Carlo Capasa and Livia Firth

MILAN — “The Oscars of sustainable fashion.”

This is how Carlo Capasa, president of the Camera Nazionale della Moda, Italy’s Fashion Chamber, dubbed an event that is bound to leave a mark in the industry. Together with Eco-Age, founded by Livia Firth, and with the support of the Ministry of Economic Development, the Italian Trade Agency and the city of Milan, the fashion body on Wednesday revealed that the first Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Italia 2017 will be held on Sept. 24, during Milan Fashion Week.

Capasa, Firth and Michele Scannavini, chairman of ITA, unveiled the project at Milan’s La Scala theater, where the awards will be held. The event will see brands such as Giorgio Armani, Fendi, Gucci, Prada and Valentino participate, as well as emerging designers.

“It’s great to be here all together. Sustainability is our future, we can’t not think about the earth we leave to our children,” said Capasa. “Sustainability is the central pillar of the Camera’s vision of fashion for Italy. In the last few years we have worked on plans with a number of leading fashion brands to make Italy a global leader in this industry. This celebratory event will present that vision to the world in a highly innovative and contemporary fusion of glamour and creativity that’s uniquely Italian.”

The Camera has been focused on sustainability for years, also through its participation in a Work Group whose members include Bottega Veneta, Ermenegildo Zegna, Fendi, Gianni Versace, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Loro Piana, Moncler, OTB, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tod’s and Valentino.

“Fashion is not only the final product, but the industry, the artisans,” said Firth. “I’m often asked when and why my interest for sustainability began, but I think that this probably comes from my being Italian. We’ve always thought about the hands behind the quality of our products.”

“Sustainability is a serious, important theme, while fashion is often associated with glamour and frivolous subjects. We are socially engaged with this,” said Scannavini. He observed that sustainability is a fundamental element for younger generations and this will emphasize the quality and reliability of Italian production. “It makes us more competitive.”

“This will be a unique event in the world,” he added.

Scannavini noted that the government supports the fashion industry with an investment of 34 million euros, or $36 million, which is 17 percent of the total earmarked for Made in Italy.

“This event will play a fundamental role to promote the image of Italian production and the whole system will benefit from it.”

While the Italian Trade Agency supports projects and not institutions, he said, the idea is to channel 1.5 million euros, or $1.58 million, into the Camera and include the event in its promotional program for the fashion industry for 2017.

While not divulging details about the evening event, Firth said established and emerging designers will be asked to create gowns for the awards, but she highlighted that the industry, the “artisanal patrimony, the mills,” will also receive awards. Each fashion house will work with Eco-Age to create a look following the rigorous Green Carpet Challenge validation criteria.

The competition will launch in March and run through April 14 through a dedicated digital platform.

The Chamber’s commitment began in early 2012 with the publication of the “Manifesto of sustainability for Italian fashion,” which set forth a 10-point plan for responsible and sustainable fashion. This was followed by the publication of “Guidelines on eco-toxicological requisites for clothing, leather goods, footwear and accessories” in February 2016.

The Sustainability Work Group is currently drafting guidelines on the use of chemical substances in production processes and has been engaged in the study of other basic issues such as raw materials sourcing, supply chain control and social and environmental responsibility.

The objective is to implement this roadmap by the end of 2020.

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