The story behind the greenest dress at the OSCARS
In support of the Red Carpet Green Dress initiative, Marlee Matlin wore a Vivienne Westwood custom-made gown made from sustainable fabric Tencel. Read ahead for the low down!
What is the Red Carpet Green Dress initiative?
The RCGD goal is to draw attention to the importance of more sustainable practices in fashion and be part of bringing those solutions to the global market. Suzy created an international design contest, challenging emerging and established designers worldwide to develop sustainable Oscar-worthy gowns, thus fulfilling the Red Carpet Green Dress criteria to serve the need for more sustainability in the industry. Additionally, focusing on social impact consideration, fair and humane treatment of manufacturers, a clear supply chain, and materials that use a high proportion of recycled and biodegradable materials.
We has the pleasure of speaking with Samata the CEO of Red Carpet Green Dress who shared with us:
"Our partnership with TENCEL™ is one of the most exciting and rewarding for Red Carpet Green Dress. The organisation represents some of the key pillars of sustainability, ranging from accessible sustainable design solutions with a focus on circularity and decarbonisation, across to its inherent understanding of the need for responsible production and consumption. Our Oscars collaboration is always a highlight, and we are so excited that innovations like this exist for the global design community.’’
- Samata, CEO at Red Carpet Green Dress
What is special about the fabric Tencel?
Tencel is a type of rayon, like viscose and modal. These cellulose fibres are all made in a similar way: by dissolving wood pulp and using a special drying process called spinning. Before drying, the wood chips are mixed with a solvent to produce a wet mixture. This mixture is then pushed through small holes to form threads, chemically treated, then the lengths of fibre are spun into yarn and woven into cloth. Sounds simple enough—but what kind of environmental footprint does this process have?
How is Tencel sustainable?
In production, Tencel requires less energy and water than conventional cotton. As a plant-derived fibre, Tencel is also biodegradable, but check that it isn’t mixed with other synthetic fibres like nylon when it comes time to dispose of the garment. Although, like most materials, it is often coloured with harmful conventional dyes, Tencel requires a lot less dye than cotton. It is also pure white when produced, so no bleaching is necessary and un-dyed is always an option.