The soon-to-be royal has thrown the spotlight on sustainable fashion by dressing from head-to-toe eco – and we all want a piece of Meghan. By Karen Pasquali Jones
Their tender engagement photo was the epitome of a royal romance. It’s a modern fairy tale caught on camera: American actress meets British prince and they live happily ever after with her set to become the Green Princess. From the moment she posed with Prince Harry for her engagement photos in that £56,000 Ralph and Russo sheer dress, Meghan Markle knew her fashion sense would be under intense scrutiny the world over. And she’s made the most of that global attention with her ethical wardrobe choices as the Green Princess-to-be.
Whether it’s a state visit wearing eco jeans or a royal gala donning ethical designer Stella McCartney, the American actress hasn’t put a (black velvet boot-clad) foot wrong.
That means while the Duchess of Cambridge is known for her neat (but frankly uninspiring) Jenny Packham dresses, Meghan, 36, is putting the spotlight on sustainable fashion.
As the fourth most influential person in the world in the style stakes, Meghan has enormous philanthropic as well as environmentally-friendly clout (nothing new there if you read her now-closed lifestyle blog The Tig which featured her dogs, and recipes for broccoli soup; or saw her in action as a global ambassador for World Vision Canada and an advocate for the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.)
Every item she wears sells out, brands are renaming items in her honour – and everyone seemingly wants to look like the former Suits star.
So what eco brands does the soon-to-be royal wear and how can we all get a bit of the Meghan Markle sustainable sparkle?
The Stella McCartney Coat
Meghan braved the cold in Cardiff, Wales, in style in a black wrap-coat complete with ribbon ties from the cruelty-free British fashion designer.
The daughter of Paul McCartney and the late vegetarian guru Linda is on every VIP and celebrity’s speed dial. Last year the designer photographed her collection on supermodels in a landfill site to highlight that the fashion industry is the second-largest global polluter after oil – and that three out of four of the 80 billion items of clothing produced worldwide every year are thrown away.
‘I’m hoping what will happen is in 10 years, people will look back at the fact that we killed billions of animals and cut down millions of acres of rain forest, and [used] water in the most inefficient way—we can’t sustain this way of living,’ McCartney recently told American Vogue. ‘So I’m hoping people will look back and say, “Really? That’s what they did to make a pair of shoes, seriously?” If you’re lucky enough to have a business on this planet, you have to approach it in this [sustainable] way.’
Meghan’s Tie Detail Coat, $1,939.73, has sold out, but we’re loving this slim fitting wool Charlotte black Tuxedo coat. It’s single-breasted, has contrasting buttons on the front and sleeves and at £1,525 is classic enough to see you through any chilly days for the next decade (and beyond).
The Limited Collection Eco Jeans
Everyone knows that denim is a dirty word when it comes to helping the planet. From the amount of water needed to grow the cotton (1500 gallons per pair) through to the toxic chemicals used to dye them that harm factory workers and marine life, jeans are the epitome of fast fashion.
Step forward Meghan in denim from unknown Welsh brand Hiut Denim who limit production to 100 pairs of jeans a week, and offer free repairs for life.
The brand, created by husband and wife Clare and David Hieatt, also have an elite ‘No Wash Club’ where they advocate not cleaning your jeans for six months to create a beautiful, bespoke pair.
‘Each crease, each line will have been put there by you,’ they write on their website. ‘You will have lessened the the impact on the environment simply by abstaining from washing them.’
We’re coveting Meghan’s Dina black stretch skinny jeans, £175, which sit high on the waist, and are flattering for all shapes. They can also be dressed up with heels for brunch or with trainers and a boyfriend shirt for casual (we’re sure Prince Harry won’t mind sharing).
The Ethical Good Wool Jacket
When Meghan took off her Stella McCartney coat in Cardiff and unveiled her off-the-shoulder ethical wool peplum jacket by New York label Theory, it sold out instantly.
Loved by Amal Clooney, the environmentally-conscious brand has long been popular with celebrities State-side, but now we’re all desperate to get our hands on the $198 Prince of Wales plaid top.
The brand’s wool is all ethically-sourced and aims to ‘make the most sustainable, non-polluting wool clothing in the world.’
The Mismatched Conscious Earrings
Never one to be predictable, Meghan loves to pick and mix her jewellery. She recently wore an arrow shaped stud by Zofia Day ($415 pair) and a Gabriela Artigas triple star, £114.
Created by Lisette Polny in her studio in California, and named after her daughter, Zofia Day, the jewellery brand is ‘ luxury with a conscience.’ She believes in ‘giving back to her community by empowering women to follow their own passion and journey to self-love.’
Gabriela is a mexican designer based in the US who creates bespoke jewllery with a ‘conscious and respectful outlook toward the environment’.
The Charity DeMellier London Bag
Hand-made in Spain by local artisans, Meghan’s £295 Mini Venice in forest grain has bags of style – and a social conscious. For every bag sold, brand creator, Mireia Llusia-Lindh, funds a set of lifesaving vaccines and treatments to a child in need through the SOS Children’s Villages charity. But we can’t condone the use of calf leather though – opt for a vegan version next time Meghan.