The Green Carpet Challenge is getting a new sustainably oriented power source, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz.
Eco-Age and GCC initiator Livia Firth and London-based designer Erdem Moralioglu touched down in the German capital at the close of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin to announce Mercedes-Benz’s support of the next Green Carpet Challenge Collection by Erdem. The capsule of 12 sustainable evening and cocktail looks will be presented in London on September 21, with Mercedes-Benz partnering for the launch event at the Wallace Collection.
Echoing the sustainable theme, and indeed the spark that lead to Mercedes’ latest fashion collaboration, is the Mercedes-Benz GLC 350 e 4-MATIC, a state-of-the-art semi-electric SUV that features a Plug-In Hybrid engine. Capable of covering 34 kilometers (21 miles) in zero-emission all-electric mode, the new SUV starred in the latest Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week “Hybrid by Nature” image campaign.
“I always said that if the fashion industry was regulated like the automotive industry was years ago, it would be a much better industry today,” Firth remarked. “We’re doing a big event in London during Fashion Week, and it’s difficult to find a partner because of our ethical and environmental values. Mercedes has always been a huge supporter of fashion, and now with this new car sustainability.”
As Mercedes-Benz director of motorsport, marketing, communication and branded entertainment Wolfgang Schattling noted, “Our fashion involvement is a mainstay. It’s a way of getting into the lives of our customers, especially women, and we’ve been very successful with it for 20 years. We met Livia and were fascinated by her attitude towards sustainability, and then with the GLC Plug-In Hybrid, it just went click.
“Berlin was a good starting point” for promoting the car, he continued, “but we can go even bigger in London with the Green Carpet Challenge.”
For Moralioglu, this isn’t his first Green Carpet project, having designed two pieces in an earlier multidesigner challenge. Firth later wore one — a ballgown of Duchesse silk mixed with polyester made out of recycled bottles — to the Golden Globes.
While photos or sketches were not available and Moralioglu wouldn’t get into design specifics, he said four styles will be sold exclusively on Net-a-porter and another four by Barneys New York, starting in November. In addition, Erdem.com and Erdem’s new flagship store in London (opening in August) will carry 2 pieces.
“So many of the manufacturers and suppliers I already use are fundamentally ‘sustainable’, but this is an exercise in realizing that there are so many options to use materials that are ecological,” the designer told WWD.
He said he wanted “to move as far away as possible from what would be considered eco,” and was having many of the capsule pieces hand-embroidered in England “to give them a human hand.” Moralioglu also added he’s using a lot of printed silk crepe and sustainable Duchesse, mixed with recycled fabrics from five or six seasons ago “that might have been in storage or would otherwise be destroyed.”