It’s time to roll out the carpet for sustainable fashion, as the Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Italia returns this September, with the celebration ceremony scheduled during Milan Fashion Week.

The award scheme touts “sustainable fashion” beyond its literal form of wardrobe pieces made out of plastic bottles, ground coffee or other upcycled materials, and instead brings into focus areas that encompass community and social justice, the art of craftsmanship, technology and innovation, and supply chain innovation.

The programme, contrived with the support of the Ministry of Economic Development, the Italian Trade Agency and the patronage of the municipality of Milan, is the brainchild of Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (CNMI) in collaboration with specialist sustainability consultancy Eco-Age.

“The world has a small window to reach globally agreed targets on climate change, poverty alleviation and social justice,” Carlo Capasa, chairman of CNMI, says. “Within this challenge lie immense opportunities.”

The non-profit association dedicated to advocating Italian fashion has been working on setting sustainability guidelines, helmed by Gucci alongside Giorgio Armani, Prada, Valentino and other luxury fashion brands. The supply chain of Italian manufacturers and artisans, according to Capasa, has the agility to embrace sustainable innovation and an inherently sustainable way of producing high-quality eco fashion.

Livia Firth: We’re not going to be in a world without leather or wool

Livia Firth, founder of Eco-Age and wife of English-Italian actor Colin Firth, explains the theme of the awards this year, “Handprint of Fashion”. “We often talk of the ecological footprint of the fashion we produce, but a narrow focus on environmental accounting ignores some of the other facets inherent in truly sustainable supply chains. By talking about the handprint of fashion, we also include the decent livelihoods, community cohesion and cultural value that is abundant in Italy’s artisan-driven supply chains.”

A highlight of the programme is the CNMI Green Carpet Talent Competition, which challenges emerging designers around the world to redefine sustainability in fashion. This year, the judging panel consists of chief editor of Vogue UK Edward Enninful, singer Ellie Goulding, and chairman of Value Retail Management, Desirée Bollier.

“I can’t wait for this year’s edition of The CNMI Green Carpet Talent Competition – last year was just so wonderful to work with the five finalists and see them flourish thanks to Value Retail’s mentorship programme,” Firth tells the Post. “To have Tiziano Guardini [last year’s winner] on stage at La Scala winning and witnessing his journey too, has been such a joy.”

The 10 finalists will be announced by the end of May.

Cate Blanchett makes recycled fashion look chic at Cannes Film Festival

With green as the new black on red carpets lately, we’re expecting this colour to take over runways and fashion houses soon. Cate Blanchett recycled her Armani Privé dress from the 2014 Golden Globe Awards at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, as a statement to support the Green Carpet Challenge against feeding landfills with “unnecessarily discarded garments”. Julianne Moore, on the same occasion, sported a responsibly sourced Paraiba tourmalines necklace from Chopard after the jewellery maker announced its commitment to 100 per cent ethical gold at Baselworld this year.

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