Inside the glorious Temple of Hadrian, in the centre of Rome, the 6th Green Fashion Week Conference kicked off with a discussion panel hosted by Guido Dolci, Director of the association, and attended by Carlo Medaglia, the Italian Minister for the Environment. As resources across the globe continue to be depleted, the 50+ economies across the African continent are all – at different rates – gearing for expansion and development. Intelligently managing the desire for growth in the 21st century means ‘Sustainability’ must be at the heart of your strategy. It must be part of the DNA of your plans.
Africa Fashion journeyed to the ancient capital to discover more about the organisation’s plans and ambitions. Green Fashion Week aims to raise public awareness on the issues of sustainability and promote the path that the fashion industry has to follow to meet the goals signed by 193 UN member states with the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
Green Fashion Week, organised by GD Major and Fashion Service Association, is a non-profit organisation supported by the Minister of the Environment, Land and Sea in collaboration with the UN initiative UNFCCC to fight climate change.
We spoke with Michael Dolci, co-founder of Green Fashion Week. “Green is cool and everything must become green. This is not optional”, Michael told us. “But we don’t force people. That is not our way. We encourage and educate”.
“After oil, the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter in the world”, he explained. “And that must change”. It’s not just the chemicals used, but also the terrible living conditions that the workers have to endure”, said Michael. “Even the way we transport fashion across the world adds to the problems. We realised the enormity of the problem and have been working hard over the past 6 years to identify the issues, raise them to the authorities, brands and consumers”, he said.
Micheal went on to say “It’s not enough to pressure the brands and stores, we must also change the minds of the customers who buy fashion”, he explained. “We need them to understand that ‘Green is NOT a compromise’. It IS high fashion. It is a mark of quality.
Most important for us, is that we do not have sponsors for these events”, said Michael. “There will be no ‘greenwash’ ”.
The Initiative involves designers and International Companies that want to promote the concept of sustainability through their collections and products, made with sustainable materials and production processes sustainable from an environmental and social point of view.
The ancient ruins and the iconic monuments of Rome have set the back drop for the three day event (6-9th November 2017)
On the 6th November Africa Fashion attended Tempio di Adriano, for the conference with an expert debate panel on sustainability.
During the conference, Guido Dolci, Director of GFW, announced the launch of an on-line sustainable platform: Bookingcasting.com which allows customers to find professional and geolocated models with a simple click, ”thereby reducing significantly modelling and scouting costs, CO2 emissions released to the atmosphere and the environmental impact in printing processes for the realisation of books and composites.”
Agencies from around the world, who receive authorisation, will be able to use the service for free and upload their models.
The platform serves to increase the visibility of model agencies across the globe, and boost contact with clients to stimulate the economic growth for companies, whilst allowing access to the the fashion sector, especially if they are not located in any of the four biggest fashion capitals – London, Paris, New York & Milan. With an aim to reduce inequality within and among countries and strengthen the means of implementation for global partnership and sustainable development.
GFW has also joined the Carbon Neutral Now program promoted by the UN Secretariat in the fight against Climate Change, ensuring the compensation of greenhouse gases generated by the production of events, by funding reforestation projects.
On the 7th November the historical Hotel of Via Vittorio Veneto, The Westin Exelsior, held the sustainable fashion shows of the following designers: Flavia La Rocca and Gentile Catone (Italy), Bav Tailor (UK) and Nomadic Collector (Costa Rica), accompanied by the “Major Orchestra”, composed by talented musicians of the Conservatory of Milan.
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On 8th November the first fashion show at Foro di Augusto took place among the roman ruins.
The initiative will end on 9th November, with a unique path that involves some of the most famous historical monuments of Rome: from Piazza di Spagna to the Colosseum, passing by Castel Sant’Angelo and Circo Massimo. The Danish brand Victoria Ladefoged will be at focus of this event for the whole day.
You cannot talk about luxury if you do not respect the environment.
Green Fashion Week aims to mature a new luxury conception in the collective consciousness.
The message from the organisers, government officials and even the fashion brands themselves is clear, ‘Having a green, sustainable global fashion industry is not optional – it is an necessity – and the sooner it arrives, the better’.
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