Recycled Plastics On the Red Carpet

When recycled plastic couture comes gliding down the red carpet, we sometimes see headlines like “Made from Garbage” or “From Rubbish to the Red Carpet,” giving the impression that someone has sewn a few trash bags together and slapped it on, in a bid for attention.  But the reality is, when used plastic packaging ends up in the right place, IE- the recycling bin, it can come back as something unexpectedly amazing. Every year around awards season time, we see just how incredible plastics “wow” in a second life. Designer gowns made with recycled plastics shine on the some of the biggest stages– entertainment awards shows.  Recycled plastics aren’t only showing up *on* the red carpet, they can be *in* it. Here’s a look at this growing trend, over the years.

Recycled plastics are a growing trend in the sustainable fashion movement.

Livia Firth’s siren red Antonio Berdari gown was a standout at the 2016 Met Gala. The dress, which earned Firth the title “Queen of the Green Carpet” was made with 100% recycled polyester yarn derived from plastic bottles. During the manufacturing process bottles are cleaned and melted and the plastic is stretched into a fine thread that is then woven in to fabrics.

[INFOGRAPHIC: From Plastic Bottle to Eco-fashion]

British actress Lily Cole turned heads on the Oscar red carpet in 2016 wearing a silver Vivienne Westwood gown made completely out of recycled plastic bottles.

The Vivienne Westwood dress made from plastic bottles.

A photo posted by lily cole (@lilycole) on


In 2014 Kellan Lutz’s dapper tuxedo featured a jacket made with 50% recycled plastic bottles.

In honor of the #Oscars this Sunday, here's a throwback to walking the red carpet two years ago wearing this custom suit for Red Carpet Green Dress. Best of luck to all the nominees and I can't wait to watch! What was your favorite movie this year? #TBT #TheOscars #TheAcademy #RedCarpet #OscarSunday #RedCarpetGreenDress

A post shared by Kellan Lutz (@kellanlutz) on


Helen Hunt donned recycled fashion from H&M in 2013. Her gown, a bold, rich blue was made with recycled polyester and, while from a chain store designer, was “classed up” with about $700,000 worth of jewelry.


Beyond fashion, it’s now highly fashionable to drive sustainability in as many areas of an event as possible. The 2016 ESPY’s joined a number of other events choosing red carpet with recycled plastics.

[WATCH: What Happens When Your Recycling Is Picked Up]

Recycling plastics keeps them out of landfills and helps these materials go on to live again– so style and sustainability can go hand in hand. Play our plastics recycling game Are You Recycling That? and test your recycling know how.