At the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premiere in Mexico City, Lupita Nyong'o appeared on the red carpet in two different looks, one of which was a full, all-leather, all-black ensemble made with the planet in mind.
This isn’t the first time the Black Panther actress elevated sustainability, having donned environmentally-friendly fashion on the red carpet before, narrated a conversation international film, and advocated for protecting Africa’s elephants by banning ivory sales worldwide.
Created by designer Jonathan Cohen, known in the fashion world for sustainability weaving, the dress builds on the designer’s partnership with the Chanel-backed biotech company Evolved By Nature.
The sustainable leather dress was finished with Evolved By Nature’s trademarked Activated Silk, which debuted just last month following a $120 million Series C funding round. The material is PFAS-free, bio-based, and 100% biodegradable, which according to the company is made from extracting peptides from natural, renewably-sourced silk.
Nyong'o’s dress represents a larger trend of bringing sustainability to the red carpet, indicative of the sustainable silk, leather, yarn, vintage, and even recycled plastic dresses donning red carpets before.
Evolved by Nature focuses on barrier technology with sustainability as its foundation. Also used in a liquid form in the start-up’s skincare products, the silk protein comes from small family-run sericulture farms. Supporting regenerative farming practices that are less harmful to the environment, these farms irrigate with rainwater and avoid pesticide use.
The company also uses upcycled ingredients, as the Activated Silk is a byproduct of industry food sources for marine life, like the silk pupae of feed fish.
By purchasing the cocoons, Evolved by Nature prevents them from otherwise being discarded. Practices like these along with the company's in-house use of renewable energy promote a circular economy.
Evolved By Nature’s silk finishing appears on all products in Cohen’s Spring 2023 line. Each garment is high-end, biodegradable leather.
Additionally, the startup is making its novel Activated Silk 33B ingredient available next year to other skincare partners to accelerate sustainability in the industry.