BAFTAs: Kate Middleton Re-wears 2012 Gown Amid Push for Sustainable Red Carpet Fashion

Catherine Duchess of Cambridge BAFTA - Getty - H 2020
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Still, it seems not all of the stars in attendance Sunday night got the memo about eco-friendly style.

Kate Middleton stepped out at the BAFTA Awards on Sunday in a sustainable style statement by re-wearing a gold embroidered Alexander McQueen gown that she had previously donned at a state dinner in Malaysia in 2012. 

Recycling dresses has grown in popularity, with stars and designers trying to be eco-friendly by re-wearing gowns instead of crafting new ones for just one night out. 

It also appears that the BAFTA Awards took note of the movement and in fact encouraged this year's attendees to re-wear previous red carpet looks or to opt for other earth-friendly styles. Organizers reportedly sent out a red carpet guide created by the London College of Fashion with ideas. The move comes after Hollywood ceremonies have lately chosen to serve all plant-based vegan meals, with the Golden Globes and Critics' Choice Awards participating in that trend.

“BAFTA is doing more than ever before as part of a wider commitment to sustainability,” the British Academy said in a press statement. “The goal is that the EE British Academy Film Awards 2020 will be carbon neutral, working towards having a net positive impact on the environment.” The carpet itself was 100 percent recycled, the event served sustainable produce (plus one meat dish) and single-used plastic was banned from the venue.

Pippa Harris, BAFTA chair and 1917 producer, told The Hollywood Reporter, "We're also looking at fashion choices because fashion is obviously a big part of any awards ceremony and just giving all our guests and nominees the option to re-wear something they've worn before, or to hire something or to just think about the fabrics that they're choosing to buy."

Added Harris, "We're not trying to police people's choices, but actually just give them the tools to have a think about how they want to dress and whether the way they are dressing it sustainable or not."

It seemed, however, that not everyone received the memo on dressing eco-friendly for the BAFTAs. Stylist Ilaria Urbinati — who dresses Dwayne Johnson, Rami Malek and Chris Evans — posted Sunday on Instagram: "Good idea but who exactly did they ask? First I've heard of it," she wrote. "Based on the lack of recycled looks tonight I'm assuming I'm not the only one who didn't get the memo?" Urbinati styled Fleabag's "Hot Priest" Andrew Scott in a Paul Smith suit that included an emerald velvet jacket for the BAFTA ceremony.

Second-hand clothing site ThredUp is encouraging Oscars attendees to go green on the red carpet this year by avoiding single-use fashion, which it calls "one of our greatest climate polluters." The company explains in an open letter that people throw out 26 billion pounds of clothes a year, with waste expected to increase by 60 percent by 2030.

"Inspired by outfit repeaters like Tiffany Haddish and Joaquin Phoenix, and our mission to extend the life of clothing, we invite you to proudly rewear a garment to the Oscars," the letter reads. "Maybe it’s last year’s look, or the outfit you just won an award in at the Globes, or a stunning vintage gown. If you then choose to give your garment a second life, thredUP will sell it and donate 100% of the sale price to the eco-charity of your choice."

Back in 2018, Cate Blanchett received praise in Cannes when she re-wore her Armani gown from the 2014 Golden Globes. Her stylist Elizabeth Stewart later told THR, "Sustainability is the most absolute important thing in the fashion industry right now. ... They should be worn many, many, many times, obviously including red carpet gowns. Reinventing them is the perfect way to do that."

Looks like the Duchess of Cambridge is on board.