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High Fashion Recycled Clothes

March 16, 2024

High fashion recycled clothes combine the best of both worlds: while looking incredibly chic, you are saving the planet! Or at least, you are not making it much worse. There are so many tons of textiles and vintage clothing already out there, it makes sense to use them creatively. This year at the Oscars, vintage clothing was at the fore.  Sydney Sweeney wore an amazing gown to the 2024 Vanity Fair Oscar’s Party that Angelina Jolie also wore for the Oscars ceremony, back in 2004. 


The design, by Marc Bouwer, is in a very classic style, which is very reminiscent of a designer like Ossie Clark, from the 1970s. I could see Bianca Jagger wearing it to Studio 54. And these flowing satin Goddess Gowns are originally inspired by the work of Madeline Vionnet and other designers of the 1930s, who designed for stars of the very early movies, making them look incredible.

And it makes sense, because the Oscars were all about very very high octane glamour this year. The real glamour of the silver screen. I watched the ceremony and the British commentators were wittering about how bringing out the previous winners underlined the glamour of the occasion. Unbelievable! The Oscars is THE most star-studded, the most awards ceremony. It’s not a mathematics equation, where adding in 5 x extra stars makes it 5x more glamorous.

The Aftermath of the SAG-AFTRA Strike

Fashion recycled clothes - Red Carpet, 1988 Academy Awards

Red Carpet, 1988 Academy Awards
Author: Alan Light Alan Light, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons



Although of course it was nice to see everyone and it was like they were being honoured all over again. And I really, really liked that the crew were honoured too and got to step out on stage. The two strikes, a very long running one from the Writer’s Guild of America who were later joined by the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which has the acronym SAG-AFTRA – hit the industry very hard. It was an appalling time for crew, who did not benefit from any of the changes the strikers were fighting for. But suddenly their income was hit – as in hit by a truck. Stopped dead, from one day to the next.


Without the big salaries and presumable savings that the big stars have to fall back on, those months were not only tough, but unasked for. Nobody consulted the millions of other people who depend on this industry to see if they’d like to stop work and not get paid for several months. And this is following the restrictions of Coronavirus. During the pandemic, filming stopped altogether only briefly. Other productions forged on but it was very difficult.  So it was absolutely great that the host, Jimmy Kimmel, brought some crew onstage and thanked them for not crossing the picket line.


Special mention also for the 12 year old Porché Brinker, the little 12 year old girl who got to go on stage, clutching her violin, to help accept the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Film for “The Last Repair Shop”. Dressed in a cloud of pink tulle, she was beaming from ear to ear. These are the people who bring the wonder of the awards too!

How to bring the magic of fashion recycled clothes to your life too

Posypayko Sydorenko Golovlyova Gosteva Konstantinova Red Carpet Kyiv 2017

Posypayko Sydorenko Golovlyova Gosteva Konstantinova Red Carpet Kyiv 2017. Mykola Swarnyk, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cate Blanchett also made the headlines for shopping from her own wardrobe. She is well-known for re-wearing her Fashion recycled clothes outfits. To be honest it makes sense. Sometimes brands gives stars dresses, sometimes they lend them, and sometimes, as with Emma Stone and Louis Vuitton, the brands pay the stars to wear their clothes and give them to them afterwards as well. Nevertheless, even if you have a lifetime supply of free couture gowns, you must have favourites that you’d like to wear again.


Cate Blanchett’s stylist,  Elizabeth Stewart, pronounced: “It’s chic to repeat.” And Cate has taken it to heart. She has many, many gorgeous Fashion recycled clothes, and a wide variety of glamorous events to wear them to. This year, she wore a lovely Martin Margiela gown to the 2023 Baftas, where she won a Best Leading Actress award for her powerful performance in Tár. She had originally worn it to the Oscars in 2015. The beautiful black velvet column has frayed armholes. This time around they are looking a lot more visible and the hem is quite violently frayed too, where it wasn’t last time.  Was it badly washed? Somebody made a mistake at the drycleaners? I’m joking, as these twists were obviously deliberate.


The armholes have been remade and that hem was torn out on purpose. It’s fine though, because Margiela always put a little twist on his clothes so it’s perfectly in keeping. The first time around, the gown was worn with a huge turquoise necklace from Tiffany. This time, giving a markedly different effect, it was a Louis Vuitton pearl necklace which reused Tahitian pearls and a tourmaline from other pieces. Usually Blanchett does this, she has the outfit altered, or wears it in a different way, as most people do.

Fashion recycled clothes in Your Life

Opening ceremony of the Carthage Film Festival, 2018

Opening ceremony of the Carthage Film Festival, 2018. Author: Houssem Abida, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Would you like to be just like Sydney Sweeney and Cate Blanchett? Reworn, Fashion recycled clothes, vintage and upcycled clothing is the remedy for fast fashion. Plastic bottles can be made into high quality recycled polyester, making eco friendly recycled fashion from recycled fabrics. Many fashion brand used a closed loop process. This means that the chemicals used in their recycled materials are recaptured to use again. Not just rinsed away into rivers and seas.


It can be tricky to separate the Fashion recycled clothes clothing brands with a real green ethos from those only pretending to create sustainable fashion. Even those with the best of intents can find it difficult to carry that out. Supply chains are not always transparent. You buy organic cotton for your fashion clothing – but do you really know that the dye the factory used is also chemical-free? Is the plastic for the zips recycled too? You must just try your best. Re-wearing is the best option of all.

What to do with recycled clothing uk