The film production company Livia Firth (ex-wife of the actor Colin Firth, despite the fact that the surname continues to wear) has become a benchmark in terms of sustainability and ethics, has turned ten years challenging herself, has shown us the real cost of what we wear, has asked the key question before buying : Will you wear it at least thirty times? And he has spearheaded many other initiatives to shape the world of tomorrow.
Do you think a trip can transform a life? Yes, it is called a corrective emotional experience. A visit to a textile factory in Bangladesh twelve years ago changed Livia Firth’s way of life. In 2008 he traveled to the country of Bengal with Lucy Spiegel (journalist and environmental writer) and was shocked by the impact that the textile industry had on the environment and the lives of workers.
He explained in an interview that witnessing it made him feel responsible. Since then, Firth, until then a film producer, has focused its projects on generating a shift towards a fairer and more sustainable fashion industry. His achievements have been recognized by the United Nations with the Leaders of Change and Fashion Development Awards, in addition to the Rainforest Alliance for his outstanding achievements in sustainability.
Red carpets turn green
It started off in a seemingly unambitious way. She accepted the challenge posed by Spiegel, which they called the Green Carpet Challenge, taking advantage of the visibility that accompanying her now ex-husband Colin Firth gave her. Should attend all the red carpets of that season with garments made under sustainability criteria.
His first ‘green carpet’ was at the 2010 Golden Globes, the year Colin Firth was nominated as the lead in the film ‘A Single Man’, directed by Tom Ford. For the ceremony she reconverted her wedding dress, a spectacular Christiana Couture to which he added a black velvet ribbon at the waist. She acknowledged that unlike her dress, which was quite successful, her message about ethical and sustainable fashion went unnoticed.
He had a goal and a message to send to everyone through the choice of his wardrobe. That year she found meaning in her presence at the ceremonies to which she only wore dresses from sustainable brands. The Green Carpet Challenge has been progressively joined by important actresses such as Meryl Streep, Cameron Diaz, Lilly Cole, Emily Blunt o Zendaya.
Firth went one step further, in 2017 he founded the Green Carpet Fashion Awards or the Oscars for Fashion. This ceremony held at the emblematic La Scala theater in Milan is the only one to recognize the handprint (human capital of fashion manufacturing) and the footprint (natural capital and environmental impact). With this project he aims to position sustainability at the level of the glamor of film awards while motivating celebrities to wear ethical designs.
Our green cabinets
But Firth has not only challenged the big stars, he has also launched a proposal for citizens who walk without a carpet under our feet. Will I wear this at least 30 times? This is the question posed by Eco-Age, the sustainability consulting agency founded by her and her brother. Nicola Giuggioli.
Where to reach and involve an international audience? Through Instagram, he invites us to become aware of the accelerated dynamics of disposable clothing and to participate in the # 30wears movement, which has reached 90,000 publications.
In the decade of life of Eco-Age they have worked with fifty clients of the fashion industry –Diesel, Erdem, Kering, Matches Fashion, Stella McCartney, Ugg, ..- and companies from other sectors –Chopard, Goodwood, Pacunam …-, advising them on the path to social and environmental transformation.
The inseparable environmental and social justice
1,500 million garments are produced per year that remain in the cabinets for an average of five weeks. Parts purchased at very low prices that are very expensive. The documentary ‘The True Cost’, produced by Firth and directed by Andrew Morgan, unmasks the destructive fast fashion. Considered one of the best fashion documentaries, it shows the human and environmental atrocities of the current fashion system, among which is the collapse of Rana Plaza.
The Oxfam producer and ambassador clarified at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit in 2014 that environmental justice cannot be separated from social justice.
Together with singer Annie Lenox, she created a women’s rights group called The Circle. They work under the idea of a global feminism, which spreads throughout the world, and they have contributed to the application of the Maputo Protocol in Kenya (it guarantees the right to social and political equality with men, to control their sexual health and to eradicate female genital mutilation) and the fundamental right to a decent wage for women.
Although Firth is optimistic on social networks for all the changes that are taking place, he acknowledged in a public intervention that he was angry at the fact that they want us to believe that we are rich and lucky because we can buy many things, when in fact they make us poorer and the only person who gets rich He is the owner of the fast fashion brand.
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Livia Firth, the woman who has decided to change the color of red carpets and fashion