Green Carpet Awards Endures

MILAN—Ensuring that there is a future for our children was a key message at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards. Now in its third edition, there is no stopping the sustainable fashion renaissance.  

Adorned with Leonardo Da Vinci-era grape vines to honor the late artist’s 500th death anniversary, Milan’s La Scala opera house hosted pillars of the community like Stella McCartney and Valentino Garavani, who mingled with Hollywood A-listers like Shailene Woodley, Sophia Loren, and Colin Firth, in one bowl of crimson velvet.

“We have to re-engineer if we really want to change how we do business. Leadership takes vision, and my vision for modern luxury can’t be separated from my vision for a sustainable business. I want Kering to be the catalyst for change. We need to act together,” said François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering. Pinault received the GCFA Visionary Award. 

Since the Green Carpet Fashion Award’s inception in September of 2016, Carlo Capasa, the president of Italy’s Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, and Livia Firth have been crucial in convincing the Italian fashion sector, the largest, most important maker of luxury goods, to use nontoxic materials, produce zero waste, value its employees, do away with fur, and create a circular economy. 

As a result of fashion’s awareness, sparked by proponents like Firth, Pinault forged an environmental pact that was presented at the Group of 7 summit in Biarritz and included 32 signatories including vanguard companies Prada and Chanel, Nike and fast fashion retailers like the H&M Group and Inditex, the parent company of Zara, as the industry comes under intense fire for its negative impact on the planet. Ermenegildo Zegna also expressed their enthusiasm to sign the pact. Though the pact is not legally binding, these companies agreed to a variety of targets including eliminating disposable plastic packaging by the end of the next decade. 

Sustainable fashion is becoming mainstream on the fashion lineup… and more emerging players are propelling themselves onto the international stage, and Milan’s fashion chamber hopes to render Milan fashion week the world’s premier sustainable event on the calendar.  

Over the years, Capasa has invested efforts into supporting young designers, together with Vogue Italia, whose late editor Franca Sozzani started the Vogue Talents platform. 

The “Franca Sozzani GCC Award” for best emerging designer was awarded to Flavia La Rocca. “This is something I really believe in,” said the designer who dedicated to award to her son, noting that she wanted to ensure there would be a future for her son. 

In light of her recent ad campaign to put an end to needless fashion waste, Stella McCartney received the Groundbreaker Award, joking she was no longer “the only freak in the room.” A pioneer in the world of sustainable fashion, McCartney has not only invested research and development into developing a sustainable supply chain, she was also one of the first mainstream designers to decry the use of animals for leather or fur. “We don’t kill any animals. About 17 percent of our Amazon forests have been cut down for animal farming. This has to stop,” she said. 

The emotional high point of the night was when Valentino Garavani received the Legacy Award from Sophia Loren, who admitted it was her first time on the stage of La Scala. 

Other brands recognized were Prada, Zegna, and Max Mara, and while all of these vanguard labels are making strides towards a sustainable future, critics complained that fashion was “patting itself on the back.” 

Yet, these brands were ardent in their dedication to safeguarding the planet. Elia Maramotti, Max Mara brand director and grandson of the founder Achille Maramotti, said he was pleasantly surprised that Eco Age and Italy’s fashion chamber has succeeded thus far in uniting players from fashion and science, all under one roof, with one common goal. 

“The goal is bigger than all of us. While we are doing a lot individually, we are not doing enough.” 

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