10 Years of The Green Carpet Challenge: Livia Firth’s Looks From 2010 to Today

The turn of the decade marks a whole ten years since the Green Carpet Challenge was born in 2010, when Lucy Siegle challenged Livia Firth to put sustainable luxury on the red carpet. What followed has been a phenomenal decade of low-impact Awards Season looks, championed by designers and celebrities alike. To celebrate the tenth birthday of the movement, we look back at some of Livia Firth’s outfits from the last ten years, and Lucy Siegle reminisces about how it all began

Armani, Green Carpet Fashion Awards 2019

Livia Firth attended the Green Carpet Fashion awards in 2019 wearing an Armani Prive gown from the archives. The dress, originally belonging to the 2004 collection, featured a delicately embellished bodice and floral lace skirt. Opting for a vintage design saves the resource-intentive process of producing a new garment, extending the life of an existing item of clothing instead. The look was accessorised with jewellery from Chopard, who since 2013 have been on a journey to sustainable luxury with a profound dedication to protecting and preserving the Earth.

Richard Quinn, Met Gala 2019

Livia Firth wears a custom Richard Quinn dress, made from Boselli, Italy GRS certified recycled polyester georgette printed in the Richard Quinn studio using Epson digital printing, reducing waste by only printing the required amount of fabric. The base layer is made from a GOTS organic certified silk from the CNMI Green Carpet Fashion Award winner Taroni Silk. The dress is embellished with upcycled Swarovski crystal stones, all hand-sewn in London. The look is completed with a custom Stephen Jones Millinery headpiece, made from offcuts of felt from previous creations, and wild pheasant feathers collected in the Suffolk countryside. Jewellery by Chopard, as part of The Journey To Sustainable Luxury.  The shoes are old Roger Vivier, and the clutch is Buddhi Batiks from the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange.

Laura Biagiotti, Green Carpet Fashion Awards 2018

“This dress dates back to 1981. I love that Laura Biagiotti is a third-generation family business and a woman’s story: now run by Lavinia, founded by Lavinia’s grandmother. Laura, Lavinia’s mum, was the first woman to show in China. I am also wearing Chopard jewellery, which achieved a 100 percent ethical gold supply chain in June this year. Here it tells the story of another very strong woman, Caroline Scheufele, Chopard’s co-president and artistic director, who pushed this agenda within the company.” – Livia Firth

From Left to Right:

Giambattista Valli, Met Gala 2018

Giambattista Valli sourced the organic silk in Livia’s dress from Taroni, founded in 1880 in Como, Italy. Chosen for its commitment to sustainability and responsible production, Taroni was recognised at The Green Carpet Fashion Awards Italia 2017, winning the coveted Sustainable Producer award. Livia also wears jewellery by Chopard as part of The Journey To Sustainable Luxury. This year Chopard announced that by July 2018, it will use 100% Ethical Gold in its jewellery and watch creations.

Osman, British Fashion Awards 2017

This 100% French fabric was taken from the Osman archives, originally used in a collection in 2014. The marble effect pattern was hand painted by Osman, and then woven as a custom brocade in a traditional brocade factory in Lyon, which is one of the oldest factories still running in the region. It was founded in 1850, and still uses an entirely local production chain. Threads are milled in a factory in Ardeche, woven in Doissin, until finally, fabrics are ennobled by local partners in the Rhone Alpes region.

Capucci, Green Carpet Fashion Awards 2017

Livia Firth attended the Green Carpet Fashion Awards 2017 wearing a vintage gown from the Capucci archives. Re-wearing archival garments not only celebrates timeless heritage fashion, but also saves resources by avoiding the production of new materials and garments. Choosing to wear pre-loved garments helps prolong the garment’s useful life whilst tackling overproduction and material waste – key issues faced by today’s fashion industry. 

Laura Strambi, Met Gala 2017

Livia Firth’s bespoke gown was designed and created by Italian fashion house, Laura Strambi and is made from Piñatex®, a natural leather alternative made from un-used pineapple leaves. Piñatex® fibres are the by-product of the pineapple harvest in the Philippines, no extra land, water, fertilisers or pesticides are required to produce them. Piñatex® provides a supplementary income for farmers while creating a vibrant new industry for pineapple growing countries. No pineapples were harmed in the making of this dress! 

Stella McCartney, Cannes Film Festival 2016

Livia Firth wears a pale pink lace Stella McCartney gown made from Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified organic floral cotton embroidery, organic silk georgette and organic silk crepe de chine, accessorised with Chopard jewellery, a Roger Vivier clutch and Sergio Rossi shoes. GOTS is the leading textile processing standard for organic material and includes both ecological and social criteria.

Antonio Berardi, Met Gala 2015

Livia’s dress is made from Newlife, which is made from recycled polyester filament yarns made in Italy from 100 percent post-consumer plastic bottles. The dress is based on one Berardi first designed for Firth for a Green Carpet Challenge project in 2012, inspired by the 1934 film “Evergreen.” In honor of the Met Gala’s theme, which celebrates the exhibition “China: Through the Looking Glass,” he has embroidered its dramatic double train and trimmed it with tassels.

Carolina Herrera, Met Gala 2014

Livia Firth attends the Met Gala 2014 wearing a Carolina Herrara gown made using fabrics that adhere to the Green Carpet Challenge Principle, and Chopard jewellery which is part of Chopard’s journey to sustainable luxury. For materials to comply with the GCC, they must be considered from an environmental standpoint and are typically recycled, reclaimed or produced organically and without the use of toxic chemical additives.

Moschino, Met Gala 2013

Livia Firth wore a gown from the Moschino archives to the 2013 Met Gala. The gown was made almost 20 years ago by Franco Moschino himself, and demonstrates that heritage fashion never goes out of style. Overproduction, premature garment disposal and material waste are some of the key challenges faced by today’s fashion industry and choosing to re-wear existing garments helps address these issues.

Prada, Met Gala 2012

Livia Firth wears Prada at the Met Gala in 2012. The gown was crafted from GOTS certified organic silk, a natural and renewable fibre that will biodegrade at the end of its useful life. The look also features end-of-line British made lace and ostrich feathers that were ethically collected respecting animal welfare standards. Using off cuts, dead stock and end of line materials helps address material waste and respects the resources that were used for production.

Valentino, Oscars 2012

Livia Firth attends the Oscars wearing a custom Valentino gown crafted Newlife™ polyester, a fabric made from recycled plastic bottles and woven in Italy. Fabrics made from plastic waste help to address plastic pollution and avoid new synthetic materials from being produced, a process which is both energy intensive and uses petroleum bi-products.

Armani, Golden Globes 2012

Livia Firth wears Armani to the 2012 Golden Globe Awards. The floor length monochrome gown was also fashioned from Newlife™ recycled polyester fabric, helping to avoid the polluting process of creating new virgin polyester. 

Stella McCartney, Met Gala 2011

Livia Firth wears a Stella McCartney all-in-one suit. The top was embroidered with reclaimed vintage beads – completely re-stitched and embroidered by hand (the original piece from which they were salvaged was completely un-wearable), and the jumpsuit made from 100 per cent organic silk, cultivated and produced in Switzerland. The overlying and detachable skirt is Abaca fibre, or Manila hemp which grows spontaneously in sub-equatorial regions with very little water.

Gary Harvey, Academy Awards 2011

Livia Firth wears Gary Harvey to the 2011 Academy Awards. The gown was crafted from materials from 11 different vintage dresses, demonstrating that pre-loved garments and materials can be beautifully reimagined into new looks. Upcycling vintage pieces is a creative design challenge that prolongs the useful life of materials and avoids their premature disposal.

Prophetik, Golden Globes 2011

Livia Firth wears Prophetik to the 2011 Golden Globes. The floor length gown was crafted from naturally dyed peace silk, harnessing nature’s plant-based colours and avoiding the use of synthetic chemical dyes. To create peace silk, the silkworms are left to hatch into moths from their cocoons, and then the silk from the cocoons is spun in a way similar to spinning wool.

Casey Larkin, Screen Actors Guild Awards 2010

Livia Firth wears Casey Larkin to the 2010 Screen Actors Guild Awards. The gown is made from milk fibre, a bio-based manmade fibre created from dairy waste. Reusing by-product waste from the food industry is a way to make new materials without cultivating or mining new raw materials.

From Somewhere, Oscars 2010

Livia Firth wears From Somewhere to the Oscars 2010. The dress was created using end-of-line and offcut materials, instead of new fabrics. Reutilising materials that are viewed as waste is an essential way to reduce the impact of the fashion industry.

Sara Shepard, A Single Man Premiere 2010

Livia Firth attends the 2010 A Single Man premiere wearing a Sara Shepard gown. The gown is made from pieces of upcycled end-of-line materials, helping to stem material waste and avoid new materials from being produced. Overproduction and waste are two key challenges faced by the fashion industry, and these can be addressed through upcycling materials that already exist.

Christiana Couture, Golden Globes 2010

Livia Firth wears a stunning Christina Couture upcycled wedding dress. Wedding attire is often bought to be worn just once, before spending the rest of its useful life hanging in a wardrobe. Modifying occasion wear through upcycling is a great way to maximise the materials’ useful life and celebrate the resources, time and labour that were used to produce them.