H&M have been fashioning cool but conscious collections for some time now but today marks a real milestone in the Swedish high street chain’s attempt to go green: an appearance on the Oscars red carpet.
The Oscars Go Eco!
Helen Hunt, who's nominated for her role in The Sessions, arrived at the swanky ceremony this evening sporting a midnight blue strapless gown in silk satin. 'You're gonna say "Am I kidding?"' the actress grinned when asked who designed the gown before revealing it comes courtesy of H&M's Conscious collection. Bravo lady! Brilliantly, the dress is not only an affordable dress but a conscious one at that, as it's part of H&M's eco-friendly initiative with the environmental group Global Green.
So why did she chose the eco-conscious creation? 'It was the most beautiful dress I tried on,' the actress revealed. 'They're making sustainable clothes, which I love, so it's a win win win.'
It may a bargain-tastic design, but Helen still amped up the Hollywood glam with $700,000 worth of jewellery courtesy of Martin Katz. Blimey! The breathtaking dress won't be available in stores since it was a custom design specifically for the Oscars.
Helen Hunt in H&M
The collection consists of flirty frocks and more dramatic gowns (our favourite being the £59.99 split-to-the-thigh chartreuse maxi), manufactured in organic cotton, hemp and recycled polyester. Now, before you wince at the word ‘recycled’ or ‘hemp’, remind yourself that these glamorous but guilt-free get-ups have been chosen (over anything else!) by the A-list likes of Michelle Williams, Viola Davis, Amanda Seyfried and Kristin Davies. And if it's good enough for those ladies, it's certainly good enough for us.
Bond girl and Brit actress Naomie Harris was also an eco warrior at the Oscars this evening, wearing a gown as part of the Red Carpet Green Dress Challenge. The mustard-coloured creation was designed by Ghana-born Michael Badger, a fashion design student at Savannah College of Art and Design, who was mentored throughout the design process by Vivienne Westwood.
Naomie Harris in Michael Badger
The gown is made from certified organic silk crepe de chine using recycled zippers, vintage glass beads and chocolate candy wrappers. The dress was dyed with goldenrod and chamomile and was inspired by volcanoes and the appearance of flowing lava.
Not so long ago the idea of sustainable fashion conjured up instant turn-offs like hemp sack dresses or tie-dyed Ali Baba pants, but conscious brands – from every level, designer to high street - are on the rise. Many eco-aware designers have realised that it’s not necessarily the ethical slant that’ll draw the style-savvy crowds in, it’s the products.
Michelle Williams and Amanda Seyfried in H&M
So as well as Stella McCartney visibly leading the way with her sustainable fabrics and (sexy) vegan shoes, Sophia Kokosalaki launched an ethically conscious capsule range on ASOS called Kore and the website’s exsisting Africa range is top notch trend-ticking stuff.
We’ve noticed a real rise in upcycling (using existing clothing to create new pieces), but it’s high fashion labels like Edun (designed by Bono’s wife Ali Hewson), Suno, Henrietta Ludgate and Ada Zandition that are leading the way. Many more brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Vivienne Westwood are following suit, and starting to dip into the sustainable sphere with dedicated sub ranges or accessory lines.
Watch this space ladies, sustainable fashion just got serious.