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MILAN – Oscar-winning Australian actress Cate Blanchett presented four Australian wool growers with the Eco Stewardship Award at this year’s Green Carpet Fashion Awards in Italy. This was the second edition of the Green Carpet Fashion Awards – a star-studded celebration of the sustainability, innovation and contribution of the Italian fashion industry.

Australian woolgrowers, Matt and Vanessa Dunbabin, ‘Bangor’ farm, alongside Richard and Jenny Weatherly, ‘Connewarran’ farm – who have each displayed sustainable farming and conservation practices – travelled from Australia to Milan to accept the award.

Cate Blanchett said: “It gives me particular pleasure to present tonight’s Eco Stewardship award to a group of people from my native Australia who are genuinely leading the sustainability charge, and in an aspect of the fashion industry that is foundational – the production of Merino wool. An ambitious programme of reform has seen the best Australian woolgrowers set new benchmarks for producing this most precious natural fibre. Of course, nobody tells this tale better than those working to progress this critical movement.

“An ambitious programme of reform has seen the best Australian woolgrowers set new benchmarks for producing this most precious natural fibre.”

Matt and Vanessa said: “It is an honour to be awarded the Eco Stewardship Award. This award not only recognises our work at ‘Bangor’, but also shines a light more broadly on world-leading sustainable wool production happening right across Australia. Every day, woolgrowers across the country are caring for their animals and the land in a passionate and sustainable way, ensuring that when you are wearing wool, you are also caring for the environment. Woolgrowers have always known this is the case – and it is fantastic that this has been recognised by the fashion industry.”

Richard and Jenny added: “We are very honoured and very proud. I feel that we are representing other woolgrowers, who have shown remarkable stewardship of their country, as well as representing Australia and to some degree, representing Livia Firth’s innovative and brilliant work as well as the Woolmark Company commitment on this regard and the work of Italian fashion industry.”

Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore and Cindy Crawford were among the presenters of the 13 awards, which ranged from Supply Chain Innovation Award (awarded to Sourcemap), to the GCFA Leaders Award – presented to educator, writer and advocate Sinéad Burke for her work changing the fashion conversation for good.

Other winners at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards included:

The Visionary Award: Suzy Menkes
The Handprint Award: Antonio Giacomo Lampasi, Lionella Maria Morano, Giacomo Puzzello and Crispino Maria from monterosso
The Art of Craftmanship: The Cobblers of Ferragamo
Technology and Innovation: Frumat leather
The Wellness Award: Elle Macpherson
Supply Chain Innovation: Sourcemap
Eco Stewardship Award: The Woolmark farmers
The CNMI in recognition for Community and Social Justice: Diego Della Valle and Renzo Rosso
The Franca Sozzani GCC Award for best emerging designer: Gilberto Calzolari
Sustainable Producer: Bonotto
The GCFA Leaders Award: Sinéad Burke
The CNMI in recognition for sustainability: Donatella Versace
The Changemaker Award: Cameron Russell

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