The UN’s Fashion4Development Honours Livia Firth

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Vogue Italia Editor Franca Sozzani accepting her F4D award
Two GCC supporters: Franca Sozzani and HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, who wore a GCC Pucci dress last year
HRH Princess Ameerah Al Taweel, center, of Saudi Arabia (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Fashion 4 Development)
Athlete and model Aimee Mullins, Livia Firth and model Elettra Wiedemann (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Fashion 4 Development)
Madame Ban Soon-Taek, First Lady of the United Nations, right, Folorunsho Alakija, center, Founder of the Rose of Sharon Foundation, and Toyin Ojora Saraki, Founder of The Wellbeing Foundation Africa (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Fashion 4 Development)
Elettra Wiedemann, right, and Livia Firth (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Fashion 4 Development/AP Images)
Franca Sozzani, left, Editor-in-Chief Vogue Italia, Folorunshu Alakija, center, Founder of Rose of Sharon Foundation, and Toyin Ojora Saraki, Founder of The Wellbeing Foundation Africa (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Fashion 4 Development/AP Images)
Franca Sozzani, center left, Editor-in-Chief Vogue Italia, and Madam Wokie designer (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Fashion 4 Development/AP Images)
Evie Evangelou and Livia (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Fashion 4 Development/AP Images)
Livia Firth, Founder of the Green Carpet Challenge, accepts her award at the Fashion 4 Development First Ladies Luncheon and Fashion Show, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, in New York. The luncheon featured designs from Art of Heritage, which aims to preserve and protect Saudi heritage, and showcased high fashion from developing nations. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Fashion 4 Development/AP Images)
Livia Firth (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Fashion 4 Development/AP Images)
Fashion 4 Development First Ladies Luncheon and Fashion Show (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Fashion 4 Development/AP Images)
Evie Evangelou, left, President & Founder of Fashion 4 Development, honors Livia Firth, Founder of the Green Carpet Challenge, at the Fashion 4 Development First Ladies Luncheon and Fashion Show, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, in New York. The luncheon featured designs from Art of Heritage, which aims to preserve and protect Saudi heritage, and showcased high fashion from developing nations. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Fashion 4 Development/AP Images)
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Eco-Age Creative Director and Green Carpet Challenge® GCC Founder Livia Firth has been honoured by The United Nations Fashion4Development for her pioneering work in the fashion industry. F4D celebrates sustainable economic development across the fashion industry and this award recognises all the advances the Green Carpet Challenge has made in the name of sustainable style.

The award was presented at the third annual F4D First Ladies Annual Luncheon in New York. Hosted by Evie Evangelou, the luncheon recognises pioneering designers from the developing world, such as Angel Chang of China, Alfonso Guinoo of the Philippines, Zang Toi of Malaysia,Tanzila Rab of Bangladesh, Montaha of Kuwait, Giovanni Lopresti of Cyprus and Alexandra Taylor of the United States, among others. Vogue Italia Editor, GCC supporter, and F4D Global Ambassador Franca Sozzani was honoured for her extensive work to promote ethics within the fashion world. The inimitable Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast and founder of Women in the World summit, was also honoured for her commitment to supporting women in industry and pushing journalistic barriers. Others honoured also included Rose of Sharon Foundation founder Folorunsho Alakija and UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibe.

“Fashion is a huge opportunity” says Livia.” If you think about it, fashion involves so many industries, from agriculture to communications. Therefore, it is important to think about how we use resources and maximize development potential to help communities grow and to have the things they need to sustain themselves.”

It’s very fitting that Livia has been awarded this honour from Fashion4Development, as their work perfectly reflects the ethos of the Green Carpet Challenge. Using fashion as its voice and instrument, F4D successfully creates awareness of social problems around the globe. They provide vital resources and education to many different communities, and they also support emerging designers, providing them with a platform to break into the mainstream fashion industry. Its guiding principles are the 4E’s:  Educate, Empower, Enhance and Enrich.

“It’s a serious misconception that high-end couture is only created in fashion capitals like Milan, Paris and New York City,” says Evie Evangelou, President and Founder of F4D. “We know talented, creative designers in Malaysia, Bangladesh, Kuwait and countless developing cities, who are working with materials and techniques that are local to them and, as a result, creating fabulously unique pieces. These on-trend creations could be found on any Fashion Week runway. These designers are simply in need of assistance and a framework. Helping to provide this framework not only supports the individual designers, it serves to enrich the economies of impoverished communities worldwide.”

Livia designed her GCC dress for the luncheon personally, sourcing the fabric from young ethical designer ShollyJayy. Made of traditional Nigerian fabric Aso Oke, the production of the material provides a lifeline to local communities. It’s the second time the dress has made a green carpet appearance, since Livia wore it a couple of weeks ago to the premiere of The Railway Man at the Toronto International Film Festival.  Livia finished off the outfit with a pair of stunning Chopard stud earrings.