Ethical Style Icons

Image: Emma Watson wears Calvin Klein 

Never before have we paid more attention to the brands that celebrities wear. So when we see our favourite style icons wearing sustainable and second hand pieces, it makes our hearts sing. Here are our Ethical Style Icons.

Celebrities have influenced the way we dress for decades. However, the rise of gossip websites, celebrity stylists and advertising campaigns have meant that often what we see celebrities wear is a total fabrication of their real life. Most are never seen in an outfit more than once, and many wear designer togs that are way out of most peoples reach. Therefore we applaud those that see their public image as a positive way to endorse more sustainable and ethical dressing. By flying the flag for ethical brands and the benefits of buying second hand, they are influencing many of us to follow suit. And that can only be a good thing.

Image: ThredUP

Olivia Wilde

Self confessed second hand enthusiast, Olivia Wilde doesn’t just wear preloved clothes, she advocates for it. “I’ve been buying vintage since I was 11—a big part of my youth was scouring secondhand shops” she told She’s also a big fan of reselling in order to keep her wardrobe looking healthy, regularly selling through ThredUP and the Real Real. Having created her own company with friend Babs Burchfield, the pair have previously worked with H&M on their Conscious range. Now the actress and humanitarian is taking her message global. In an effort to encourage people to buy used clothes, they have collaborated with ThredUp on a range of cool screen printed t-shirt and denim jackets, all of which are thrifted! The collection, Choose Used, is aimed at raising awareness of mass consumption. ThredUp say “If everyone in the US bought just one item used instead of new in 2019, it would save nearly 6 billion lbs of carbon emissions.”

Olivia Colman

2019 has been an incredible year for our favourite British Actress. The highlight of which was certainly winning the Best Actress Oscar for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite. (If you haven’t already seen it, it’s a must watch!) So we were so pleased to see that she used her platform on the 2019 Awards circuit to champion sustainable brands. She wore a Stella McCartney gown made from recycled bamboo fabric to accept the Best Actress award at the Golden Globes. Attending the Vanity Fair Oscar’s after party she looked elegant in another Stella McCartney gown inspired by an image of a gown worn by Mae West. To wrap up her amazing achievement’s, the Actress accepted a BFI Fellowship wearing a gown custom made by Deborah Milner. The silk for which was sourced from ethical Italian silk mill Taroni which received a Green Carpet award for ‘Most Sustainable Producer’. She accessorised with Atelier Swarovski lab grown diamonds designed in collaboration with Penelope Cruz.

Image: Studio One Eighty Nine

Rosario Dawson

Not only does she run a successful fashion brand, Studio One Eighty Nine, with partner Abrima Erwiah, Rosario also recently fronted H&M’s Conscious campaign. Riffing on her own style for high low dressing, incorporating bright colours and prints, Studio One Eighty Nine is made ethically in Ghana and Burkina Faso. Together with Abrima, she is flipping the conversation around ‘made in Africa’ fashion. “When you see something made in Africa, you think charity. You think craft. And that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. But somehow that’s the story,” she said at a recent NYFW panel discussion. Last year the brand was recognised for their sustainable development when they won a grant from CFDA x Lexus Initiative.

Meghan Markle

Since marrying her Prince (literally) last year, the new Duchess of Sussex has taken the responsibility of dressing for Royal events very seriously. On her first official Royal tour of Australia and New Zealand, she wore homegrown sustainable brands including Outland Denim and Maggie Marilyn, not to mention everyone’s favourite sneakers from Veja. She was also spied wearing Reformation, Gabriela Hearst, and Figue on the same trip. Fast forward to recent weeks in which she has elegantly dressed her growing baby bump in some envious vintage finds. No detail escapes her attention, she made famous this beautiful earring from lab grown diamond jeweller Kimai, as well as Bar Jewellery. She’s also a big fan of our favourite ethical jeweller Pippa Small.

Emma Watson

Emma Watson has been a powerful voice in the Humanitarian space for some time now, acting as the UN’s Goodwill Women’s Ambassador. But in 2016 she took the conversation onto the red carpet. The actor wore a stunning Calvin Klein dress to the MET Gala made from recycled plastic bottles. The following year she went one step further, challenging herself and her stylist to dress exclusively in sustainable fashion for the entirety of her Beauty and The Beast press tour. Enter the hugely popular Instagram account @the_press_tour. Every outfit she wore was carefully researched and documented, right down to the clean makeup she wore. More recently she has been announced as a supporter of Good On You, our favorite app that allows you to easily search the sustainability of various fashion brands.

Disclaimer: The people and models in the images featured are not associated with The Vendeur and do not endorse it or the products shown. This post may contain affiliate links. Prices correct at time of publishing.