British singer-songwriter, Ellie Goulding, gracing the first digital green carpet in the world for The Green Carpet Fashion Awards 2020 wearing a Ralph & Russo couture gown featuring over 150 responsibly sourced Zambian emeralds from Gemfields.
Hosted by Eco-Age in collaboration with Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (CNMI), this year’s Green Carpet Fashion Awards marks both the tenth anniversary of the Green Carpet Challenge and the fourth edition of the initiative, and is due to be broadcast later tonight by both Sky and the YouTube Fashion Channel. Joining forces this year with Gemfields, a world-leading supplier of responsibly sourced African coloured gemstones, British luxury brand Ralph & Russo explored an entirely new level of couture, breaking category conventions by combining emeralds with a one-of-a-kind design.
With both brands being renowned for their pioneering spirit and as changemakers across the industry, it is both their passion for artisanship and sustainability that brought them together.
Zambian emeralds were formed around 500 million years ago and get their beautiful intense green colour from the presence of chromium, iron and beryllium. They are often lacking in vanadium, resulting in a bluish-green, lively and often eye-clean emerald.
At Gemfields, all gemstones are mined under stringent social and environmental standards. Since acquiring Kagem emerald mine in partnership with the Zambian government in 2008, Gemfields has already transformed its operations and the communities that surround it, having enhanced and created three schools, provided scholarships, a health centre and numerous agricultural cooperatives to create sustainable livelihoods. Gemfields also provides vital support to conservation efforts in Zambia to protect Africa’s biodiversity, such as the Zambian Carnivore Project.
At Ralph & Russo, excellence in craftsmanship and the importance of sustainability are central to the brand ethos. Having launched in 2010 as a British couture house before beginning their expansion into a luxury lifestyle brand, Ralph & Russo continue to champion a category that is inherently sustainable, with couture being entirely made-to-measure and producing very little waste. With a continued commitment to the sustainability and preservation of couture craftsmanship also, the brand launched a special Apprenticeship Programme in 2019 to act as a vehicle for young and otherwise new talent, and to offer specialist training for the next generation of expert artisans. Based out of White City on London’s Mediaworks campus – a creative hub that is home to industry-leading organisations with a united vision for creativity and innovation – Ralph & Russo’s atelier is comprised of over 45 nationalities and represents the pinnacle of savoir-faire.