Green Living: Eco-Fashion on the Red Carpet

As Colin Firth took away the Golden Globe for his performance in The King's Speech, his wife Livia Firth shimmered in an ethical silk gown. The dress was made from hand-dyed indigo 'peace' silk. It was designed by the American designer, Jeff Garner who is now a regular feature in the London Fashion Week. Garner's label Prophetik is based in Tennessee and according to Livia's blog for Vogue, "I really appreciate the way Garner is able to approach problems in the fashion chain, like the heavy chemical pollution associated with dyeing, and come up with a considered response. His understanding of ecologically-intelligent fabrics and processes, is extraordinary, as is his respect for the natural world."

Livia Firth started her 'Green Carpet' project in September 2009 when she wore an ethical design for the opening of the Venice Film Festival. Since then she has been very resolute in wearing only ethical clothing. She recently also wore a dress made out of her husband's old suit which was put together by Junky Styling in London for the Paris premiere of 'The King's Speech'. She has also worn a re-purposed wedding gown on the red carpet!

Last year before the Oscars Suzy Amis Cameron, wife of 'Avatar' director James Cameron created the  'Red Carpet Green Dress' competition, which was open to anyone in the world. The only goal was to come up with a stunning Oscar dress, using only sustainable materials. She finally went with the design of college student Jillian Granz, of Michigan State University and wore a dress also made with ahimsa silk.

The 2010 Grammy's featured Jason Mraz in a sleek suit that was made of polyester from recycled water bottles and wool. His thin, black sparkly tie was made of recycled cassette tapes. Linda Loudermilk is another designer whose creations are regularly seen on the red carpet. She uses ahimsa silk, organic cotton, bamboo and other sustainable fabrics.

The trend of celebs wearing eco-fashion was perhaps started by vegan-designer Stella McCartney and her clientele that includes Madonna and Gwenyth Paltrow. Stewart & Brown is one of Alicia Silverstone's favourites. Their clothing is made from organic cotton, tencel gauze, hemp silk charmeuse, hemp jersey, linen, and fine Mongolian cashmere, which is culled from a co-op that helps nomads in the region sustain their centuries-old practices. Jennifer Aniston, Sheryl Crow and Courtney Cox endorse OmniPeace T-shirts. The brand donates 25% of net profits to charities that promote peace, education, and human rights. Ethical shoes brand TOMS has a policy where for each pair of shoes sold, they give a pair to a child in need. They offer vegan styles and the brand is big hit with celebrities like Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz.

In spite of the abundance of top design houses many A-listers are opting for sustainable fashion from smaller designers as options for the red carpet. New generation designers work with artisans to promote traditional handicrafts as well as use sustainable design and materials. All this publicity has seen an increase in creative designers who are not only focusing on the runway but also retail shelves. It could also influence the bigger designers to rethink their idea of fashion. These are excellent signs because it means that eco-fashion could soon become main-stream.

Photo: Vogue-UK. Livia Firth wearing Colin's re-purposed tuxedo designed by Junky Styling to The King's Speech Paris premiere