GCFA, Italia 2019: Venice’s Famous Gondeliers To Receive Eco-Stewardship Award

The world-famous gondoliers of Venice were announced as this year’s recipients of the Eco-Stewardship Award during the launch of this year’s Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Italia. Here’s everything you need to know.

Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Derek Blasberg, Iman Abdulmajid, Stefania Rocca and Alberta Ferretti joined Livia Firth and Carlo Capasa, chairman of Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (CNMI), to launch the third edition of The Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Italia, to be held on September 22nd at the iconic Teatro alla Scala, Milan.

The intimate crowd gathered for an exclusive event at the Hotel Cipriani in Venice today, where it was announced that the Association of Venetian Gondoliers and their 433 registered gondoliers will be honoured with the Eco-Stewardship Award during this year’s ceremony for their use of responsibly sourced merino wool in their iconic striped uniform.  Generations of gondoliers in their iconic uniforms greeted guests to mark the announcement.  

“It is great to be honouring the Venetian gondoliers with this year’s Eco-Stewardship award,” said Livia. “Joining forces with The Woolmark Company and renowned Venetian design house, Emilio Ceccato in 2018, the gondoliers proudly wear Australian Merino Wool – a versatile fibre which is both 100% natural and renewable.  The gondoliers returning to the use of this natural material after a near 100-year hiatus has exposed a natural fibre of huge importance to a global estimated audience of 26 to 30 million visitors a year.”

Watch what happened when Livia met the Gondoliers of Venice:

Since 2018, a centuries-old tradition and a centuries-old fibre have been reinstated as the gondoliers of Venice have returned to their roots to wear wool.  The city’s 443 gondoliers now wear the iconic blue and white stripe uniform comprising a T-shirt, sweater and quilted vest made of Merino wool as they navigate their way through the Serenissima canals.

“We are proud that, after almost a century, the gondoliers have rediscovered wool for their uniforms,” said Colette Garnsey, chairman of Australian Wool Innovation – parent company of The Woolmark Company.  “Their job requires high-level physical performance in extremely variable weather conditions. The return to Merino wool usage confirms the ability of this natural fibre to respond to their needs; this is why The Woolmark Company is pleased to honour and support the Association of Venetian Gondoliers.”

“The Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Italia, are all about the innovators, disruptors and game-changers of a fashion industry at the forefront of a sustainable future,” added Carlo. “CNMI has been working non-stop for years now to implement substantial change not only with the Italian brands but with the overall fashion industry including the many mills and factories which make the Brand Made in Italy famous all over the world. We are incredibly proud to confirm the third edition of the awards and excited for what will happen that night on the stage at La Scala. It will surely be an Oscars-like ceremony!”

The now famous Chopard statuette, which the winners will receive at the GCFA ceremony at La Scala, was also unveiled. The ethical gold statuette depicts a woman, whose long braid is produced in Fairmined-certified ethical gold with a robe made of aluminium to lend a lighter touch. The statue is completed with a thermoformed glass cape and engravings of a golden apple tree.


Read our interview with Georgina Wallace, a Tasmanian Wool grower

Watch Livia Firth’s Behind the Scenes video at GCFA, Italia 2018

Meet the Green Carpet Talent Competition Finalists 2019