Emma Watson Proves Ethical Fashion Is Always in Style

In case you needed another reason to love the former ‘Harry Potter’ star, now she’s participating in the Green Carpet Challenge.
Emma Watson. (Photo: Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images)
Aug 29, 2015· 1 MIN READ
Samantha Cowan is an associate editor for culture.

When Emma Watson isn’t advocating for gender equality as a U.N. Women goodwill ambassador or asking men to fight for feminism, she can be spotted on the red carpet promoting her films. But for Watson, a movie premiere is also the perfect place to showcase her newest cause: ethical fashion.

For press junkets and international screenings of her upcoming film Regression, Watson is taking part in the Green Carpet Challenge, an initiative that’s raising awareness about sustainability, ethics, and social welfare in fashion. Watson’s clothing, shoes, handbags, and jewelry are all from designers considering all parts of the production process, from environmental impact to workers’ rights, British Vogue reports. And she’s Instagramming it every step of the way.

Each event outfit she posts on the photo platform is accompanied by a description of what makes an item fit the bill—for example, designers who refuse to use harmful chemicals, or those who directly oversee their factories to ensure safe working conditions.

Watson points to The True Cost, a documentary about human rights violations and environmental damage created by the fashion industry, as her inspiration for getting involved in the challenge, which is headed by eco-fashion activist Livia Firth.

The film revealed that as fast-fashion chains such as H&M and Forever 21 have pushed down prices, they’ve come to rely heavily on factories overseas. Of the 40 million garment workers worldwide, the majority earn less than $3 a day. Along with low wages, factory employees—85 percent of whom are women—work in hazardous structures. Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza factory collapse in 2013 killed more than 1,100 workers, and there have been several major factory fires in the years since.

Along with the human cost, the film also looked at the environmental cost of purchasing and discarding clothing. Fashion is one of the world’s most polluting industries, second only to the oil industry.

The film called on designers and corporations for additional oversight into the supply chain, but individual consumers can take a stand by purchasing brands that have committed to responsible, sustainable fashion. And with a little help from stylist Sarah Slutsky, Watson shows us that caring about local artisans and sourced fabric looks good.