In the words of Elizabeth Banks: "It’s gorgeous and it fits… So why not wear it again?!"
A few weeks ago, when Joaquin Phoenix went public with his decision to wear the same suit to all the awards ceremonies to which he was invited, many people chalked it up to his eccentric nature. After all, awards ceremonies are all about glamour and wearing outfits that the average person would never wear anywhere in their lifetime, much less be able to afford, and Phoenix is very much an A-list celebrity, so why wouldn’t he want to look his best?
Phoenix’s reason has nothing to do with style or affordability. He chose to wear the same suit all through awards season due to his commitment to the environment, and he was only one of several celebrities who did the same, preferring to rewear dresses from previous years instead of buying a new one.
Take, for instance, actress and environmental activist Jane Fonda, who attended the 2020 Oscars wearing a red Ellie Saab dress that she had previously worn to Cannes in 2014. Last year, Fonda said she’d never buy another new piece of clothing again.
Elizabeth Banks also chose to rewear a Badgley Mischka dress that she had previously worn to an Oscars after-party back in 2014. The design is simple enough that it doesn’t look dated at all, so only a real celebrity fashion connoisseur would have noticed it was a repeat.
Her Instagram post read:
“It’s gorgeous and it fits…so why not wear it again?! Proud to wear my @badgleymischka dress that I first wore to @vanityfair #oscars party in 2004, re-imagined with @wendiandnicole, to bring global awareness to the importance of sustainability in fashion and consumerism as it relates to climate change, production & consumption, ocean pollution, labor & women. And thrilled to partner again with @radvocacy in support of @nsifashion2030, which helps brands draw down their carbon use and achieve measurable sustainability targets.”
These celebrities are embracing a growing trend in the fashion industry, where individuals seek to reduce their impact on the environment by limiting the amount of new clothing that they buy. They can do so by continuing to wear the clothes that they already own and repairing them as needed (“no-buy”), by making a commitment to only buy vintage clothing, or by choosing designs made with organic, vegan, and sustainable fabrics.
Jennifer Aniston’s white vintage Dior dress, which she wore to the SAG Awards earlier this year, and the custom dress worn by the Duchess of Cambridge to this year’s BAFTAs are only two recent examples of celebrities’ conscious shift toward sustainable fashion.
The reasoning behind this is that it is imperative to take immediate measures to reduce our impact on the environment as consumers. According to Business Insider, “the fashion industry emits more carbon than international flights and maritime shipping combined,” and it’s “the second-largest consumer of the world's water supply.” To make matters worse, “up to 85% of textiles go into landfills each year.”
With that bleak picture in mind, it makes sense that ecologically-minded celebrities use their public platforms to raise awareness about this problem and urge their fans to adopt more sustainable ways of consuming fashion.