The Met Gala is officially here. As you watched your favorite celebrities take the red carpet, from Serena Williams to Billie Eilish, you might have noticed something unique about the decor. The museum has taken a different approach this year. In case you missed it, "the traditional hedges of greenery and florals are replaced this year with light installations comprised of recycled water bottles lit with a blue glow," the museum announced via Instagram. Matching chandeliers were also hanging above the carpet.
The design was created by Tadao Ando, the designer of this year's Met exhibition "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty." All of the recycled bottles used for the Met Gala decor will be re-recycled for future use. It's a refreshing decision, especially considering how many celebrities have prioritized sustainable fashion on the red carpet in recent years.
"Given today's climate, we wanted to highlight the importance of giving our everyday items more than one life cycle," event planner Raul Àvila told Vogue. "We wanted to find a way to create a sustainable design that would implement the bottles into a breathtaking installation unlike anything we've done before." The recycled bottle design also continues inside the event, accounting for thousands of bottles total.
It's nice to see sustainability having its moment on such a large stage, especially considering the criticism that the fashion industry has gotten in the past for its lack of commitment to the cause. The industry alone is responsible for 20 percent of global water pollution, and the apparel industry's global emissions are expected to double by the year 2030, per the UN.
In fact, there have been reports of a protest taking place near the Met Gala, with people on Twitter posting pictures of protesters wearing shirts and holding signs saying "Tax the rich" and "Stop killing the climate."
Ultimately, the fashion industry — and more broadly, the consumer and retail industry as a whole — has a far way to go in its quest to create more Earth-friendly solutions. But even so, the Met Gala's very visible nod to sustainability in its decor choices is a welcome step forward.