The Green Carpet Challenge is the brainchild of Livia Firth and Lucy Siegle. It began in 2009 when Lucy Siegle, British journalist specialising in social and environmental justice, challenged Livia Firth to wear only sustainable outfits to all upcoming red carpet events which she would be attending alongside her husband Colin Firth. Livia, a leading promoter of ethical fashion and creative director of ethical online magazine 'Eco-Age', readily took up the challenge to put these high-profile events to the very good use of promoting ethical and sustainable fashion. These dresses, worn on the red carpet alongside the highest of fashion houses, prove that green fashion really can be incredibly glamourous.
This shall be the third year of the Green Carpet Challenge and the dresses are set to have the most prestigeous designers to date! For the 2012 Green Carpet Challenge Lucy and Livia have been convincing many other celebrities and designers to join them along their way to promoting ethical and sustainable fashion. The list of designers announced to be supporting their challenge and creating sustainable designs in 2012 include: Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Alberta Ferretti, Tom Ford, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney, Paul Smith, Valentino, Roger Vivier and Ermenegildo Zegna.
Livia began the year with a magnificent start by wearing a beautiful design by Giorgio Armani to the Golden Globes. Roberta Armani, Giorgio's niece describes the dress:
"For the 69th Golden Globes my uncle has designed an exclusive gown for Livia, created from a special fabric made with fibres derived from the mechanical, non-chemical recycling of plastic bottles. The dress is a strapless column style, with the bodice composed of horizontal strips of fabric that create a peplum at the front, opening up to form a geometrically-pleated train at the back, highlighted by an ornate lining."
Colin and Livia Firth at the Golden Globes in 2010 in an upcycled wedding dress. Livia says, "The re-purposed Christiana Couture wedding dress was a HUGE success in the sense that I don't think I’ve ever had so many compliments for a dress in one night. But people here do not seem to understand the concept of ethical fashion - they loved the dress but when I revealed the origin they sort of switch off as if it’s not cool anymore because it was once a wedding dress. It’s made me realise that althought repurposing and vintage are great, we need to go one step further and make a really strong ethical fashion statement."
Colin and Livia Firth attending The British Fashion Awards 2011 in a design by Henrietta Ludgate "made from end-of-line duchess silk satin, all the material for this piece was sourced locally - not only giving this dress a very low carbon footprint but allowing the process to go from design to finished garment in a matter of days. The artisan pleaters used in the making of this dress have been going since the Twenties and are one of the few remaining artisan pleaters in the UK. And as an extra green-aside, even the pleating was achieved using a steam heat chemical-free process!"
The Green Carpet Challenge brings the best of green fashion to the forefront of world media. This high profile promotion of green and ethical fashion is something to be much admired. It is incredibly inspiring to see people with so much influence doing so much for the green fashion industry. We will be keeping you updated on Lucy and Livia's progress with their Green Carpet Challenge throughout 2012. We wish them the best of luck!