The Duchess of Cambridge tends to speak through her clothes. That isn’t unchartered territory for a royal—The Queen speaks directly to the public rarely, and her granddaughter-in-law tends to follow suit. But Kate’s commitment to sustainable fashion is obviously a personal passion project, facilitated through her strategically thought-out sartorial decisions.
Take, for example, the dress Kate was wearing in the portrait shared yesterday on Instagram, featuring the five-person Cambridge brood with avid environmentalist Sir David Attenborough. The post was announcing the launch of an upcoming environmental documentary, Prince William: A Planet For Us All, featuring Prince William and Attenborough (who incidentally just joined Instagram in a truly delightful style)—and many likely missed the subtle nod Kate made to the cause in her denim mid-length dress.
View this post on Instagram
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to share new photographs of their family with @DavidAttenborough. The photographs were taken earlier this week in the gardens of Kensington Palace, after The Duke and Sir David attended an outdoor screening of Sir David’s upcoming feature film 🎞️ ‘David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet’. With a shared passion for protecting the natural world, they continue to support one another in their missions to tackle some of the biggest environmental challenges our planet faces. This includes working together on The @EarthshotPrize 🌍 the most prestigious global environment prize in history – further details of which will be shared in the coming weeks. When they met, Sir David gave Prince George a tooth from a giant shark 🦷 the scientific name of which is carcharocles megalodon (‘big tooth’). Sir David found the tooth on a family holiday to Malta in the late 1960s, embedded in the island’s soft yellow limestone which was laid down during the Miocene period some 23 million years ago. Carcharocles is believed to have grown to 15 metres in length, which is about twice the length of the Great White, the largest shark alive today.
The dress was a new-season creation by Uruguayan designer Gabriela Hearst, who is among the most notable pushers of sustainable business practices in the industry. From the pre-fall ’20 line, the dress is made of repurposed denim, while the rest of the collection features upcycled cashmere yarn. In 2019 Hearst told Harper’s BAZAAR—”Oscar Wilde said ‘a small act of kindness is more important than any great intentions’ and I believe in that. It’s about the actual stuff. With sustainability, it’s not about talking; it’s about the doing. I think if you put restrictions on someone’s creativity, it gives them more focus.”
Kate’s championing of sustainably-run companies has been ramping up in the last six months. She promoted sustainable Balinese brand Faithfull The Brand during an outing in June, Beulah—a British brand which provides employment and raises funds for victims of human trafficking—in July and was regularly spotted in ethical jewelry brands like Daniella Draper and Monica Vinader during her various charitable Zoom meetings in lockdown.
Considering the ‘Kate effect’ appears to still be in full-swing (the Gabriela Hearst dress sold out worldwide shortly after the photo was shared), it’s encouraging to watch the Duchess put her massive global influence to such good use.