If you are a fashion follower, and have not heard about the Green Carpet Challenge (#GCC) then where have you been? One of the world’s most famous fashion initiatives has started a few chapter towards promoting sustainable fashion, and changing the way we envision the future of the industry. Founded by Livia Firth and Lucy Siegle, the aim of the challenge is to show the world how style can be sustainable by using the most exclusive events as its platform and voice. And now that platform just got a whole lot bigger! Livia has teamed up with Gucci and the National Wildlife Federation to create a range of handbags made from Amazonian leather which signifies a new approach to traceability and ecological certification.
Ask yourself this, do you know where the clothes you are wearing right now have come from? I can honestly say, that until recently, my answer was no. Last summer I was honoured to be asked to take on the FruGal Challenge by Eco Age, Livia’s initiative to help us as a consumer society become more aware of what we wear and the future of ethical fashion. For my five day working week, I wore either clothes that have been ethically produced, or vintage clothing. The week opened my eyes and has made me more conscious of the clothes I currently have, and the ones I have yet to buy. So my interest in this area has heightened.
The collaboration with Gucci is a natural progression for GCC. ‘This is a breakthrough moment for sustainable style,’ said Livia Firth of the Green Carpet Challenge, ‘Once again, our collaboration with Gucci spotlights this fashion house as a genuine leader. Working together to utilise on-the-ground research by the NWF means that we have created a chain of custody that brings real change to the fashion industry’.
So how does it work?
The three lead organisations have worked to create an exemplary supply chain that ensures all Brazilian cow hides for the line are legally produced from the Amazon region of Brazil and do not cause deforestation. Each Gucci for the Green Carpet Challenge bag carries a passport containing the precise history of the chain of supply, from the birth of the cow to the beautiful final product. The bags are made using leather from cattle ranches that have achieved Rainforest Alliance certification, covering environmental and social justice criteria as well as the ethical treatment of cattle. The range becomes the first ever leather line to achieve this.
These are the first products to wear the Green Carpet Challenge Brand Mark. For Livia Firth, the launch represents a critical point in our consumption of luxury. ‘I’ve long maintained that too many of us who love fashion are forced to consume pieces of uncertain provenance,’ says Livia. ‘When it came to leather that was potentially driving the destruction of one of our most critical ecosystems, the Amazon, we didn’t see why luxury and fashion lovers need take that chance. Together we’ve produced a range that marries ethics and glamour in the most authentic way. The GCC Brand Mark is a guarantor of those exacting sustainable standards.’