Hosted by Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana (CNMI), the Green Carpet Talent Competition (GCC) returns for its second edition, challenging emerging designers to push the boundaries of sustainability in fashion. In July, five finalists were selected by an esteemed panel of judges for innovations in production, drawing from a transparent Italian supply chain.
“This year’s entrants offered commentary, and in a way solutions, to the global plastic pandemic of climate change,” says Carlo Capasa, president of CNMI, in an official press release. Livia Firth, panel judge and founder of sustainability consultancy firm, Eco-Age, adds: “The designers we’ve seen are highlighting traditional Italian craftsmanship, but are also creating their own materials when they can’t find sustainable solutions on the market.”
The finalists, who are now embarking on a 12-month mentorship programme supported by industry experts, will attend the prestigious Green Carpet Fashion Awards on September 23rd, held at Teatro Alla Scala during Milan Fashion Week. One talent will be crowned winner of the Franca Sozzani GCC Award for Best Emerging Designer and will have the opportunity to present at Milan Fashion Week in February 2019. Below, ORDRE takes a look at the new names to watch in sustainable fashion.
Launched in 2010 by design duo, Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones, London-based label Teatum Jones, is making waves following numerous recent prize wins. In 2016, the brand landed the prestigious International Woolmark Prize for Womenswear, and the following year, it received the British Fashion Council’s Fashion Trust grant. Known for flowing dresses and elegant coats, its polished aesthetic and artisanal production methods.
For the competition, Teatum Jones created a dress using Fil Coupe (a weaving technique producing a fringe effect,) made from recycled polyester and Lenzing Modal (a fabric made from responsibly sourced wood.) It was lined with recycled polyester and adorned with laser cut sequins made from recycled plastic water bottles. Additionally, a coat was made from handwoven Baoule Kente Ikat (a traditional African fabric), sourced through social enterprise, Piece and Co., which manufactures responsible textiles, and empowers marginalised communities across the globe.
Social and environmental responsibility is at the heart of Behno’s brand ethos. Founded by Shivam Punjya and designed by Ashley Austin, the New York-based label makes womenswear and handbags with a pared-down elegance, marrying sustainable textile development and ethical garment production with clean and classic tailoring. Launched in 2013, Behno now counts leading luxury retailers like Selfridges, H. Lorenzo and Bergdorf Goodman among its stockists.
Their winning design for the Green Carpet Challenge was a black slim cut dress featuring sheer long sleeves and subtle embroidery. It was produced by deconstructing and reconstructing unused garments, combined with organically certified silk and Econyl regenerated nylon, a yarn made from recycled discarded fishing nets and carpet fibres.
Davide Grillo started his fashion career working for contemporary womenswear brand, Pinko, in 2011. After briefly working on the design team at Dolce Gabbana Couture in 2016, he founded his eponymous label focusing on craftsmanship and traditional production processes. Romantic frills and feminine silhouettes define collections, often using sheer fabrics enhanced with handmade illustrations and intricate embroidery.
In line with his signature aesthetic, Grillo’s competing design was an evening gown and a cape covered in feathers laser cut from naturally dyed silk. The A-line dress featured hand embroidery from artisan, Pino Grasso, and subtle hand-painted designs using natural pigments from onion skin, logwood, and walnut shells. To finish the look, sequins laser cut from plastic bottles enriched a plunging V neck top.
Gilberto Calzolari’s AW’17 collection debuted at Next Trend during Altaroma, a special showcase for emerging designers in collaboration with Camera National Della Moda. The following SS’18 collection showcased at Milan Fashion Week in February 2018. Retro-inspired silhouettes, playful colour combinations and clever textile layering are label trademarks, resulting in glamorous but unexpected designs.
Calzolari’s competition look was created from used Brazilian jute coffee bags purchased from a vintage market in Milan. The bags are often filled and used as water barriers to stop canals from flooding, an increasing issue in Italy due to climate change. Featuring a drop waist and an unexpected cutaway hemline, the dress was lined with archive fabric for comfort, and enhanced with lead-free Swarovski crystals.
Established in 2014 in Hamburg, Germany, Wrad is a fashion brand and non-profit organisation focused on raising awareness for sustainable fashion and social change. Co-founded by Matteo Ward and Silvia Giovanardi, the brand partners with environmentally conscious manufacturers across Italy and the UK to produce contemporary collections.
Wrad’s GCC creation was made using 50 percent bamboo viscose and 50 percent organically certified cotton, manufactured in Pistoia, Italy. The two-piece ensemble (a cropped tank top and floor-length skirt with an extreme asymmetrical hem) featured unique hand painted illustrations, created with recycled graphite powder dyes in substitute of toxic chemical dyes.