Marking its fifth anniversary in style, the Red Carpet Green Dress contest is adding menswear to the mix. On Oscar night, watch for Twilight Saga alum Kellan Lutz to sport the winning tuxedo, while Olga Kurylenko, who co-starred in the Bond film Quantum of Solace, will be wearing the winning gown. Founded by eco-activist Suzy Amis Cameron, Red Carpet Green Dress not only spotlights ethical and sustainable fashion but also helps raise funds for the nonprofit MUSE School CA and Global MUSE, which cultivate conscious living and environmental awareness in students. Amis Cameron, who has embraced a plant-based diet, is also developing her own sustainable clothing line.
Which contest entries have you found especially creative this year?
One entrant proposed creating a dress from a hand-painted, peace [cruelty-free] silk scarf. Another introduced a stunning dye from a plant I had never even heard of. There are simply too many to list! Each year the entrants continue to innovate. That’s one of the reasons I know that fashion can adapt and deliver clothing we can all be proud of. The entrants have shown that beautiful fashion doesn’t have to cause devastation to the environment and to our bodies through the dyeing and manufacturing processes.
What’s been the response to adding menswear to the contest?
Fantastic! Men’s fashion is often overlooked on the red carpet. We just don't give the men as much attention, and obviously with Kellan that will all change. I wanted to draw attention to the fact that sustainable fashion is for everyone.
What’s the latest on your new clothing line?
It’s still in the early stages, and so right now I am enjoying sourcing and looking through the growing range of sustainable materials that we’re discovering. I believe that to reach the tipping point, sustainability needs to be design led. Like most people, I buy for style, comfort, and practicality, so those elements will definitely be key pillars. I do think that hemp and variations of hemp blends will be at the top of the list of materials, but I don't want to give too much away.
Where do you advise people who want to green their wardrobe start?
One thing would be to reuse, reuse, reuse. Being green doesn’t just mean deciding to buy new eco pieces, it also means looking after what you already have and valuing it. Invest in quality items that will last, as [fashion designer] Vivienne Westwood often says. Customize your clothing to give it a new lease on life. A site I love right now is psimadethis.com. I also recommend shopping at secondhand stores. There are platforms such as Lux & Eco where you can shop for quality, sustainable style.