Tonight [19 March], the green carpet was rolled out at Mansion House as eco-fashion ambassador Livia Firth and the British Fashion Council (BFC) crowned high street retailer Marks and Spencer and Fair Trade milliners Pachacuti champions of Sustainable Fashion in the 2013 Sustainable City Awards.
Organised by the City of London Corporation, and in its twelfth year the Sustainable City Awards have reinvented themselves this year with the new fashion category in partnership with the BFC, fresh from this season’s London Fashion Week which showcased their Estethica initiative, supporting the work of eco- fashion designers.
Firth, whose passion for sustainability is reflected by her championing of cutting-edge ethically sourced design and style, judged the new Sustainable Fashion category alongside fellow judges Erin O’Connor, fashion model, writer and ambassador; Tamsin Blanchard, Fashion Editor at Telegraph Magazine; Orsola de Castro, co-curator of Estethica and co-founder of ethical label From Somewhere; and Anna Orsini, BFC strategic consultant.
With up to a third of the UK’s current growth due to green business, sustainability is not only a hot topic and an important principle for business, but also for consumers; the calibre and scope of the shortlist demonstrates a move for retailers and entrepreneurs to recognise this and embed sustainable procurement into their business models.
Sustainable fashion is not a fleeting trend but one to last multiple seasons, with supporters including Emma Watson, Lily Cole and Lucy Siegle. Whether produced using environmentally-friendly methods, procured in an ethical supply chain, upcycled or vintage, sustainable fashion has been making its mark on the fashion stages, with green becoming the new black.
"It is exciting to reward brands and retailers which put sustainability at the forefront of their businesses and we hope they will use this as an incentive to do more and more in this direction." - Livia FirthSimon Mills, Head of Sustainable Development at the City of London Corporation, says: “We’re hugely impressed by the range of winners at this year’s awards, all of whom are helping drive sustainable economic growth. This category was an obvious choice to be included as eco-fashion captures the hearts and minds of so many and can spearhead sustainability across all sectors.”
Caroline Rush, Chief Executive, British Fashion Council, says: “Fashion is full of possibilities and as an industry we are full of creativity; this makes fashion a powerful tool in ensuring sustainability is at the core of all business practice.”
Winners were also revealed varying across 12 categories, by the City of London Corporation, including Wahaca, Close the Door Campaign, CA Cheuvreux, TFL, Camden Council, McGrath Group, British Land, Scope, Castle Climbing, Viridian Housing and Thrifty Couture, who took home the Overall Winner Award.
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Image credit: The winners with Livia Firth (Judge of The Sustainable City Awards and Eco-Fashion Ambassador) and Simon Ward (British Fashion Council)