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When it comes to dressing sustainably in Hollywood, there’s one fashion whisperer who makes it all possible: Laura Sophie Cox.
The celebrity stylist, who’s dressed everyone from Olivia Rodrigo and Emma Watson to Natalia Reyes, Jacqueline Toboni, Alessia Cara, Janicza Bravo, Grace Gaustad and Luna Blaise, centered her styling business around the ethos of sustainability for over 10 years now, hand-picking vintage pieces and eco-friendly brands for her clients that allow them to evade the dangers of fast-fashion.
“I truly believe that when slow fashion is part of the design process, celebrity dressing takes on a whole new meaning and it challenges the current fashion system,” Cox tells Variety. “And what better way to celebrate these brands than by having strong women and men wear their powerful designs on the red carpet?”
But when working within the confines of rapidly-paced trends, dressing (and styling) ethically can be difficult. What exactly makes a fashion label eco-friendly, and how can consumers make sure they aren’t the victims of false advertising, or greenwashing? Cox warns that people should be wary of trendy buzz words that often don’t offer much more than false promises for sustainability. Phrases like conscious capsule collections, holistic, considered. “What do these words actually mean?” notes Cox. “Do they actually have a track record of caring? Is that campaign being supported by celebrities and influencers that you trust? And did they spend more on production of that campaign than they did in paying their workers?”
These are the kinds of questions Cox asks herself before every fitting and it’s also front of mind for her clients themselves. Emma Watson, for one, is a strong public supporter of the online platform Good On You, a leading source for fashion firm ratings. The same goes for 18 year-old Rodrigo who, according to Cox, already has a strong commitment to sustainable fashion and vintage styling.
Of course, it can be harder to sift through the overwhelming fashion landscape when you don’t have someone doing it for you. So we enlisted Cox, the fashion whisperer herself, to share her favorite sustainable brands and pieces to buy from this summer.
Cox says Christopher Kane is a “go-to” for fittings because of his interesting proportions and silhouettes, whose tailored suits and dresses have been a favorite among stars such as Emma Watson on the red carpet and other public events. But in addition to unique designs, the London-based designer has a good environmental rating, with set science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gases within their operations and supply chain by 50% by 2025.
Organic Cotton Denim Jacket
This cotton denim jacket from Kane’s ss21 collection is made out of completely organic denim. A pointed collar, chest patch pockets and button front fastening offer a clean and sophisticated look, while raw-finish cuffs and hems give it an edge.
Beaded Jersey Dress
With long sleeves, midi length and collared neckline, this Kane dress doesn’t show a lot of skin but oozes sophisticated sleek with a beaded fringe embellishment that gives it an extra flare.
Crystal Mesh Cami Dress
You’ll shine all night in this crystal-embellished cami dress, perfect for a late-night party or dinner. Made out of cotton and aluminum for a unique silver tone, the dress features spaghetti straps, a deep V-neck and floral lace detailing for an adorable all-in-one outfit that will have you standing out in a crowd.
Stretch Velvet Dress
This simple gown showcases what Kane does best: interesting silhouettes that flatter the body in unique ways. This one is made out of stretch velvet with an asymmetrical neck and puff sleeves with turn-up cuffs,
Maggie Hewitt, the New Zealand-based designer behind the eponymous fashion label, asks one question before every company decision: “Will this be good for the planet and the people?” Hewitt’s vision for a more sustainable and transparent fashion industry is exactly why Cox gravitates towards her bold pieces, which are beloved by clients such as Olivia Rodrigo and Jacqueline Toboni.
Pink Knee-Length Skirt (60% Off)
Add a pop of color to your wardrobe with this vibrant, hot pink maxi skirt from Maggie Marilyn. Made out of 100% silk, the skirt features an elasticized waist, and no pockets or lining, for a lightweight and simple outfit perfect for a day in the sun.
Can You Spot Me Knitted Midi Skirt (70% Off)
Save big on this simple, white midi skirt, designed with ribbing throughout, an A-line silhouette and a scooped hem for an extra bounce.
Drawn to Me Ruched Top (55% Off)
This unique, ruched top showcases a cascade of sunset-inspired hues on top of its recyclable Tencel fabric. Tie the hem-strings tighter to show off some midriff or leave them hanging for a more relaxed fit. Pair it with the matching midi skirt for a full set. Or, for a flirtier look, go for this slip mini dress in the same pattern.
“Rosie Assoulin is unbeatable,” says Cox, who describes the New York fashion company as an electric label with clothes injected with bright dashes of color. Sustainability and ethical designs go hand in hand for the business, where they use local artisans to produce and manufacture their pieces.
Thousand-in-One Ways Wool Cotton Sweater
Assoulin’s adjustable cropped sweater is a must-have from the designer’s most recent collection. With a classic cable knit that comes in a wide range of colors (choose from yellow and gray and purple, too ), the layered silhouette can be styled in endless ways, such as traditionally off the shoulder or tied around the neck or hem. Plus, it’s made out of merino wool, a biodegradable animal product, that is natural, renewable and doesn’t shed micro-plastics.
Pearl-Trimmed Eco-Hemp MIdi Shirt Dress
Made from the label’s eco hemp, the Jane dress is a classic and versatile option for either night or daytime wear. Pearl details run down the hem and collar, while a wide belt cinches in the waist for a flattering silhouette.
Knit-Paneled Striped Cotton Maxi Dress
The New York City designer goes whimsical with this flow-y pin-striped dress, made out of cotton, polyamide and elastane. The floor-length silhouette is split up with unique rib-knitting along a bodice that accentuates natural curves.
Printed Linen Cropped Straight-Leg Pants
Assoulin’s pre-Fall ’21 collection is full of playful separates that can be mixed and matched with ease, such as these patterned linen pants designed with a beautiful jade print. Thoughtful details are seen in the scalloped cuffs. Pair it with the green crocheted top from the same collection for a matching set.