Greener Oscars: How the biggest event in showbiz will be embracing sustainability
CEO of RCGD Global, Samata Pattinson, sits down with HUNGER to explain her Sustainable Style Guide that will be handed out to attendees of the red carpet, and what this could mean for the future of dressing the stars.
Tonight, all the stars will be out in Los Angeles for the biggest evening in show business – the Oscars. And whilst film takes the forefront, and Best Director and Best Actor will be anyone’s game, HUNGER will also look to those best dressed on the red carpet. But what’s got us biting our nails is the slew of brand new dresses gracing the stars and the lack of sustainability consideration that falls alongside it.
Luckily, 2023 has seen a remission for the sustainability measures of the illustrious event, thanks to RCGD (Red Carpet Green Dress) Global and their CEO, Samata Pattinson. As part of their commitment to the cause, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its partnership with the sustainable design initiative to recognise and rewrite the role the entertainment industry can play in driving environmental change.
Alongside being the co-host of the RCGD Global pre-Oscar’s Annual Celebration, Pattinson has written this year’s Sustainable Style Guide: the tell-all lowdown for designers, stylists, and attendees. After months of extensive research with experts in the industry, the result has led to a piece that not only provides the facts but the solutions and examples that can be utilised for a more forward-thinking version of red carpet attire.
Pattinson’s bespoke edition of the guide has been distributed in advance of the event as part of RCGD Global’s mission. Here, she sits down with HUNGER to explain her Sustainable Style Guide, and what the future of these types of awards could look like if the essential changes are made.
How important is it that sustainability in fashion is pushed to the forefront at such a prominent event like the Oscars?
It all started at the Oscars when Suzy Amis Cameron, our founder, faced a lack of sustainable options when dressing for her husband James Cameron’s Avatar Premieres. Since then, although our work and efforts have expanded to other areas like design and educational work, we still believe that global events like the Oscars are a great platform to spread the word about sustainable fashion and promote change. The Oscars are trendsetters and global shakers, and it is key for us to be part of them and be at the forefront of the conversation. This year is especially important for us because after 12-plus years of our Red Carpet Green Dress Initiative at the Oscars as an official partner of the Academy, we can inform and support their work. One of the amazing outcomes of this partnership is that a bespoke edition of our Sustainable Style Guide, which provides guidance on sustainable red-carpet fashion, has been distributed to the attendees of this Awards Season, so we expect more guests besides our ambassadors adhering to our mission this edition.
How do you hope to see the idea of sustainable fashion continue to progress at the Oscars in years to come?
Every year we see more Hollywood stars opting for conscious pieces when choosing their look, whether that entails wearing something they have previously worn, renting, or working with a designer on a sustainable gown. Seeing these results makes us keep working hard to encourage more people to rethink what they wear and create resources to make conscious decisions accessible to anyone. This is why we launched our Sustainable Style Guide, and we hope it will give our initiative an extra push for the upcoming editions. Moreover, with our official partnership with the Academy, we expect to promote sustainability in the film and entertainment industry beyond red-carpet dressing. In November 2022, to announce our partnership, we celebrated an inaugural ‘Sustainability Evening’ dinner with the Academy, which was the first in a series of salon-style gatherings focused on sharing ideas and experiences and spotlighting communities and organisations driving change in the industry.
What’s the process behind creating and implementing the sustainable dress code?
Our Sustainable Style Guide is the result of many months of research and conversations with industry experts. We wanted to put together a guide that encompassed all the information we had about the subject and make it accessible to everyone. We knew how overwhelming the information can be, especially when technicalities and new concepts come into play, so our goal was to turn all that knowledge into an interactive guide that not only provided facts but also solutions, examples, and calls to action. Our Sustainable Style Guide offers readers different tips and recommendations to start or continue their journey toward a more sustainable wardrobe on the red carpet and beyond. It covers such a range of solutions – from what to look for in a tangible garment to good sustainability frameworks to consider, certifications, and human rights standards! To amplify the reach of our Sustainable Style Guide, we partnered with Glamhive, an end-to-end online platform providing personalised styling services worldwide. With this collaboration, Glamhive’s network of stylists received a copy of our styling manual to read and share with their clients, encouraging more conscious style choices among more people.
What are some of the key guidance points from the Sustainable Style Guide you’ve asked attendees to implement?
To name a few, we encourage attendees to rent or exchange with friends and family, to re-wear or restyle looks worn on other occasions, and to make informed decisions when choosing a piece. The impact of what we wear doesn’t end after production. It continues after we wear it, so we also encourage readers to reflect on what they do with their red-carpet attire post-event.
How crucial is it that prominent awards shows continue to implement sustainability in their dress codes?
The media and people tend to look at big events and names when searching for inspiration and new trends, especially now that we have access to them almost IRL with social media. Therefore, we believe they have the power to raise awareness and start a conversation.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability is a wide concept, and that is why it is so hard to measure and regulate. To me, sustainability means taking informed and responsible actions to minimise the impact we have on the planet and its people whilst also having the knowledge to call out what is not working and hold brands and people accountable. In fashion, it means being in a healthy relationship with the things made for us and the people involved in that process – from taking good care of your clothes and wearing them for years, renting for special occasions, and choosing brands that put the planet and their workers first. It is having a thought-out philosophy and mindset around cultural respect and the psychology of clothing.