Entertainment and fashion have always been closely related and complement each other. The on-screen stars have always influenced our choices, especially when it comes to styling, trends, and looks.
While it’s great to seek inspiration, the influences of high fashion and cinema also lead to needless overconsumption. With fast fashion brands churning out lines to mirror the latest trends within days, the temptation to constantly update your wardrobe is high. And the vicious cycle of instant gratification and wasteful consumption goes on!
But the tide is turning! With rising awareness of the climate crisis and the growing urgency to take action, many conscious stars are using their influence and platforms to make a statement for the environment and the planet. With their fashion choices.
Let us take a look at how many iconic celebrities from all over the world have made powerful statements with their sustainable fashion choices. These celebrities prove that making responsible choices is neither a sacrifice nor a compromise, it is, in fact, the only choice for the truly evolved fashionista!
These celebrities prove that making responsible choices is neither a sacrifice nor a compromise, it is, in fact, the only choice for the truly evolved fashionista!
1. Alia Bhatt’s Mehendi Lehenga (And That’s Not All!)
The most awaited Bollywood wedding in recent times, Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt’s pictures took the internet by storm. In no time, fans were looking around for more information and to-be brides were seeking inspiration.
Besides being hailed for having a small wedding and cutting back on excesses, another aspect that caught people’s attention was Alia’s many classy looks. One such was her Mehendi lehenga, designed by the designer of choice for Indian celebrities, Manish Malhotra. Made using various fabric scraps, this outfit was made with over 180 traditional textile patches from all over India sewn together (Kashmir, Benaras, Gujarat, and Kanchipuram, to name a few).
Not only was the result a thing of stunning beauty, but it also brought alive the unlimited potential of upcycled clothing!
Alia has also been seen promoting a sustainable lifestyle in different ways. She recently made headlines for investing in Phool.co, an incense stick brand made from waste flowers.
The mom-to-be has also launched a sustainable kids’ clothing venture – Ed-a-Mamma. She was quoted in an interview on her responsible ways as saying, “You just have to switch up your choices, it’s as simple as that. You need to pass on your clothes to people instead of throwing them out. That is the most basic way to contribute. I never throw away my clothes at all. I pass them on. This is the best way you can indulge in sustainable fashion. Buying sustainable clothing is also an option, but sustaining that clothing and actually passing it on to people instead of throwing it away is probably the first step we have to do. These small choices contribute to a lifestyle change.”
Not long ago, Alia was also spotted gracing a red-carpet event in a saree made of recycled nylon!
2. Shawn Mendes’ Upcycled Tux
If there’s one event all fashion enthusiasts have their eyes on, it’s the Met Gala in New York City. Every year, celebrity guests outdo themselves to showcase grand but quirky outfits. While Blake Lively may have been the most-admired star of Met Gala 2022, we had our eyes on Shawn Mendes, the heartthrob pop star whose seemingly straightforward outfit was an upcycled wonder.
Designed by Tommy Hilfiger, his entire suit was made entirely out of deadstock fabric. Shawn is also on his way to launching his sustainable fashion capsule collection, “Play It Forward”, in partnership with the designer. Now that’s the kind of starry attitude we love!
3. Katrina Kaif’s Movie Costumes & Ethical Fashion Choices
You may not have known this, but Katrina Kaif is quite an eco-fashion enthusiast.
We may or may not be fans of the movie, but we can’t help admiring Katrina’s work in Jagga Jasoos, and with good reason. Back in 2016 when the movie was being filmed, she opted to have her entire look created with recycled clothing! In an interview with Filmfare, she said, “It’s simple, raw, and organic. Almost all clothes for Jagga Jasoos were bought from The Reformation, an environment-friendly store which has recycled stuff.”
Statements like these bring the conversation on sustainability mainstream and one hopes that the day when zero-waste films become the norm isn’t too far in the future!
Katrina is also often seen sporting sustainable looks and endorsing ethical fashion in her interviews. Recently on her Maldives holiday, she wore sustainable swimwear, made from Econyl yarn derived from the ocean and landfill waste.
4. Billie Eilish’s Met Gala Statement, Again!The Met Gala costumes this year saw many powerful, head-turning statements on sustainable fashion. The singing sensation, Billie Eilish, also did her bit to promote the cause of sustainability on this prestigious red carpet. Designed by Gucci, her vintage-themed gown was made using only existing, leftover materials, and her shoes were made of vegan leather.
Back in 2021 also, Billie made waves by setting a fur-free condition on her designers for the Met Gala. She had insisted that she would sport Oscar De La Renta gowns only on the condition that they choose a fur-free policy for all their future collections!
We can’t think of a better way to do good with the power of one’s voice!
5. Yami Gautam’s Pre-Loved Wedding Saree
Another winning trend from the list of celebrity weddings was that of Yami Gautam’s. She chose to have a simple and small ceremony in her hometown in Himachal Pradesh, in the presence of just a few family and friends. Besides being a fuss-free event, Yami also took charge of her wedding styling and opted to reuse her mother’s vintage sarees!
While she admitted to wanting a designer outfit at first, Yami’s conscious decision to settle for a pre-worn piece from her mother’s closet speaks volumes. Traditional Indian sarees are as much an heirloom as a piece of antique jewellery, and preserving and re-using them is rewarding, emotionally and environmentally!
Besides her wedding ensemble, Yami is also seen supporting sustainable labels like Anita Dongre’s Grassroots collection.
6. Anushka Sharma Bats for Circular Fashion
Anushka Sharma is another recent convert to the cause of the sustainable living movement. Not only does she endorse a vegan lifestyle (by partnering with brands like Blue Tribe), but she also believes in responsible fashion choices.
A while ago, Anushka claimed she planned on putting up all her maternity clothes for re-sale. The proceeds from these sales would be used to support causes for maternal health.
By supporting and contributing to thrift fashion and promoting pre-loved clothing, she is normalising the concept and making it aspirational. In her Instagram post, Anushka noted, “If even just 1% of pregnant women in urban India bought 1 piece of maternity clothing preloved over newly manufactured, EACH YEAR we can conservatively save about as much water as a person drinks in over 200 years!!”
7. Vidya Balan’s Love For Handloom
Vidya Balan has been a vocal champion of Indian handlooms. She took this forward in her work by showcasing a series of handloom sarees during the film promotions of the movie Shakuntala Devi. She even took to her Instagram page to showcase the range and beauty of handloom.
In her posts, she also highlighted the sustainable elements of this heritage Indian craft, and the work of artisans and showcased some upcycling use-cases. In one instance, she also showcased how she converted an old blouse into a mask. On National Handloom Day, she took to her Instagram handle and said, “Let us all resolve to support our weavers across the country in these difficult times by buying and wearing their beautiful creations in our everyday life and also help keep #India’sHandloomLegacy alive. Appreciate the labour of love.”
Check out her many Instagram posts on handloom here.
8. Emma Watson’s Ethical Choices
Very early on in her career, Emma Watson made her way to people’s hearts for her acting prowess and made it a point to use her influence to support the right causes. Besides being United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, she is also a vocal supporter of ethical fashion and a known environmentalist.
While expressing her views about fast fashion, she once famously said, “As consumers, we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy.”
Emma is often seen wearing zero-waste labels and vintage clothing on the red carpet too. One such iconic look we love was her 2017 red carpet appearance at the Paris premiere of The Beauty And The Beast in a custom-made Louis Vuitton outfit that was created using Newlife polyester made out of used plastic bottles.
9. Gul Panag’s Sustainability Statements
Gul Panag has always been associated with various social causes such as ‘Shop For Change: Fair Trade’. Besides extending her support to local farmers, Gul has also made bold choices to endorse sustainable fashion. One such instance we admire is her choice of wedding outfits 11 years ago when sustainable fashion was not quite the mainstream concern it has recently become.
In a newspaper interview in 2020, Gul talked about her choices and revealed that her wedding lehenga was a recycled one from her mother’s closet, while her sangeet outfit was originally her mother-in-law’s wedding lehenga!
We can’t think of a better way to champion sustainability, heritage and tradition together!
Source: Brides Today
10. Richa Chadha’s Ethical Fashion Moves
We have long admired Richa Chadha for speaking her mind and taking a stand on civil rights issues. What is lesser known is that Richa Chadha has also been active in supporting the sustainability movement and was awarded “PETA’s Best Vegan Style Icon’ in 2020. She invests in organic and local fashion brands and also styles herself in the same for public appearances.
Upon winning the title, Richa said, “Am delighted to be named a style icon. Although it’s not always possible because we rely on stylists and make-up people to make us look great and can’t always choose cruelty-free things, in my personal life I always strive to stay the course. For instance, I stopped wearing silk and leather a few years ago.”
Source: Indian Express
The pandemic has been a defining moment for many, including celebrities, as they become more vocal about environmental issues and are slowly but surely adopting sustainable fashion as a part of their daily choices.
In another welcome trend, the idea of making an appearance in a brand-new look each time is losing sheen, and the stigma of being seen in the same outfits multiple times no longer holds. Here are some celebrities and public figures who went bold and proudly repeated their favourite outfits!
1. Kate Middleton
The Duchess of Cambridge is known for her sophisticated style. But of late, she’s also being appreciated for repeating her outfits on several occasions. While her style speaks of subtlety, her statement is loud and clear – If it’s good enough for Royalty, you can do it too!
Source: Town & Country
2. Meghan Markle
Known for her many philanthropic efforts, Meghan Markle has also been vocal about the need for a sustainable way of life. Besides sporting sustainable fashion brands on multiple occasions, she has also been spotted repeating outfits during her public appearances. Meghan also makes it a point to appear in sustainable clothing for all her interviews, to make a statement about ethical fashion.
3. Sonali Bendre
We are all aware of Sonali Bendre’s courageous and inspiring journey in battling cancer, but another reason to celebrate this star is her love for repeating outfits. Some time ago, she put up an Instagram post on how the outfits she wore over 15 years ago still fit her well.
She also mentioned how some of her outfits held good memories for her, so she always enjoys re-wearing them.
Source: Times Now
4. Joaquin Phoenix
This Oscar-winning superstar, famed for his iconic role as The Joker, is a long-time ambassador of the vegan movement and an animal rights activist along with being vocal on climate change issues. Besides promoting a cruelty-free lifestyle, in 2020, Joaquin decided to appear for all functions in the year’s award season wearing the same Stella McCartney tux and set an example for repeating clothes!
Source: Financial Express
5. Deepika Padukone
Known for supporting eco-social causes, Deepika has never shied away from expressing her beliefs. She often sports sustainable fashion brands on-screen and off it. Besides that, she also loves repeating her iconic outfits. For example, during the movie premiere of Padmaavat, Deepika chose to repeat her white Anamika Khanna Anarkali ensemble which she had worn five years earlier, to the Chennai Express trailer launch as well!
If Deepika Padukone can hold on to and repeat her outfits after 5 years, there is no excuse for the rest of us to throw out old clothes or shy away from repeating them!
With its resource-intensive ways as well as the waste it generates, along with the exploitative working conditions, Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world that extracts a heavy environmental cost. It is not surprising that conversations on sustainable, responsible, and circular fashion have become urgent among governments, businesses, fashion houses, brands, and consumers.
With celebrities and influencers taking responsible stances on fashion and lending their voices to sustainable practices like upcycling, thrifting, and repeating outfits, they are playing an important role in raising awareness of the environmental issues, and with the enormous influence they wield, making sustainable fashion desirable and aspirational.
As all stakeholders join hands to drive change, we think there is reason to be hopeful for a large-scale change in the not-too-distant future!
If you’d like to know more about sustainable fashion brands in India, check out our recommendation of local brands here.