Gisele Bundchen's Wild for Life campaign

MILAN — “Let’s give it up for Italy, we are so good,” exclaimed Livia Firth in her contagious manner, soliciting a round of applause at the La Scala theater on Wednesday. Firth, founder and creative director of Eco-Age, presented an update on the Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Italia, to be held at the iconic theater on Sept. 24. “No other government has ever put resources into sustainability, there is no other Camera [Nazionale della Moda or a fashion association] that has a table on sustainability, and nobody has a city, working together with the Camera and the government on this issue.” With the awards, Firth said the goal is to support the whole Made in Italy production pipeline as much as the brands. “These manufacturing companies have never been celebrated,” said Firth, showing a number of short films directed by Michele Bevilacqua that show, with a touch of humor, what is behind Italian production at companies from Valentino and Ermenegildo Zegna to Isko. Firth said the event “will have the same format as the Oscars, with presenters and celebrities expected to hand out 11 prizes.”

Firth revealed that Gisele Bündchen will be the first recipient of the Eco Laureate award in partnership with Vogue Italia “in recognition of how she has always used her platform to promote not just environmental causes but also solutions. Her work, especially on the preservation of the Amazon rainforest in her native Brazil, has helped to change the cultural conversation around the world.”

The green carpet rolled out at La Scala will be made with recycled fishing nets. Annie Lennox will attend the event as its proceeds will be donated to The Circle, which champions women’s rights and was founded by the artist, as well as to the San Patrignano community.

Ivan Scalfarotto, deputy minister of economic development, said the event will cost two million euros, 75 percent of which will be funded by the Italian Trade Agency. For the XL event, seven installations celebrating Italian know-how held in Milan at the same time as Fashion Week, the government is paying 3.3 million euros, of which 75 percent funded by the Italian Trade Agency, he added. The government is also contributing to supporting the trade shows. “This is such a strategic sector,” said Scalfarotto, adding that the government is investing 40 million euros in the fashion industry.

Carlo Capasa, president of the Camera della Moda, highlighted that the association had partnered with Italy’s UniCredit bank, which is an official sponsor of Milan Fashion Week, to launch the Funding Sustainability project, meant to help open credit lines to help companies that are part of the manufacturing pipeline to become more sustainable. UniCredit’s first allocation will total 30 million euros and will target companies with up to 205 employees.

The Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Italia, are supported by the Ministry of Economic Development, the Italian Trade Agency and the city of Milan.