Model Lily Cole made it into the Vogue news roundup for wearing an old dress to a Red Carpet event. For both the Cannes Film Festival and the premiere of the film Snow White and the Huntsman, Cole picked a dress from her wardrobe and re-wore it. Is this newsworthy though? How did it become normal to wear outfits just once?
Green Carpet Challenge
Cole’s inspiration came from Livia Firth’s Green Carpet Challenge. Livia (wife of Colin) vowed only to wear sustainable and ethical outfits on the Red Carpet. A lover of fashion, and owner of ethical fashion store Eco-Age in Chiswick, London, Livia then widened the challenge by getting other celebrities involved. Cole, who is also something of an eco-campaigner herself, joined the likes of Cameron Diaz and Meryl Streep who have also stepped up to the plate for the Green Carpet Challenge.
Celebrities on the Red Carpet clearly get a lot of scrutiny from the press and general public. Good and bad pictures can haunt famous names for years, decades even. A great dress gets you noticed, and this is exactly what Livia had in mind when she started the challenge. Using sustainable materials and upcycling, by ethical and mainline designer brands, Livia has generated much press coverage through her outfits, particularly via her Green Carpet Challenge blog for Vogue.
With such a proliferation of waste in the world, it is difficult to see the fashion industry as anywhere near sustainable. We have so much choice when it comes to shopping that it is all too easy to keep purchasing new things. The fashion trends change so quickly, with new items arriving on the high street every week, that there is a constant temptation to buy new things.
For the Love of it
If I buy a garment though, I want to wear it lots! Surely, if you love something enough you should want to wear it as much as possible, and if you don’t love it, why did you buy it in the first place? The fast pace of the fashion industry has made us all a bit nonchalant about our clothes. Maybe we don’t expect them to last when we pay so little for them, and we don’t mind throwing them out when we get bored.
In the old days of course, clothing was a real commodity. We would have been lucky to get a new outfit every year and we would have worn the same dress for church, parties and meetings. Now celebs get shamed in the magazines for wearing a dress twice and the fashion industry feeds our desire to constantly have something new and fresh.
So can you wear the same dress twice? Of course you can, and savvy girls do. You can totally transform a look with a change of make-up and accessories. You can wear the same dress to see different groups of friends, you can add a cardigan or jacket and you can even upcycle a dress if it starts to look tired – dye it, add embellishments, cut off the sleeves or shorten the hem. If you are imaginative and put real love back into your clothes you can not just look super stylish, but save money too.