Emma Watson is most famous for playing Hermione in Harry Potter, but the British actress is making another big name for herself in the world of ethical and sustainable fashion. She turned heads at the 2016 Met Gala for her custom-made gown made from recycled plastic bottles.
The black and white gown was a joint project between Calvin Klein and Eco-Age. Most of the fabric is made of Newlife, a yarn that is made from 100 percent post-consumer plastic bottles. The inner bustier uses organic cotton; the lining is organic silk; and the zippers contain recycled materials.
Watson explained on her Facebook page why the decisions that went into making this dress were so important to her:
“Plastic is one of the biggest pollutants on the planet. Being able to repurpose this waste and incorporate it into my gown for the Met Gala proves the power that creativity, technology and fashion can have by working together.
“Conventional cotton is one of the highest impact crops, using more chemicals than any other crop in the world. Organic cotton on the other hand, is grown without the use of the most harmful chemicals and is therefore better for the environment and people working with cotton. The organic silk used in the lining of my gown is certified to a standard that guarantees the highest environmental and social standards throughout production.”
What’s really neat is that Watson’s gown is not just a gown; it can be taken apart into various, easily re-wearable components. You can clearly see the pants underneath the skirt in the image above.
“It is my intention to repurpose elements of the gown for future use. The trousers can be worn on their own, as can the bustier, the train can be used for a future red carpet look.”
Watson has long been an advocate for sustainable, ethical fashion and has created her own Fair Trade- certified line of clothing with British company People Tree. She was featured in a 2011 book called Naked Fashion: The New Sustainable Fashion Revolution, in which she describes a visit to a slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh (when she was 19 and busy filming Harry Potter) that changed her perspective on fashion. She told the interviewer:
“People can be so trend-oriented – after two or three months there’ll be something new and they’ll dispose of what they had before. But I think people should value what they own.”
Another part of Watson’s sustainable fashion initiative is to encourage consumers to hang on to their clothes and reuse them as long as possible, also known as the #30Wears campaign. Watson said on Facebook that she intends to reuse the Met Gala gown’s components at least 30 times.