Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Sustainable City Awards

Livia Firth, the creative director of Eco Age, a consultancy that offers solutions for people who want to think greener and live longer, has gone from a doctorate in film, through making thought-provoking documentaries, all the way to acting as judge at the Sustainable City Awards held at Mansion House on 19 March. Firth - wife of Colin Firth, wearer of sustainable and ethically-sourced red carpet creations, recently nominated a United Nations Leader of change - was a fitting judge for the sustainable business awards that have teamed up with the British Fashion Council in their twelfth year. She handed the best fashion designer award to Fair Trade hat company - yes, a milliners! - Pachacuti.

Pachacuti designer Carry Somers makes hand-blocked hats, and gives colourful twists to classic fedoras and panamas that are specially made for her in Ecuador. Somers's hunt for ethical Fair Trade fashion once found her seven months pregnant and shipwrecked off the coast of Belize, fighting poisonous spiders. As Hagrid would say, "If anyone wanted ter find out some stuff, all they'd have ter do would be ter follow the spiders. That'd lead 'em right! That's all I'm sayin'."

Marks and Spencer walked away with the award for the most ethical high street chain, because of their invention of clothing like the world's most sustainable jacket. The jacket, priced at £349, is made from Australian organic wool, that is dyed and spun in Italy, and then shipped to China for the final stage of production. All the material is ethically sourced, even if their air-miles-per-jacket ratio isn't looking too good. M&S were further commended for their Oxfam shwopping venture, and for keeping Lisa Snowdon in employment. Just kidding.

Thrifty Couture took the award for Overall Winner. The company takes reclaimed clothing to make affordable fashion items. If that's not enough, they give unemployed youngsters from inner-city London apprenticeship training.

Firth could have been an awards contender herself for her Green Carpet Challenge, where she encourages A-list celebs to spend their millions on sustainable fashion choices that are at the same time ethical and glamorous. As she says, "There are no excuses now not to lead a more sustainable life style."

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