Celebrities have long been known for pushing the boundaries of fashion and moving the industry forward, especially where red carpet events are concerned. These galas are designed for celebs to show off their flamboyant and larger-than-life styles, and most of the participants do not disappoint. In some cases their risks pay off big, netting them the coveted title of “best dressed”. Others make the worst lists. It doesn’t really matter which type of attention they get, so long as they don’t fade into the background and get ignored by the media completely. While the public may be more interested in the performances these actors and actresses give on the silver screen, as well as the awards they receive, there is a certain segment of the population that pays close attention to what these stars are wearing, mainly so they can steal the style and remain fashion forward. So when a hot celebrity like Bradley Cooper, recently nominated for his acclaimed turn in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, is spotted in an eco-friendly tuxedo, it has a major impact.
In truth, it wasn’t his idea to don the two-piece Tom Ford creation, a tuxedo made from European wool that was spun and woven in a low-impact manner. Ford used this OEKO-TEX fabric to design what is being called the eco-tux, and Cooper wore it as part of Livia Firth’s Green Carpet Challenge, now in its fourth year of attempting to get actors on board with sustainable practices, presumably so that they can act as role models for the rest of us. Cooper may be one of the hottest names to go green on the red carpet thus far, but he’s in good company, joining other notable actors and actresses who have participated in previous years, including Javier Bardem, Kenneth Branagh, Meryl Streep (who won an Oscar for her role in ‘The Iron Lady’ while wearing an eco-friendly gown by Lanvin as part of the challenge), and of course, husband Colin Firth.
Firth, for her part, is the creative director of retail concept creator Eco Age, which generates green living solutions. And her desire to get celebrities involved in her environmental crusade is what brought about the Green Carpet Challenge. Since its inception it has attracted not only celebrities wishing to use their fame for good, but also designers keen to showcase their eco-friendly wares on an international stage. Tom Ford may have been the biggest “get”, and Firth commented that he has been something of a driving force in the “quest to merge ethics with aesthetics”. But fashion houses from Valentino to Chanel have lined up to participate, along with unsurprising additions like Stella McCartney, who has long boasted green sensibilities in both her personal and professional life.
And no one can deny that Cooper made an excellent spokesperson for the challenge. He couldn’t look bad in a suit if he tried, and Tom Ford’s eco-tux is certainly no exception. When it comes to red carpet dress attire, men don’t get a wide variety of options. But with Livia Firth’s Green Carpet Challenge they have certainly proved that they can use their wardrobe to make a bigger statement. And with the celebrity and designer names that the challenge has already managed to nab, the trend towards greener garments on the red carpet seems sure to grow.