Style Points is a weekly column on how fashion intersects with the rest of the world.
This summer, when Livia Firth read the IPCC report declaring a “code red for humanity”, she found herself, like so many people, “depressed” by its findings. Firth is the co-founder and creative director of the sustainable development consultancy Eco-Age. Since 2017, the group has held the annual Green Carpet Fashion Awards, honoring contributions to sustainable fashion and awarding laurels to everyone from Zendaya to Tom Ford. But in light of the terrible news from the IPCC, it looked like this year called for something different. (Especially after a friend, environmental reporter Lucy Siegle, asked Firth, “What’s the dress code for a code red?”) “It didn’t feel right to just focus on fashion and sustainable fashion. This time around, Firth said.
Following the UN report, “We said to ourselves, ‘What are we doing? We will never, ever get there. We are all doomed. ‘ And then we were like, “Wait a second. There are so many people doing the most amazing work,” she explains. “So we thought, let’s put the Green Carpet Fashion Awards on hold for a year. Next year we’ll be back. And this year let’s shine a light and give the mic to the people who are actually working on the solutions. The idea for the Renaissance Awards was born, which will highlight young stars of sustainable development from around the world, in fields ranging from agriculture to anti-plastic innovation.
With good reason, this edition of the Renaissance too takes place in Florence. Eco-Age has partnered with the President of Tuscany, Eugenio Giani, and the city’s mayor, Dario Nardella, on the company. The awards ceremony takes the form of a film, shot inside the Palazzo Vecchio. The star power seen at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards will remain intact; Through the magic of green screens and augmented reality, presenters will include Gisele Bündchen, Colin Firth and Nile Rodgers, whose We Are Family Foundation helped identify nominees for the awards. The awards themselves will be fashion’s latest favorite accessory, NFT; Eco-Age has taken care to work with a company, Cardano, which markets itself as a sustainable and ethical cryptocurrency company. And fashion will always be part of the festivities; the group is partnering with Instagram on a virtual green carpet that promises to include celebrities, influencers and artists in their best respect for the environment. (The ceremony takes place on October 11 and will air on Sky TV and other global platforms on the 18th.)
While the winners’ fields may not seem like much to do with fashion at first glance, Firth points out that everything from regenerative farming to eliminating plastics is somehow linked. to industry. “At Eco-Age, we always use fashion as a lens through which to look at the problems of the world,” she says. “It’s a full spectrum industry.”
Speaking of this full-spectrum industry for a second: Firth, who has been a scathing critic of fashion greenwashing, believes the promises of sustainability we saw at the start of the pandemic have largely failed. been held. “I feel that fashion [forgets] as soon as their new collection comes out, ”she says. “At the end of the day, the only language fashion understands is profit. the only industry that is not regulated at all, ”and promises of designers and brands to self-regulate do not go far.
“How, other than showing commitments and guidelines, are they going to regulate the fashion industry? ” she asks. “We can do so much with the creativity and ingenuity that fashion is famous for. So where is all this energy? Why don’t we redirect her to make sure we still have clothes to wear in a few years, because we can’t? I think that’s why the fashion industry needs a little overhaul … It has to be more of a systemic shock and readjustment. During COVID, a lot of people started talking about it: “Oh, we need to slow down, blah, blah, blah. These are all nice words, but where are the deeds?”
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