This year, the Met Gala celebrated a return to the Gilded Age (for those wondering, that’s the 30-year era from around 1870 to 1900 that was big on corsets, ruffles, and décolleté-cuts).
The event isn’t usually a big one for sustainable fashion given it has a different theme each year. Anyone with a Pokemon cos-play outfit will understand that is not necessarily an outfit you’ll find more than one opportunity to bring out.
But this year, more than a few of the night's biggest stars gave old fits a run for their money, either choosing vintage designs, rewearing things they already owned, or having their gowns created with repurposed or upcycled textiles. That and the fact that climate advocate Xiye Bastida made an appearance make this year’s gala stand out as a big year for sustainable fashion.
We’ve rounded up the biggest eco moments from fashion’s biggest night out. They may not have embraced the Met Gala’s assignment but they sure did the planet’s.
1. Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian took Marilyn Monroe’s iconic “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress out for a spin.
Based on a drawing by American fashion designer, Bob Mackie, for the Hollywood costume designer Jean-Louis, the dress embellished with over 6,000 crystals made waves when Monroe wore it under a white fur coat to serenade President John F. Kennedy on his 45th birthday in 1962.
But before we give Kardashian too many sustainability brownie points for sporting the skin-tight glittering white number, it must be mentioned that a replica of the gown was made for her to wear later in the evening (so as not to risk damaging the archive piece).
2. HoYeon Jung
Squid Game star, supermodel, and fashion “it” girl, HoYeon Jung wore a denim mini dress from Louis Vuitton’s 2017 cruise collection.
3. Emily Ratajkowski
Model Emily Ratajkowski dipped into the Versace archives for this colorfully beaded 1992 get-up, last worn by Canadian former supermodel, Yasmeen Ghauri. EmRata said on the red carpet: "I feel very lucky to be wearing this look."
4. Xiye Bastida
Climate activist and co-founder of the Re-Earth Initiative, Xiye Bastida pledged never to buy new clothes and the Met Gala was no different. As part of her mission to highlight the need for intersectionality in the fight against climate change, Bastida also wore her family's indigenous jewelry.
“Climate justice should be present in every space,” she said in an interview on the red carpet. Just a few days earlier, Bastida also brought the climate justice message to a Twitter Space hosted by Global Citizen with young activists confronting the climate crisis — a fascinating conversation that you can listen to in full here.
Amy Schumer brought Bastida as her guest for the night to help bring attention to climate justice but while some people were thrilled to see the 20-year-old given a large platform, others criticized Schumer for what they saw as an insensitive introduction to the activist and her work.
Amy schumer really brought a brown person as an accessory. i mean does she even give af about who xiye bastida is and what she does?— 🥸🇲🇽🌽 (@mexican_elote) May 2, 2022
5. Camila Cabello
Referring to the Met Gala’s theme this year, the Gilded Age, Camila Cabello said how ironic she thought the overconsumption and excess of this period was, since "all of those things have gotten us to the climate crisis." As a statement of defiance, the outfit she wore was upcycled. ““[My dress] is sustainable, which I love,” the singer said.
Cabello’s white and floral two-piece, designed by Prabal Gurung, featured high-collar, strappy detailing around the chest and waist, and a large train.
6. Billie Eillish
Global Citizen, advocate, and all-round climate champion, Billie Eilish, wore a completely upcycled Gucci gown. "I just wanted to be as eco-friendly as possible," she said, detailing that the dress had been custom-created by Gucci's creative director Alessandro Michele and made entirely from upcycled fabric.
7. Emma Stone
Emma Stone wore her own wedding dress. The white, feathered dress was a bespoke Louis Vuitton creation and featured delicate lace and silk detail.
8. Paloma Elsesser
Although Paloma Elsesser's corset dress was custom-tailored for her by Coach, parts of the dress such as the lace skirt were made using repurposed materials from the 30s.
9. Adut Akech
Adut Akech also took the opportunity to wear something from seasons' past with an off-the-shoulder plunging neckline dress taken from Christian Lacroix's 2003 collection.
So there you have it. Sustainable clothing choices that are better for the environment are in and harmful fashion is out — and we hope this trend is here to stay.
But if you’re still struggling to kick the fast fashion habit, take a look at our top tips to becoming an eco-fashionista here.