PARIS — “I feel like we’re at home and I’m cooking you all pasta,” Livia Firth said Monday night in Paris, as a few dozen people gathered in a suite at the Mandarin Oriental hotel for the inaugural Green Carpet Challenge Global Leaders of Change Awards.
Colin Firth, Cameron Russell and Ana Girardot turned out to support the initiative. Meant to be a glitzy gala in tandem with the United Nations climate change conference, or COP21, it had been down-scaled last-minute to an intimate dinner due to security concerns.
Firth went on with the show, handing out recycled Perspex trophies to representatives for the four winners: François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of Kering; Caroline Scheufele, artistic director and copresident of Chopard; Paul Polman, ceo of Unilever, and Marc Bolland, ceo of Marks & Spencer.
“Business can lead the way and we wanted to give a strong signal to the community and to say, these are the businesses who are really making an effort to change,” she told WWD.
The eco-campaigner has previously worked with Gucci, a Kering group brand, and Chopard on products bearing the Green Carpet Challenge seal developed by her brand consultancy, Eco-Age.
“Fashion is a huge power and encompasses all industries from agriculture to communication. So it’s an industry that is worth $3 trillion and has been completely poisoned by fast fashion. And if fast fashion started to really tackle the issue of environmental justice and social justice, we could change the world,” she said.
Colin Firth said he’s currently filming “Bridget Jones’s Baby” in London, reprising his role as Mark Darcy, infamous for wearing a certain knitted item splashed with a red-nosed reindeer.
“When that sweater first appeared, it was supposed to be the lowest form of tastelessness. Of course, it has become a thing,” the actor said, alluding to the popularity of Christmas sweater parties in the U.K. “I’m very proud to have launched that look,” he added dryly.
Girardot is shooting director Cédric Klapisch’s new movie, “Le vin et le vent” (“The Wine and the Wind”), in the vineyards of Burgundy. The French actress is also trying to do her bit to combat climate change.
“I took part in a program on the Planète chain where, together with other artists, I explained my little daily gesture to change things a little. It’s true that it’s hard at my age in Paris to make an impact, but I was talking about eating food that is grown locally, or at least close to where you are, and above all in season,” she explained.
Russell, meanwhile, took to the stage earlier in the day at the Earth to Paris event, a parallel summit bringing together experts, advocates, influencers and business leaders to discuss climate action.
The model and activist, who majored in political science and economics at Columbia University, also wrote a piece for Vogue.com describing the work of 13 women on the front line of climate change, photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin.
“Before I organized a bunch of models to participate in some marches leading up to this,” she said. “I always think that models are great sleeper agents, because women have so little access to media.”
Russell was accompanied by her boyfriend, filmmaker Damani Baker. On hearing that it was his birthday, Colin Firth promptly arranged for a candle to be added to his chocolate mousse dessert, as guests all joined in the impromptu celebration.