Between Donald Trump’s unwillingness to condemn white supremacists and Joe Biden’s “will you shut up, man” line, the first presidential debate on Tuesday night was... a lot. In fact, in the aftermath of the event, The Washington Post called it “the worst presidential debate in living memory.” And while many of the topics on the docket were inaudible with all the talking over each other, one that was discussed was the climate crisis. It seems like former second lady Dr. Jill Biden dressed with the subject in mind.
Sitting in the smaller-than-usual audience, Biden wore a green, silk dress designed by New York sustainable brand Gabriela Hearst for Fall '17. Called the Kelley dress, it features long sleeves and fringe detailing along the front. Not only is the dress made of recycled materials, as are all of Hearst’s designs, but it was also worn by Biden for not one, but two previous engagements. She first wore the Kelley dress at the 5th Annual Save The Children Illumination Gala in 2017, which was held at The American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The look was then recycled in February of this year, when Biden wore it during an appearance on MSNBC.
“What a surprise and honor to see that at last night’s debate Dr Jill Biden repurposed a GH dress she wore three years ago,” Hearst wrote in the caption of a slideshow that showed Biden wearing the dress on stage. “Climate change is the biggest threat we are facing as a species. Sadly what we lost, we can’t recover (60% of wildlife in 50 years) but we can preserve and restore. We need the policy to do it and there is only one side right now, unfortunately, that is willing to admit what is real against all scientific proof,” the caption continued. “Vote this November.” (Biden shared the same sentiment earlier this month, when she wore a pair of Stuart Weitzman boots with the word “VOTE” written on them.) Alongside the dress, Biden wore a matching green face mask from Athleta and a heart-shaped necklace. Under her arm, she carried a brown clutch bag.
The designer behind the dress has put sustainability first since day one. For the fall ‘17 show, according to Vogue, Hearst made it her mission to put on a show with as little an impact on the environment as possible. To do so, she rented pews and brought chairs from home for guests to sit in. The pillows that adorned them were made from leftover yarn that she then repurposed. Of the event, she said: “I like the idea that we’re doing our part by not creating something completely new.” It's nice to see that fans of her clothing agree by rewearing existing styles.