ENVIRONMENTALLY FOCUSED: Why Joaquin Phoenix Is Fashion Goals.

This year’s Golden Globes Awards show made headlines for serving a full vegan dinner to a star studded room of Hollywood heavyweights. That dinner decision was thanks to actor, vegan and animal rights activist (and Best Actor Winner that night) Joaquin Phoenix.

Long before awards night, Joaquin encouraged the Hollywood Foreign Press (the organization behind the Globes) to serve a vegan dinner to take a stand for the environment. They agreed and history was made. But the night was big for Joaquin for another reason (aside from that win) that started on the red carpet.

The tux Joaquin wore to the Globes was from vegan designer Stella McCartney. Stella announced on her IG that Joaquin will wear this same tux throughout this awards season to take a stand against waste. This decision is not as strange as you may think.

Along with the rapidly growing vegan food industry, sustainable fashion is on the rise. Brands like actress Kate Hudson’s Happy x Nature are completely committed to reducing waste and protecting the environment by repurposing materials to make clothing. Here is more from their website:

A typical by product of eating vegan, even if you do it for health reasons, is that you begin paying attention to other aspects of environmental and animal advocacy. It happened to me. I started out just eating vegan and now, I am a full vegan… which means the clothes and beauty products I buy must not exploit animals in any way.

Sustainable fashion is another level of doing my part for the environment and I am in the process of learning more. I know in general it means eco friendly, pesticide free materials, companies that don’t use toxic chemicals to manufacture their items, and brands that practice methods that reduce water waste and utilize natural energy.

As a Black women, I am particularly concerned about environmental issues… such as the impact of global warming, or air pollution or the deterioration of our oceans. But I also have great concern about the undrinkable water in Flint, Michigan; lead poisoning in countless urban areas; and a long history of toxic waste facilities located near low-income black and brown communities.. also all environmental.

Finding solutions to any or all of these issues begins with recognizing that they exist and that we are capable of doing something about, even with something that seems minor… like our wardrobe.

So how do we begin to make a difference? Well if you are like me, you love fashion. But you can’t think of being a more responsible fashionista as a sacrifice or a chore. You have to approach it with the same passion you have when you got to a sample sale by your favorite brand or when you monitor those boots you have to have, but are waiting to go on sale or when you go to one of my favorite places, the outlet mall.

Here are some easy ways that I am leaning into sustainable fashion.

Clothing Rental Services-I have to admit, I was a skeptic at first, but I LOVE Rent The Runway. Early in my career I spend an obscene amount of money to maintain my daily on air look and for special appearances. Now I manage it much more wisely by renting my clothes for work.

Sustainable Fashion Brands and Designers-I adore Stella McCartney, but I have to admit, the price point is high. But she is not the only game in town. Happy x Nature is very affordable and has beautiful, well made items. I’ll be sure to feature a full piece on sustainable fashion brands in the future.

Second Hand Clothes and Accessories-I used to just dabble in second hand fashion via consignment and thrift stores. But now with companies like The Real Real and great thrift shops like Housing Works in NYC, I have found some great items… like my black platform Stella McCartney boots. And I don’t just purchase, I also sell and donate.

Swap for gift friends and loved ones-I have done this for years. A girl’s closet can only hold so much, so when you bring in new things just give the older items with people you know who will appreciate it.

And it really can be just that easy. Just by participating in one of these, you will make a huge impact on improving the future of our planet.

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