Globes (2018)

Australian actress Margot Robbie wore a demure black dress by Gucci to this year’s Golden Globes. Although still relatively new to sustainable sourcing, this Kering-owned luxury brand seemed like a well-timed choice for the young actress – especially given Gucci’s recent fur ban. And having recently released its ‘Culture of Purpose’ sustainability plan as well, we are all about celebrating brands that are working towards more responsible production.

Image: Getty

best ethical red carpet outfits

10. Lea Seydoux In TENCEL by Louis Vuitton (2020)


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