Green Carpet Challenge 2018. Just a couple of days ago, as part of the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week, a new competition that attempts to redefine sustainability in fashion, saw 10 emerging designers presenting their innovative creations to a hand-picked panel of international judges.
Each designer had to detail on the traceability of the materials used, the environmental impact of the apparel manufacturing, and explain how their brands educate customers on sustainability, and ethical consumption, aiming to be shortlisted for the Franca Sozzani, Green Carpet Challenge (GCC) – Emerging Designer of the Year Award.
On the panel sat Eco-Age founder Livia Firth, also a judge last year, MatchesFashion.com buying director Natalie Kingham, model and philanthropist Petra Nemcova, president of the Italian Chamber of Fashion, Carlo Capasa, Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, and other selected fashion industry leaders.
Green Carpet Challenge 2018 – Fashion From Recycled Bottles And Coffee Bags
Romina Caponi, the designer of brand 16R, illustrated the GCC principles of sustainable excellence by using recycled and upcycled materials. The sequins on the 16R entry were laser cut using plastic from recycled bottles collected from the beaches of Italy.
Another designer, Azar Rajabi, used natural methods and rhubarb plants to tan leather and treat the materials, while Gilberto Calzolari used Brazilian coffee bags purchased from Milan’s Navigli street market, as the base of his vestments.
Once lined with fabric and ornamented with lead-free Swarovski crystals, the sacks, which were used as water barriers to stop canals flooding due to the climate change, were unrecognisable.
Beyond all innovative materials and creations, all participants aiming to reach the Green Carpet Challenge 2018 pledged to support small communities of artisans and craftsmen, by sourcing materials and techniques that would otherwise disappear with time.
Green Carpet Challenge 2018 – Sustainable Materials
“There are many fashion designer talent competitions around the world, where judges ask them to talk where they studied, the degree they hold and so on. But how often can designers discuss the materials of their creations?” said the Eco-Age founder Livia Firth, after the presentations.
The five brands to attend the Green Carpet Fashion Awards held at La Scala Theatre on the 23rd of September are Teatum Jones, Gilberto Calzolari, Davide Grillo, Behno and Wrad. Each finalist is set for a 12-month mentorship programme with the Bicester Village Shopping Collection, delivering exceptional value on how to sustain a successful fashion business.
Green Carpet Challenge 2018 – Milan Fashion Week 2019
The winner of this competition will be announced on the night of the award and will be asked to present its innovative creations at the Milan Fashion Week, next year in February, which is set to make them famous on the international stage of fashion.
“Putting people and nature back at the centre is the key driver behind our motivation to change the current fashion system,” said Silvia Giovanardi after Wrad, her brand, was called out. “Being one of the final five is inspiring. It unites us with a community of people fighting to show the damage and ‘true cost’ of unsustainable fashion,” she added.
On what more the industry can learn from such competition, Livia Firth added: “Sustainability is the only future of fashion. Only by educating emerging designers, we can hope to change the industry from the bottom up.”