Italy launches award for most eco-friendly fashion brand

Italy's top luxury designers will go head-to-head to snap up the title of "greenest" brand as the sector gets on board with the latest trend: eco-friendly fashion.

Italy launches award for most eco-friendly fashion brand
Gucci creations on the catwalk at this year's show. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

The national fashion chamber has joined forces with sustainability brand consultancy Eco-Age to launch the “Green Carpet Fashion Awards”, which will be held in Milan's iconic Scala opera house.

Brands from Fendi to Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Prada and Valentino will be competing with emerging designers, with the first edition to be held September 24th, the fashion chamber said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Livia Firth, the founder of the Eco-Age initiative – which has seen celebrities increasingly swap traditional red carpet attire for recycled or vintage gowns – said Italy's design heritage put it in a unique position to lead the push for greener fashion.

“This must now be developed, and built on the values of environmental protection and social justice in our supply chains, which will uniquely allow Italy to be the added value designer and manufacturer on the global fashion stage,” said Firth, who is married to actor Colin Firth.

READ ALSO: Video of Colin Firth discussing Italian swearwords goes viral

Italy's Economic Development Minister Carlo Calenda said it was also a way of keeping Italian tailoring relevant in a world of brand rip-offs and cheap mass-market clothing production.

Celebrities who have supported the “Green Carpet” trend so far include Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner, supermodel Lily Cole, British actress and activist Emma Watson, and Irish actor Michael Fassbender.

Cole and Turner turned the Oscars red carpet green last year with outfits by Vivienne Westwood and London's Galvan, while Watson teemed up with Calvin Klein on a custom gown made of sustainable cotton and recycled plastic yarn.

READ ALSO: An end to fashion elitism? Not in Milan…

An end to fashion elitism? Not in Milan...
Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP


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Central and southern Italy brace for storms and heavy snow

Storms and snowfall are forecast across much of central and southern Italy over the next few days, according to weather reports.

Snow is forecast in the hills of much of central and southern Italy.
Snow is forecast in the hills of much of central and southern Italy. Photo: Miguel MEDINA / AFP

Italy’s Civil Protection Department on Monday issued ‘orange’ alerts for bad weather along Campania’s Tyrrhenian coastline and the western part of Calabria, while Sicily, Basilicata, Lazio, Molise, Umbria, Abruzzo, central-western Sardinia, and the remaining areas of Campania and Calabria are under a lower-level ‘yellow’ weather warning.

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts is warning Italy’s central-southern regions to prepare for a blast of polar air from the Arctic Circle that will bring heavy snowfall, rain and storms, reports national weather forecaster Il Meteo.

The village of Grotte di Castro in the province of Viterbo, two hours’ drive north of Rome, mountainous parts of Sardinia, and much of the province of Campobasso in the central-eastern region of Molise were already blanketed in snow on Monday morning.

The department is responsible for predicting, preventing and managing emergency events across the country, and uses a green, yellow, orange and red graded colour coding system for weather safety reports.

An orange alert signifies a heavy rainfall, landslide and flood risk, while a yellow alert warns of localised heavy and potentially dangerous rainfall.

The current meteorological conditions mean that snow is expected to reach unusually low altitudes of around 450-500 metres, with flakes already falling thickly on parts of the southern-central Apennines mountain range at 500-700 metres altitude.

The hills of Marche, Abruzzo, Molise, Lazio, Sardinia, Campania, Calabria and Basilicata are likely to see heavy snow around the 500m mark, while areas at an altitude of 1000m or higher will see between 50-60 cm of fresh snow.

Affected parts of the country could see 50-60cm of snowfall.

Affected parts of the country could see 50-60cm of snowfall. Photo: Vincenzo PINTO /AFP

In areas where the snow is unlikely to reach, heavy rains and thunderstorms are anticipated, with rain forecast throughout Sardinia, Campania, Calabria and Lazio, reports Il Meteo.

Strong winds are forecast over the whole country, with the island regions of Sicily and Sardinia facing windspeeds of over 100km/hour and the risk of storm surges, according to the national newspaper La Repubblica.

READ ALSO: Climate crisis: The Italian cities worst affected by flooding and heatwaves

The north of the country, meanwhile, will see sun but low temperatures of below 0°C at night in many areas, including across much of the Po Valley.

While conditions are expected to stabilise on Tuesday, cold currents from Northern Europe are forecast to trigger another wave of bad weather on Wednesday and Thursday, with Sardinia and Italy’s western coastline again at risk of storms and heavy rainfall that will move up towards Lombardy, Emilia Romagna and Veneto in the north.