How to: Sustainable evening gowns
This has been a good week. Sustainable fashion has never before been so widely covered in social media and press. Right now, green beauty and sustainable fashion are two of the biggest, hottest categories. Emma Watson has been traveling the globe promoting her new film “Beauty and the Beast”, a remake of a beloved Disney classic, wearing fashion-forward sustainable gowns that are feminine, show stopping and, most importantly, all sustainable and eco-friendly. Emma is using social media to shine a spotlight on sustainable fashion. To keep her fans clued-in to the sustainable gowns she’s wearing around the world the actress created a brand-new Instagram account, appropriately named @the_press_tour, which already skyrocketed to popularity with more than 354,000 followers.
While every fashion blog and magazine discuss and dissect the gowns at the Oscar’s, I thought it was a good moment to think of some ideas on how to acquire an evening gown… the sustainable way of course.
For a long time, we’ve had to buy the items we want to use, regardless of how much or little we use them. For items we need access to all the time – like jeans – or items we feel it would be strange to share – like underwear — ownership makes sense. But for items we only use once in a while, like evening gowns, ownership is not really cost-effective. With the world today so focused on photographing, documenting and sharing every occasion, having something new to wear is even more important than before. The solution: borrowing your eveningwear. There are a growing number of fashion libraries and rental services doing just that. Google for the ones in your area and check them out, you might be surprised!
A black velvet evening gown borrowed from the Lena Fashion Library. (Photography by Nooria Shafqat)
Ask a friend
Yes… really… just ask a friend if you can borrow an evening gown. Make sure to ask in a manner that would not make her feel uncomfortable saying no. Give the item back neatly folded in a timely manner. Machine-wash what you can, and take anything else to the dry cleaners. And yes, you foot the tab… even if you only wore it once for 30 minutes. And remember: borrowing is a two-way street; if you want to borrow some goods, you better be willing to lend out on occasion as well.
Wearing a borrowed traditional Japanese kimono as an evening coat (Photography by Nooria Shafqat)
Give second life to a vintage dress
Besides vintage being a great eco choice, its beauty is that you’ll get to wear a unique piece that has a heritage and a story. Also there’s a lot to be said for wearing something that you know is truly original, that no one else will have. Just make sure you stick to this simple rule: only wear one piece of vintage and then mix it up with modern accessories to create a more current look. I love bringing vintage into the modern day rather than looking too retro.
Wearing a vintage velevt dress.
Vintage Chanel dress (Photography by Nooria Shafqat)
Wearing second-hand dress by Antik Batik (Photography by Nooria Shafqat)
Search for sustainable gowns online
If you still choose to buy a new gown, look online for a sustainable eveningwear store that delivers in your area. I love almasanta.com for their evening dresses.
Wearing a sustainable gown by Filippa K (Photography by Nooria Shafqat)