The Oscars were this weekend. Whether you are a film fan or not, everyone can agree that fashion is a much a focus as the awards themselves. Ten years ago, environmentalist and former actress Suzy Amis Cameron founded Red Carpet Green Dress. RCGD is an initiative that challenges designers to create sustainable red carpet designs. According to The Hollywood Reporter, at the 2019 awards on Sunday, February 24th, actresses and RCGD ambassadors Laura Harrier and Danielle Macdonald dazzled in eco-friendly gowns made by A-list designers.

Danielle Macdonald, who stared in this year's winning short film Skin, as well as Netflix's original movies Dumplin' and Bird Box, wore a Christian Siriano gown. The dress was made out of cotton crepe and dyed red with vegetable dye. The sleeves were made from recycled tulle and minimal fabric waste production was used in Siriano's work.

"I've had some incredible red carpet moments in my career but I'm particularly excited about this design as it has the potential to change the world. I want to show people that eco-friendly, ethical, and sustainable fashion can also be beautiful."

Christian Siriano via statement for RCGD

BlacKkKlansman star Laura Harrier wore a custom-made light blue gown by Louis Vuitton. This dress was made from Taroni S.p.a crepe silk. According to Red Carpet Green Dress' website, the material was certified by the Global Organic Textile Standards. Four hundred and fifty hours were spent hand-embroidering glass beads and Swarovski crystal shards and sequins onto the gown. This was done while following the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX, a global testing and certification system for textiles and accessories.

While it is clear that the makers of Harrier's dress went to great lengths to ensure it was made from natural fabrics, silk is a double sided coin with many people concerned about animal cruelty. Though there are some processes that do not kill silk worms, the fiber is most commonly produced by worms who are exploited and boiled alive, according to ThoughtCo. On the positive side, many see silk as a plastic-free, biodegradable fiber.
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As explained on Red Carpet Green Dress' website, the criteria for a designer's work to be certified as eco-conscious by the organization, it must be "made from sustainable materials, including organic, recycled, or repurposed fibers." Bonus points are added for also featuring "hand-made detailing or incorporating natural dye processing, with a dedicated focus on minimal negative impact on the environment, and environmentally and socially responsible design."

Founder Suzy Amis Cameron started Red Carpet Green Dress in 2009 during the press tour for Avatar, directed by her husband James Cameron. Since its inception, RCGD has worked with designers and fashion labels including Vivienne Westwood, Armani, and Reformation; actors have included Gina Rodriguez, Kellan Lutz, and Emma Roberts. They even work with emerging fashion colleges and students.
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Even though many sustainable and eco-friendly fashion brands exist today, as a whole, fashion is an incredibly wasteful and environmentally destructive industry. According to Forbes, the fashion industry is the second biggest source of industrial pollution, and it contributes to ten percent of worldwide carbon emissions. According to a survey conducted by Savers, an average of 26 billion pounds of clothing and textiles ends up in US landfills each year, rounding out to about 81 pounds per person!

Red Carpet Green Dress shines a light on the fact that fashion does not have to be simple to be eco-friendly. These garments can be just as beautiful as destructive ones. Here's hoping that RCGD continues to expand throughout Hollywood, inspiring professionals and fans alike to become more conscious about their fashion choices.