Emma Watson’s Met Gala gown sent a bold message to the fashion industry.

Emma Watson knows how to rock a red carpet, and the Met Gala on May 2, 2016, in New York City was no different.

Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images.


The event's theme was "Fashion in an Age of Technology," and Watson totally nailed it.

Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.

Not only was her gown stunning in and of itself, it was also created using sustainable products.

Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.

As Watson explained, the gown combined "creativity, technology, and fashion" to send a bold message about curbing waste.

"I am proud to say it is truly sustainable and represents a connection between myself and all the people in the supply chain who played a role in creating it," she wrote on Facebook.

Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.

According to Watson, the fabrics of the dress were woven from recycled plastic bottles — "one of the biggest pollutants on the planet," she noted. The cotton used in the design was organic — not the conventional kind that uses chemicals to grow and thus damages the earth and puts workers' health at stake. Even the zippers were crafted from recycled materials.

Watson has no plans to keep the gown locked away in a closet forever either.

"It is my intention to repurpose elements of the gown for future use," she wrote. "The trousers can be worn on their own, as can the bustier, the train can be used for a future red carpet look … I’m looking forward to experimenting with this. Truly beautiful things should be worn again and again and again."

Watson wasn't the only star committed to going green on the red carpet. Lupita Nyong’o wore a jade sequin dress that showed style and sustainability can totally go hand-in-hand.

Can we take a moment to appreciate that amazing hair style? Photo by Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images.

"The dress is a celebration of craftsmanship and truly reflects the theme" of the gala, according to Eco-Age, the brand consultancy group that partnered with the celebs.

Margot Robbie also joined the duo in celebrating Eco-Age's #GreenCarpetChallenge.

All three wore designs by Calvin Klein.

Watson, Robbie, and N'yongo. Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images.

Sustainability, FTW.

The global fashion industry isn't exactly known for its ethical treatment of people or the planet. But there's been a push for change in recent years.

"When we think of pollution, we envision coal power plants, strip-mined mountaintops, and raw sewage piped into our waterways," as Glynis Sweeny wrote for AlterNet last August. "We don’t often think of the shirts on our backs. But the overall impact the apparel industry has on our planet is quite grim."

From our reliance on cotton (a thirsty crop that needs more than its fair share of water to grow) to an over-dependence on shipping materials cheaply from around the world, thus increasing carbon footprints, Big Fashion really hasn't prioritized environmentalism (like, at all).

That's just part of what makes the #GreenCarpetChallenge designs Watson, Nyong'o, and Robbie, wore on the Met Gala red carpet such an important statement.


Photo by Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Livia Firth, who co-founded the Green Carpet Challenge, is looking at the future of the fashion industry with hope.

"'Fast fashion' will slowly die as we will start realizing they have taken us for a ride for too many years, addicting us to buying too fast and too cheaply," Firth told Conscious Living TV of an industry that sacrifices the Earth and workers' well-being to produce cheap clothing.

"2016 is going to be the year where we will take fashion back for what it is: beautiful clothes made with love and quality," Firth predicted.


Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.

Watson, Nyong’o, and Robbie can't revolutionize the fashion industry by themselves, but their red carpet looks can inspire us all to be a little bit more critical of our own closets.

And that's the best way to be fashion forward.

Photo by Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images.

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

In the hours before he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, then-President-elect Biden was sent a letter signed by 17 freshmen GOP members of the House of Representatives.

In sharp contrast to the 121 Republican House members who voted against the certification of Biden's electoral votes—a constitutional procedure merely check-marking the state certifications that had already taken place—this letter expresses a desire to "rise above the partisan fray" and work together with Biden as he takes over the presidency.

The letter reads:

Dear President-elect Biden,

Congratulations on the beginning of your administration and presidency. As members of this freshman class, we trust that the next four years will present your administration and the 117thCongress with numerous challenges and successes, and we are hopeful that – despite our ideological differences – we may work together on behalf of the American people we are each so fortunate to serve.

After two impeachments, lengthy inter-branch investigations, and, most recently, the horrific attack on our nation's capital, it is clear that the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans does not serve a single American.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.