for interviews, like this one, early.
“I don’t do anything by halves,” she says, looking pared back and gamine in a gray and black blouse, high-waisted shorts and not a scrap of makeup. “I have to go all in. I just want things to be perfect. If I’m going to put my name on it, I want it to be something I love.”
Watson is talking about fair trade, a subject she studied while at Brown University, Rhode Island (where she enrolled in 2009), and the cause she is pouring her heart into, the Green Carpet Challenge (GCC). Eco campaigner Livia Firth began the GCC in 2009 to catapult ethical fashion into the global spotlight.
“I love exploring new materials and this was an opportunity to do so. There are amazing synthetic fabrics using recycled plastics. Sustainable fashion is both beautiful and important”
For Firth’s latest project, she asked five British-based designers to each create two event pieces exclusively for NET-A-PORTER. But who to showcase them? The two women had met previously at a party, so when Firth asked Watson to join the project, she jumped aboard. “I was like, ‘No one’s doing anything like this!’ It’s so exciting.”
Having grown up on the red carpet, Watson knows first-hand that sustainable style and glamorous gowns have never been totally simpatico. “I’ve always had this huge problem,” she says. “I would love to wear garments that are ethically sourced, but there aren’t enough options for me to be able to do that realistically.” So when she met Firth, “it just seemed like [the project] was something I had to do, something I’d been waiting for.” Her eyes light up: “Livia’s created a lobbying body to put pressure on governments and corporations to encourage them to have [ethical responsibility] as their baseline. It’s quite awesome.”
The GCC isn’t Watson’s only fashion-related passion project. In