The Venice Film Festival is more than a celebration of cinematic achievements. Thanks to Livia Firth, wife of Colin Firth and founder of the eco-friendly consultancy company, Eco-Age, this Italian film festival has also become a platform to raise awareness for sustainability and ethics within the fashion industry.

At a small, private lunch in Venice last Friday, Firth announced Eco-Age’s collaboration with Chopard, a luxury jewelry brand, known for their interest in sustainable fashion and artisanal work. Chopard will not be designing haute couture gowns.

Instead, they’re behind the trophies to be presented at the award ceremony on September 24th.

Chopard's Green Carpet Challenge statuettes are rich with meaning

Chopard creative director, Caroline Scheufele described their collaboration as an honor, and stated that “these awards are closely aligned with our values at Chopard…it was only right that the statuette should reflect the values at the heart of the event.”

In contrast to the famous Oscar statuette, these awards are female-inspired to represent “all the women employed in the manufacturing pipeline from Italy to around the world, from Bangladesh to Cambodia,” according to Firth.

Along with the figure of a woman, the statuette also features a pomegranate, which has been connected to the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, ink, medicinal characteristics, but to Patrick Kinnoth, an artist who’s preparing the grounds for the award ceremony later this month, the pomegranate “represents imaginative abundance together with indisputable beauty, inventive usefulness, and sustainability.”

Green Carpet Challenge winners must meet tough criteria

These statuettes will be awarded to ten, lucky winners at La Scala, in Milan, Italy.

According to Eco-Age’s principles, winners will be judged on tough criteria, including transparency, child labor, fair working conditions, traceability, pollution, preservation, and animal welfare.

Winners are revolutionaries in the fashion industry

During the intimate lunch held at the Venice Film Festival last week, it was announced that Sardegna-based artisan, Chiara Vigo, will be one of the recipients of the newly-designed Chopard statuettes.

She is believed to be one of the few, remaining harvesters of the highly-valued sea silk, Bisso. It’s derived from mussel saliva and according to Firth, it is “more precious than gold.”

It is conscientious, slow fashion-forward individuals like Vigo whom Eco-Age wishes to award, not only because of the rarity of their product.

But because by awarding these leaders, Firth and her organization are helping to raise greater awareness and respect for the efforts and commitment needed to change the world of fashion.

Influencing the fashion industry takes time and audacity, as does encouraging the consumer to switch from knock-offs to a true value. At the Green Carpet Challenge award ceremony coming this September, Firth’s organization will serve as a much-needed catalyst to an industry stuck in a vicious cycle.