Campaigners – such as Extinction Rebellion, which recently told British Vogue it had been buoyed by the “energy rising from youths” at London Fashion Week – must be rejoicing as the 24-year-old heartthrob is using his platform to contribute to the conversation around sustainability. Take, for example, his Oscars 2020 look. Chalamet wore a Prada Re-Nylon suit crafted from Econyl – a fabric that saw a 102 per cent boost in searches last year thanks to society’s gradual awakening to circular fashion. The Little Women star wore his neat zip-front gabardine jacket with a Cartier Tradition brooch, dating back to 1955, pinned on his left chest pocket – a reminder that quality pieces hold their value. Or as Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion passes, style remains.”
Chalamet joins award season 2020’s other sustainable fashion champion, Joaquin Phoenix, in his unofficial ambassadorship of Stella McCartney. Whereas Phoenix wore the same custom Stella McCartney tux for the entirety of awards season in order to reduce waste, Chalamet has worn pieces from current and past men’s and women’s collections consistently since December. From the black velvet bomber from McCartney’s All Together Now capsule – which Chalamet wore over a 2001 brand tee at a Little Women photocall – to his Eclypse trainers and vegan Stan Smiths, his downtime attire is peppered with pieces made from McCartney’s eco-friendly alternatives to mass-fashion fabrics.
And then there’s his natty Stella McCartney suiting. Chalamet has cut a dash in purple wool twill Japanese tailoring from the autumn/winter 2019 line – complete with a mauve silk crêpe de chine shirt – and a cream tuxedo with mock crocodile-skin boots, which are season-less staples from the house. With the addition of a peace sign tee, the latter ensemble was a cheery reminder that the collection a garment belongs to no longer defines it. Chalamet could borrow a page from Phoenix’s playbook, and rewear these timeless pieces going forward to bolster the message that archive fashion can look just as modern as new clothing.
A pair of much-publicised Trehorn Jack trainers bolsters Chalamet’s collection of trainers that look good and are made with more thoughtful processes than the sports giants of the world. The high-top sneakers by the 1891-born Swedish brand are a riff on the Nylite style – which counted Elvis Presley and Dustin Hoffman as fans in the ’70s – and are made from regenerated nylon created out of ocean plastic and fishing nets. The bottom line: the sports shoes cost around £40, and show that responsible fashion and high-street price tags are not mutually exclusive.
Chalamet, of course, is a successful twenty-something with Hollywood in the palm of his hand. He has a penchant for expensive jewellery (Louis Vuitton chains costing £3,000, to be precise), and was photographed on a speedboat enjoying the Cannes coast with one of his love interests last summer. But he also likes old band T-shirts (Gorillaz, FYI), stacks of beaded bracelets that he rarely takes off, and suits by designers who really think about textile waste. By being selective about his public-facing outfit choices, he can have a profound impact on shaping how younger generations view environmentally friendly fashion as the movement grows (Lyst reports searches around sustainability were up by 75 per cent last year). Chalamet has 6.5 million Instagram followers hanging off his every post – his most recent Instagram picture of him wearing Stella McCartney’s Eva blouse and pink galaxy wash jeans amassed 2 million likes – and who are willing to also buy into the conscious message of his affordable Trehorn trainers. Can Chalamet kick it? Yes he can.