The Green Carpet Fashion Awards: Where Hollywood Glamour Meets Environmental Activism

Neha Prakash, Vanessa Nakate, Nalleli Cobo, Vee Kativhu, Zara Odu, Lionel Hurtado, Wanjiku “Wawa” Gatheru, Summer Dean, Helena Gualinga, Saad Amer, Judith Heard, Alexia Leclercq, Leah Thomas, Angela Busheska, Livia Firth, Maya Penn, Cameron Russell, Amber Valletta, Rupi Kaur, Kevin Patel, Aditi Mayer, Leo Cerda, Diandra Marizet Esparza, Mary Maker, and Yusra Mardini. Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

Zendaya, John Legend, Donatella Versace, and Amber Valletta gracing a red carpet in LA, mere days before the Oscars? It may seem like the usual high-profile celebrity event, but it’s far from it. Welcome to The Green Carpet Fashion Awards: an event that doesn’t just honor style but celebrates visionaries spearheading collective transformation.

Livia Firth, the founder of the Green Carpet Fashion Awards, encapsulates the spirit of the event:

This incredible night is exactly why the Green Carpet Fashion Awards are different. Fashion and entertainment is our platform but we are in the business of transformation. This is how we move the narrative of the climate crisis, and this is how together we refashion the world. To have our young leaders on the frontline of climate chaos honor the Secretary General of the UN is a really big moment. Tonight, we are modelling the leadership humanity needs.

While the celebrity names mentioned are familiar, the true stars of the show are the award winners, the change-makers you should know. Let’s delve into the essence of the Awards.

About the Green Carpet Fashion Awards

The Green Carpet Fashion Awards annually acknowledge and celebrate the movers and shakers driving interconnected cultural change. They highlight a new generation of activists emerging from global political, social, and environmental arenas, positioning them at the forefront.

Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Green Carpet Fashion Awards

The Green Carpet Fashion Awards symbol is a dandelion, and this is not only because we can blow the seeds of change across the globe. As peacebuilder, Buddhist, philosopher, educator, author and poet Daisaku Ikeda says,

“Why isn’t the dandelion defeated by constant trampling? The key to its strength is its long and sturdy root, which extends deep into the earth. The same principle applies to people. The true victors in life are those who, enduring repeated challenges and setbacks, have sent the roots of their being to such a depth that nothing can shake them.” This is who we are. Unshakeable in our belief that we can build a new narrative and we are unstoppable in our pursuit to create it.

The Awards recognize individuals and organizations that are pivotal in the sustainable realm, offering a fresh perspective on genuine, intersectional transformation. Selection of the annual honorees is based on 6 cultural archetypes, integral to community-wide change. They are: The Healer, The Messenger, The Futurist, The Sage, The Rebel and The Visionary.

The 2024 Game Changer Honor Goes to Donatella Versace

Zendaya wearing vintage Versace and Donatella Versace. ©Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

The 2024 Game Changer Honor is awarded to Donatella Versace in recognition of her service and allyship to the global LGBTQ+ community. Donatella Versace’s steadfast activism has embedded LGBTQ+ rights into fashion and culture, helping to solidify the civil rights of gay and transgender people.
As an ambassador for Stonewall, longtime patron of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Co-Chair of The Rocket Fund, a campaign to raise $125M to help the Elton John AIDS Foundation to end AIDS by 2030, Donatella Versace takes every opportunity to defend hard won rights and continually finds ways to fight discrimination and hatred. Rooted in Donatella’s belief in tolerance and understanding, she has been a tireless messenger of bringing awareness and understanding of embracing diversity as good and positive.

I have always tried to embrace Change – even when it felt difficult. Change is a great teacher. We cannot grow without it. I have learnt so much from my time spent with queer and transgender leaders and activists. I have seen love that has defied laws, political borders, and institutional religions.

I have spoken out in my home country, Italy, where gay couples are now forbidden from creating families. As you know this hatred is also sweeping through the United States. More than 400 pieces of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation have been introduced in this country, with the majority of them targeting the transgender population.

This has disastrous consequences. Look at the tragic passing of Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old from Oklahoma who was pronounced dead after a fight with their classmates. They told police and teachers they were being continuously bullied, and no adult intervened. This is an unspeakable tragedy. I am being honored today as a changemaker, so I hope you consider how you too can join the change we need. Lives are at stake – and we must raise our voices, donate and vote.
–Donatella Versace

the Green Carpet Fashion Award Archetypal Honorees

The Healer: A caretaker who soothes pain and repairs damage

Recipient: Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Special Envoy on Climate Change, co-founder and Chair of The Elders and founder of Project Dandelion.

Mary Robinson’s work has taken place against the backdrop of some of the most fractious political and geo-political crises to date. Yet, her leadership is based on active hope. This honor recognizes her passionate advocacy for gender equality, women’s participation in peace- building, human dignity and climate justice. The Healer award pays tribute to Mary Robinson’s ground- breaking work in championing human rights, in demanding that rich nations commit to significant loss and damage funding to help climate vulnerable countries deal with the worst impacts of the climate crisis and the way that her work, over and over again, has helped to heal the divides that so often tear communities apart.

The Messenger: An exemplary communicator and listener who amplifies truth in a way that changes the game for others

Recipient: Kalpona Atker, Founder and Executive Director, Bangladesh Centre for Worker Solidarity (BCWS) As the founder and executive director of the Bangladesh Centre for Worker Solidarity (BCWS), Kalpona campaigns for worker safety, fair wages and the right to labour unions.

Kalpona’s work and journey – from sweatshop child worker at the age of 12 to internationally renowned labour rights activist, represents one of the most extraordinary stories of heroic activism on the planet. Few people have listened, lived and understood the 21stcentury experience of being a garment worker in the international fashion supply chain, and acted to change the game, in the way that Kalpona has. In this critical moment where garment workers who make our clothes are unable to afford to eat, this award acknowledges her phenomenal courage and leadership in summoning the attention of international organisations and holding brands accountable. By amplifying the truth, she is changing the game for garment workers all over the world.

The Visionary: An innovative thinker who can see the path to a better world

Recipient: Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq, Greenland environmentalist and keeper of the ancient Shamanic traditions Qilaut (the wind drum). His dedication to climate protection, indigenous matters and healing has taken him to more than 70 countries around the world to lecture, conduct seminars and ceremonies.

The context for awarding Angaangaq with the Visionary honor could not be more urgent or more poignant, with the Artic warming four times faster than scientists predicted. In his words ‘We can’t plant ice – when it’s gone it’s gone. But we can protect it’. It is that vision and commitment to help us realise our part in healing the planet, that we acknowledge him with The Visionary award.

Angangaaq is an exemplary guardian of our global commons, and with his guidance, and dedicated organization Ice Wisdom, he helps us build a relationship with nature and guide people to see the beauty in the natural world.

The Rebel: A courageous provocateur who challenges the status quo

Recipient: John Legend, EGOT-winning, critically acclaimed, multiplatinum singer-songwriter who has garnered 12 Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Tony Award, and an Emmy Award, among others.

As if being an EGOT winner (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards) wasn’t enough of a fulltime role, musician John Legend is a tireless social justice campaigner, an activator and an instigator, who never looks away and never wishes away trouble.

John Legend is awarded for two decades of initiatives and a lifetime of caring and working at a grassroots level, often on the issues that others overlook. In particular, we are paying tribute to his work on criminal justice reform where he strikes at the heart of racism and inequality.

The Futurist: A brave pioneer who foresees a brighter future and actively builds the path through decisive action and transformative change

Recipient: Ugandan presidential candidate, Bobi Wine, and his wife Barbie Kyagulanyi

The Green Carpet Fashion awards were designed to provoke us to ask the type of fundamental questions that must always come before huge change.

One of these questions is when will we fully step up? How far will we go to stop hatred, brutality, ecological collapse, corruption and inequality? Our Futurists honorees both asked themselves and answered those questions some time ago. They are leading the world in an example of what it means to step up. Bobi and Barbie are the living embodiment of the leaders we need, and the leaders we deserve. At a time when human rights are under attack across the globe, through them we see a way forward. Their documentary entitled, “Bobi Wine, the People’s President” is nominated for best documentary feature at the Oscars this Sunday.

The Sage: An educator who people turn to for all kinds of wisdom and experience to help them navigate difficulty and complexity

Recipient: U.N. Secretary General António Guterres

The GCFAs award U.N. Secretary General António Guterres with The Sage honor in acknowledgement of his courage, clarity of message and unwavering work on environmental and social justice. From relentlessly speaking out on climate change and urging countries to phase out fossil fuels – his voice resonates strongly, loudly and clearly, always maintaining his

humanity. Guterres is able to cut through complexity and technocratic detail to appeal to our essential decency. Even in darkest times he encourages us to stay with our work, to act on climate and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. In times of uncertainty or difficulty, people naturally turn to Sages for guidance and support, knowing that their wisdom and insight can help illuminate the path forward. We honor UN Secretary General António Guterres for his visionary leadership, compassion, and dedication to promoting peace, justice, and human dignity on a global scale. His tireless efforts to address the world’s most pressing challenges have had a profound impact and continue to inspire others to work towards a more sustainable future.

The 2024 Green Carpet Fashion Awards were co-chaired by GCFA Founder Livia Firth, actresses Cate Blanchett, Helen Hunt, Julianne Moore and Zendaya, actress and model Quannah Chasinghorse, singer, songwriter, activist and founder of The Circle NGO Annie Lennox, Minister of Indigenous People of Brazil Sônia Guajajara and Ugandan climate justice activist Vanessa Nakate.

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