The Global Fund & Green Carpet Challenge
The ethical fashion movement got a big boost at London’s fashion week in a special reception organized by The Global Fund and The Green Carpet Challenge at Hyde Park’s Apsley House, ancestral home to the Duke of Wellington. Hosts for the evening were the Earl and Countess of Mornington — current residents of Apsley House—, Anna Wintour, Livia Firth — founder of The Green Carpet Challenge — and Net-a-Porter and Chairman of the British Fashio Council Natalie Massenet.
The evening’s focus was ethical fashions created by fashion designers Christopher Bailey, Victoria Beckham, Erdem Moralioglu, Christopher Kane and Roland Mouret. Ethical clothes are created with no use of fur, leather and no animal testing. The clothes and accessories are made of natural, environmentally-friendly materials with monitoring of the production process for environmental pollution.
Playing silently on a screen in one of the divine rooms was a film, Handprint, shot by Mary Nighy starring Elettra Wiedemann, who appears in a hotel room getting dressed in a Stella McCartney. When Wiedemann looks at herself in the mirror, she sees the faces of the people who made her dress; Nighy says that the idea is to make people more aware of how our clothes are made and the people who make them.
The desperately squalid conditions in which clothing factory workers in countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia and Cambodia make much of fashion’s final products are highlighted in the film. Most recently these conditions came under attack with the collapse of a garment factory Rana Plaza in Dhaka, Bangladesh that killed 1,129 people.
Livia Firth’s black and white dress was designed by Erdem Moralioglu, who said he was totally shocked that such a sumptuous duchess satin could be made by sustainable silk works collaborating with recycled plastic bottles. “You think of sustainable fabric as hemp-based or linen-y, but these were really luxurious to work with. “
Christopher Bailey’s slender navy dress work by Natalie Massenet was made from discarded plastic vessels, resurrected from a trash heap. Asked if the material is as comfortable as the real thing, Massenet insisted, “There is really no difference! If you make the effort, the results are the same.”
Twenty percent of the profits from sales of the ethical fashion collection will go to the organization (PRODUCT) RED, founded by the lead singer of U2, Bono together with well-known philanthropist Bobby Shriver . (PRODUCT) RED works with large companies seeking funds for the International Fund for AIDS Relief (The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a recipient of (RED) money) and has donated $200M to date.
Track the impact of (RED) in Africa here.