Photo Courtesy of Brandon Hickman
At the Global Green Pre-Oscar party last week, Suzy Amis Cameron’s eco Oscar gown was unveiled. It was lovely, but there was no mention of what made this gown more sustainable than most, other than it was colored “Na’vi blue”. This sort of vagueness is how people can easily be accused of greenwashing. Even the interview with the designer did not include this pertinent information, only her discussing the challenge of creating an eco gown. Yes, it’s a little harder, but when price is not an issue it’s no harder than designing any other couture-quality gown.
Although the details of the dress were not announced at the event, I did eventually find this article which explains that designer Jillian Granz used zero waste and cut the gown from peace silk, a type of silk that does not require killing the worms. Peace silk is a wonderful alternative for people who are concerned about animal rights, and it also lends itself well to the sort of Grecian-style draping Granz chose to do. Grecian robes were also cut from basic rectangles and artfully draped on the body.
However, in lieu of trying to find cleaner dyes, a difficult but not impossible task, Granz added a layer of chiffon already dyed blue. This layer is either regular silk or polyester (unlikely) and therefore most likely made and dyed in China, where environmental standards are not exactly world-class. At the Maker Faire last year, I met some people who make vegetable dyes, leaving me to wonder how well blueberries might have worked for this. The fashion industry still has a very long way to go, but with companies like AirDye making waterless dyeing a reality, I wonder why AirDye wasn’t invited to dye the peace silk Na’vi blue?
Designers interested in competing for this wonderful opportunity should keep an eye on the contest website: http://redcarpetgreendress.com/
Eco Jewelry For an Eco Night Out
Here Mike Flynn, co-founder of Opportunity Green, poses at the Global Green party with friends April Trigg and Lauren Phillips wearing Blank Verse jewelry. The cool thing about this jewelry is that it’s made from old jewelry, so it’s preserving resources while also fostering cultural sustainability by using modern design talent. Which is so much more interesting than just picking up a vintage piece. More and more designers are getting hip to the importance of recycling, as we wrote about here and in CleanTechnica.
The party was a smashing success overall, and one I’ll definitely make it to again. I was glad to do my part to support Global Green, and was glad to see a celebrity helping an unknown designer build her name and learn more about sustainable design in the process.