PARIS — While some look to space for a “planet B” in the face of ecological disaster, the house of Pierre Cardin hopes to find win-win solutions right here on Earth.
At a press conference Tuesday at Maxim’s in Paris, Pierre Cardin group president Rodrigo Basilicati Cardin announced the launch of the Prix Bulles Cardin, an annual prize distinguishing organizations and individuals working toward “an ecological economy.”
“Sustainability must be backed by economic realities, because otherwise companies will not be able to invest long term,” he said, further adding that “research should be encouraged,” particularly at early stages.
The idea for the prize came to Basilicati Cardin while he was organizing the “first show after my uncle,” he recalled, noting that the late couturier’s futuristic designs looked to the stars while offering solutions for Earth-bound consumers.
“[My uncle] was the first to use synthetic materials, without imagining [the ecological challenge they’d become],” added the executive, himself a staunch supporter of recycled man-made materials, which should be addressed after their boom in the late 20th century.
The inaugural award ceremony will take place on May 18 at the Palais Bulles in the Southern French city of Théoule-sur-Mer, a stone’s throw from Cannes. For the occasion, the fantastical curves of the Palais Bulles will be decked out in projected images of Earth captured through the satellites of the Copernicus Earth observation program.
The timing and location were chosen to slingshot on the global resonance of the film festival, the ideal moment to get a message across, according to Basilicati Cardin.
Among the partners of the Prix Bulles Cardin are the European Commission, the European Space Agency and Thales Alenia Space. The prize has also received the support of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, a territory that is on the front line when it comes to the consequences of water levels rising because of climate change, said Basilicati Cardin.
Filmmaker Patrick Dedole, a friend of Basilicati Cardin who is heavily involved in the new prize, said that for most, “the challenge isn’t the end of the world, it’s the end of the month” and that expecting the fashion industry to go toward “degrowth” was a pipe dream.
Beyond the 50,000 euro purse money that will be handed to the main honoree and the symbolic distinctions awarded to NGOs, universities and even media, Basilicati Cardin expects to have an impact in another way with this program: through the 180 licensees working today with the brand.
“The solidarity of [a common] future must take hold among them, and the best way to achieve this is to go toward them, see what ideas, desires, energies they have and understand what direction the brand will take,” said Dedole.
And Basilicati Cardin hopes they will contribute to the “Green Wallet” from which the purse money of subsequent editions will be drawn — perhaps giving a percentage of the sales of their Pierre Cardin-branded items, he surmised. For now, participations would remain voluntary but he didn’t exclude the possibility of doing business solely with companies who make firm pledges toward being sustainable, he said after the conference.
FOR MORE, SEE ALSO: