Eco-Age Launches The New Decade Guide to the Green Carpet Challenge

Following the tenth birthday of the GCC earlier this year, Eco-Age launch ‘Make Every Step Count: The New Decade Guide to the Green Carpet Challenge. Here are our ten commandments for true sustainable style, both on and off the red carpet.

This year, the turn of the decade meant that the Green Carpet Challenge has been putting sustainable luxury on the red carpet for a whole ten years. Since Livia Firth first attended the Golden Globes in 2010 wearing an upcycled wedding dress, celebrities and designers alike have come together to put sustainability in the spotlight and banish the myth that glamour and responsible dressing can’t go hand in hand. 

The past decade has seen some of the biggest names in Hollywood rise to the Green Carpet Challenge; including Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong’o, Cate Blanchett, Viola Davis, Emma Watson, Thandie Newton, Olivia Coleman and many more. Second hand and vintage have made regular appearances on the red carpet, and it has even provided a platform for designers to showcase the newest innovations in sustainable textiles. The movement has also seen the conversation around sustainable fashion extend beyond the red carpet and into the everyday choices of individuals, as people worldwide become more conscious of what they wear. Last year, sustainability was identified in the Lyst report as one of the key movements of 2019, and if anything solidified the changing face of sustainable luxury, it was the appearance of a Chanel reusable water bottle on the red carpet at the Grammys this month. 

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Jennifer Aniston wears a vintage Dior dress at the Screen Actors Guild Awards 2020.

As the conversation gains traction, the Green Carpet Challenge is evolving too. This is why Eco-Age is starting the new decade by launching ‘Make Every Step Count,’ a guide to dressing purposefully in a changing climate. “We have now proven beyond any reasonable doubt that ethics and aesthetics are a match made in heaven,” explained Livia. “We need to move away from talking to doing and this is what the new decade is all about. Fashion has huge power to change the world and it’s time for everyone to show just how we can do it.” 

This year, Eco-Age is publicly challenging celebrities, stylists and every citizen to walk in the footsteps of the Green Carpet Challenge and Make Every Step Count. Whether on the red carpet or in your daily life, these ten principles are designed to help everybody come together to lower the impact of fashion in the future.

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Soirse Ronan wears a Gucci dress made from discarded satin to the BAFTAs 2020.

Learn the story behind your look and wear it with pride

While the fast fashion cycle has made us feel ever more detached from our clothes, the first step towards being a more active citizen is revaluing our wardrobes and reconnecting to our clothes by learning about the stories, materials, processes and hands behind them. 

Buy for life and re-wear forever
When shopping, prioritise pieces that you love and will wear for years to come. Try to avoid impulse buying in favour of carefully thought-out purchases and only buy something you know will go beyond #30wears – and if you do decide it no longer belongs in your wardrobe, it should be something you can gift or sell on.  

Wear artisanal

Reconnect to the makers who created your clothes and choose artisanally created pieces rather than mass-produced items. This can help to protect skills and traditions that are in danger of disappearing, and buying from small businesses also helps to sustain those manufacturing locally and independently. 

Discover second hand and vintage

By shopping second hand and vintage you are extending the lifecycle of existing garments, potentially diverting them from landfill, and most importantly properly valuing the resources that went into making them in the first place.

Embrace clothes swapping and borrowing

Sharing clothes with friends can reduce buying new, saving you money and giving a new life to otherwise unwanted items. Organise a swap shop with your friends ahead of your next big event and avoid the resource-intensive process of manufacturing a new garment at the same time.

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Joey King wears a gown from Dutch sustainable designer Iris Van Herpen to the Golden Globes 2020.

Read the labels

Whether you’re shopping new or second hand, your first point of call should be the care label. This should tell you where the item was made, and exactly what it was made from, and of course how to care for it to keep it in great condition. If any information is not provided, contact the brand and ask.

Go natural with your fabric

As the microplastic polemic becomes ever more widespread, one of the simplest things to do is choose natural fibres over synthetic materials. They will biodegrade over time, and are less likely to release toxic fibres when washed. Not only this, but natural fibres can play an important role in regenerative farming systems which are integral to protecting our environment. 

Go upcycled or recycled with your fabric

Reuse materials that are already in existence to avoid the resource-intensive process it takes to grow, extract and manufacture new fibres. Deadstock, recycled or upcycled fabrics give you the joy of wearing something new without the cost to the planet.

Find a seamstress or make your own 

A more sustainable fashion industry is as much about innovative new technology as it is about slowing down and going back to traditions. Hand-making clothes helps us revalue the items that we are wearing, as we become more familiar with the time and skill taken to create our clothes, and we also end up with a garment that fits our body and personality perfectly.

Treasure the memory of each wear

Last but not least, building up our personal history of the items in our wardrobes is key to changing the mindset of overconsumption. Once you have special memories associated with items of clothing, they take on a much more personal significance and become infinitely more valuable.