Oscars

How to Turn the Red Carpet Green Like Meryl Streep

Thursday, March 8th, 2012 | Global Cool | No Comments

It seems that the clothes are almost as important as the films at the Oscars, so it was great to see so many stars wearing eco fashion. After all, as the star of this year’s awards, Meryl Streep, knows all too well – only The Devil Wears Prada.

Colin and Livia Firth – a long-time champion of sustainable fashion with her Green Carpet Challenge - both got on their eco glad rags. Mrs Darcy wore a Valentino dress made from recycled polyester and plastic bottles, while the King of last year’s Oscars donned his Tom Ford tux for the second year running – a form of recycling that is tantamount to fashion heresy in Hollywood.

But it was Meryl who stole the show in her eco-friendly Lanvin gown.

For those wanting to follow in the Iron Lady’s eco-friendly footsteps (we mean Meryl rather than Maggie, obvs) but unsure of where to start, there was plenty of eco fashion inspiration on display at London Fashion Week last week. Here are some of Global Cool‘s autumn/winter favourites from the Estethica exhibition

Pachacuti
In the Quechua language, Pachacuti literally means ‘world upside-down’ and that’s exactly what the designers have done for the world of ethical fashion. From CO2-neutral packaging to organically grown fibres, this Fair Trade panama hats company is the epitome of sustainable style. This season we saw gorgeous felt hats added to the collection, and an entire range of irresistible soft alpaca wool knitwear and accessories – perfect for wrapping up warm this winter.

Makepiece
A new face for us this season was Makepiece - a knitwear company focussed on offering beautiful jumpers, dresses and accessories made from soft, ethical yarns and designed to be ahead of the trends, so they stay fashionable for longer. We love that all the wool comes from their very own flock of low-impact Shetland sheep, and one of the jumpers on display was even knitted from their oldest sheep Daisy Mae – she was the first ever bottle fed lamb and is now a venerable grandmother.

Charini
A long-standing Global Cool favourite Charini had a fresh new look for their Autumn/Winter collection. There was a stark contrast between the delicate, cream bridal range, and the darker, bondage-inspired range. Creator Charini Suriyage told us: “We wanted to use the designs to portray the female sense of power. One of the ranges mixes bondage with lace to show empowerment but still with a sense of sophistication and femininity.” All the underwear in the collection is made from sustainable material with no hooks, no elastic, no plastic or any unnecessary dying.

Junky Styling
We loved the fresh colours on display at the Junky Styling exhibition at London Fashion Week this season, which were quite a change from their usual designs. The mix of military jackets lined with bright Scottish blankets, created a strong colour-contrast. We particularly liked the red fringed jacket, made from recycled scarves. The ladies behind the scenes told us: “We’ve created dresses from suits, scarves and recycled silk tie materials and pieced them together in original patchwork designs.”

This post was originally published at The Huffington Post

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Eco Terrorism vs Vinnie Jones and Porn: Which Would You Rather Watch?

Thursday, January 26th, 2012 | Our Philosophy | No Comments

Kudos to the British Heart Foundation for their Hard and Fast video campaign starring Vinnie Jones.

Aimed at educating the general public on the best way to perform CPR, the video sends up Jones’ typecast gangster persona by making a Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels spoof in which the former footballer – flanked by two blokes who look like they’re appearing in the video in order to fund their way through Bouncer School – resuscitates a ‘geezer’ using only his hands because “you only kiss your Missus on the lips”…

The campaign went viral, racking up more than a million views on YouTube and earning a string of press coverage. By embracing celebrity culture, keeping the message simple and adding a twist of humour into the mix (the soundtrack for the video is the Bee Gees’ Stayin’ Alive), the British Heart Foundation unlocked a mass audience for a message that without the help of Jones and his burly companions could have been pretty worthy and dull.

Compare and contrast with some of the eco movement’s attempts to engage a mass audience. Treehugger website recently hailed the fact that five ‘eco movies’ have been shortlisted in the Best Documentary category for this year’s Oscars as a sign of the subject’s rising popularity. Those films are: If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front (a tale about eco terrorists), Battle for Brooklyn, Jane’s Journey, Semper Fi: Always Faithful, and Project Nim. How many have you seen? How many of them have you even heard of? Thought not…

At the time of writing the You ube trailers for those movies have a total of 82,046 views between them. That’s more than 10 times less than what Vinnie managed on his own. Where the British Heart Foundation was brave enough to put its tongue firmly in its cheek to communicate an important message, too many in the green movement lack the boldness to make content that might appeal to people who have different interests to them (i.e. things other than climate change).

PETA, the US-based campaign for the ethical treatment of animals, has a history of taking a more populist approach to getting their message across. Much like Global Cool, the climate change campaign I work for, PETA has used celebrity association to engage the mainstream with their work. Their latest campaign will see them take their message into the world of pornography with the launch of a new .xxx domain version of their website. Users of the site will be forced to watch an animal being skinned before they get to see a celebrity in the buff.

Whether anyone will still be in the, er, ‘mood’ for doing whatever it is that they do while looking at naked ladies on the internet (I couldn’t possibly comment) once they’ve seen an animal being liberated of its fur is up for debate. It’s unlikely to win PETA any Oscars, that’s for sure. But common consensus (and a load of search data from Google, no doubt) certainly suggests that the potential audience for PETA’s message is significantly higher in the porn world than it is in the eco documentary world.

Eco terrorists and those who make documentaries about them should take note.

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