Italy launches eco-sustainable fashion awards
"Fashion must be a constant source of dreams, and it can very well do so ecologically. So we decided to create an award for eco-sustainable fashion, something completely new. Instead of a red-carpet celebration, we will do a green-carpet one!" This is how Carlo Capasa, President of the Italian National Fashion Chamber (Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, CNMI) heralded the creation of the Green Carpet Fashion Awards Italia for sustainable fashion, in partnership with UK consulting firm Eco-Age. The announcement was made on Wednesday, on the first day of the Milan Fashion Week.
Eco-Age was founded by Livia Firth, a designer and the wife of Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth. The firm specialises in ethics and sustainability in business, and works with the fashion industry. Eco-Age has devised an eco-responsibility certificate, the Green Carpet Challenge, awarded to brands which abide by a series of sound social and environmental policies. In 2015, Livia Firth created an ethical fashion capsule collection for Marks & Spencer.
The Green Carpet Fashion Awards are supported by the Italian Ministry for Economic Development and the Italian Foreign Trade agency ICE, and they are backed by the Milan mayor's office. The awards' first edition will be held at the renowned La Scala opera house in Milan on 24th September, for the next session of the Milan Fashion Week.
"The prizes will cover three areas. First of all, a selection of major Italian and international fashion labels, including Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Prada and Valentino, will be recognised for their sustainability efforts. Secondly, a competition for emerging designers will be launched in March, the prize going to the one with the most ecological approach. In the same spirit, a prize will also be awarded to an artisanal manufacturer," explained Carlo Capasa.
Despite its combination of emerging ecological brands and specific initiatives by established fashion labels, the award will do well to avoid being accused of greenwashing, though in terms of sustainability the CNMI enjoys a certain credibility.
The institution was in fact among the first to be interested in eco-responsibility, and for a few years now it has worked alongside the employers' association of the Italian fashion industry, Sistema Moda Italia, to define production standards in the textile industry and to promote sustainable fashion in the country.
At the awards' announcement, CNMI also said that it will open up the conversation on sustainability, the object of a weekly meeting it holds with Italian labels, to international brands too. The first open meeting is scheduled on 28th March.
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