The Circle at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards

The Circle founder Annie Lennox with the seamstresses of Maison Valentino, after presenting them with The Art of Craftmanship award.

“Behind every great house of fashion, there are thousands of exceptional women”

On Sunday, The Circle Italia members attended the Green Carpet Fashion Awards (GCFA) in Milan as the official charity partner. One of the driving forces of the event was Livia Firth, co-founding member of The Circle and Creative Director at Eco-Age.

The members of The Circle and The Circle Italia are committed champions of sustainable and environmentally friendly fashion.

At the Copenhagen Fashion Summit in May, The Lawyers Circle launched their report Fashion Focus: The Fundamental Right to a Living Wage, which argues that a living wage is a fundamental right.

Last week, in Milan, Ilaria Venturini Fendi, a member of The Circle Italia, won The Social Laureate Award at the GCFA, and The Circle founder Annie Lennox delivered a beautiful speech before presenting The Art of Craftmanship award to the seamstresses of Maison Valentino.

You can read the full speech below:

It’s a wonderful and unique experience to be here with you all this evening at La Scala and I want to thank you so much for your incredible donation to our Italian Circle and for having actively contributed to transformational change for women around the world.

The Circle is a group of women who feel passionately about justice and rights of women all around the world, where, for example, at least one in three women have been beaten, coerced into sex, or abused in their lifetime.

Where 41 million girls worldwide are still denied an education, and HIV/AIDS is one of the leading causes of death in girls and women of reproductive age across the continent of Africa.

These are just a few of the issues we are involved with as fundraisers, advocates and contributors to the Global Women’s Movement and the United Nation’s Goal number 5. And this year we have also launched the first ever legal report on the right to a living wage for garment workers worldwide.

Which brings me onto the award I will present tonight— The Art of Craftsmanship.

Behind every great house of fashion, there are thousands of exceptional women. Women so dedicated, professional and gifted that they represent everything it means to be an artisan.

What they create is spellbinding and they are indeed a circle of women.

I’m delighted to be honouring them with this award tonight.

The winners are… the seamstresses of Maison Valentino.

Thank you to the Green Carpet Fashion Awards for their generous donation to The Circle Italia.

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