NEW FRONTIERS: Livia Firth and her sustainability consultancy Eco-Age have long been making waves with their Green Carpet Fashion Awards, which have drawn everyone from Zendaya to Stella McCartney and Lewis Hamilton.
Now Firth wants to look beyond the fashion sector and turn the spotlight to “the work of international young leaders on sustainability” with a new awards ceremony, the Renaissance Awards — all filmed virtually and handing out the first NFT awards in history.
The first iteration of the awards will take place mid-October, ahead of the COP26 conference. It will be released in a movie format, filmed inside Florence’s historic Palazzo Vecchio and featuring A-listers making virtual appearances.
The ceremony will then be broadcast on Sky and other global media platforms, in a bid to pass on the event’s sustainability message as far and wide as possible.
“Passing the mic to young leaders is the only way we can stop the inertia of global governments and inspire citizens to drive change. We are all petrified by the enormities of the challenges and kind of disempowered by thinking individually that we can’t affect change. Yet these young leaders prove exactly the opposite: they each are making a huge difference, they each approached the challenges from a very practical point of view and not one of them is waiting for governments to change the course of history. Ahead of COP26, this is the only megaphone we need — their voices are the soundtrack to the future,” said Firth, pointing to the importance of looking at sustainability from a 360 point of view this time and “elevating the conversation beyond industries.”
“Sustainability is a multifaceted issue and we can’t cherry-pick one without the risk of getting distracted or greenwash. These young leaders take on global challenges with intersectionality at heart, knowing we cannot solve one problem without looking at them all,” she added.
Adopting an all-virtual format was also a key part of her mission, in order to reach global audiences — and keep the event’s carbon footprint low. According to Eco Age, talent from all over the world was filmed against green screens in their own cities and will make interactive appearances using the power of Augmented Reality. The NFT awards given to winners will be produced by the blockchain platform Cardano, which Firth describes as among the most ethical and sustainable platforms in the space.
“This year, with our new chief executive officer Simon Whitehouse, we are looking at how communication is evolving, how technology can help us keep relevant,” added Firth, who also hosted a virtual iteration of the Green Carpet Fashion Awards last year, while COVID-19 restrictions were still in place.
The buzzy sustainable fashion event is still coming back next year, “in a way no one imagines,” according to Firth. But this year, in order to acknowledge the climate emergency and the circumstances in the world, the Renaissance awards are meant to start a new conversation across sectors and industries.
“This year it had to be more than fashion — it had to be everything. The U.N. ICCP report that came out recently and declared code red for humanity scared us all and (I was asked) what is the dress code for code red? This year it has to be about how the fabric of that dress code is made of millions of young activists’ voices,” added Firth.