The international auction house Christie’s has raised a total of $2.4 million for environmental causes, through its “Green Auction: Bid to Save the Earth” event. Through collaboration with charitybuzz.com, the event included a live auction on March 29th, combined with three weeks of online auctioning ending on April 7th.
Sales from the live auction totaled $1.4 million, with $750,000 raised through the charitybuzz.com online auction and $10 donations sent via text message.
The four beneficiaries of the funds are the Central Park Conservancy, Conservation International, Oceana, and the National Resources Defense Council. The non-profit organizations were selected based upon their four-star rating by the charity rating agency, Charity Navigator.
Edward Dolman, Chairman of Christie’s, discussed the auction house’s goals for the event, stating, “By hosting the Green Auction, Christie’s is taking the lead with innovative ways to raise crucial funds and awareness for the preservation of our planet, and we are happy to be a global catalyst in such a noble endeavor.”
Auction lots varied from pledges of support for the featured environmental non-profits to tickets to the Vanity Fair Oscar party. Numerous social and political figures were featured, including letters of support from Prince Charles of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert of Monaco, flying lessons with Harrison Ford, and backstage meet-ups with Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga.
Environmentally-themed art, luxury “eco-conscious” vacation packages, and tickets to television finales were also offered.
Prices for the lots varied, with an hour long tennis lesson with John McEnroe selling for $26,000, while a day spent with former President Bill Clinton was auctioned for as much as $100,000.
The event was co-hosted by François-Henri Pinault, Salma Hayek, Graydon and Anna Carter, Vogue Magazine, and David and Susan Rockefeller, the latter of which is also a member of Oceana’s board. Speaking to Reuters, Rockefeller, a respected environmental activist and documentary film maker, called the event “multi-tiered”.
“Art, philanthropy, music and fashion can all transform the way you see something and make it come alive,” she stated. “All these people from different walks of life, with different talents, scientists, lawyers, all working toward protecting the environment.”
The live auction at Christie’s also featured a “Runway to Green” fashion show, in which most major fashion houses, totally 24 brands in all, participated. Sponsored and underwritten by Tiffany and Co, designers ranging from Gucci to Marc Jacobs donated or crafted pieces for the show. All featured pieces were afterwards made available for purchase online at Net-A-Porter.
A percentage of all proceeds from the “Runway to Green” sales were donated to numerous environmental organizations, including the United Nations Environment Programme’s Billion Tree Campaign, the National Resources Defense Council and the Alliance for Climate Protection.
Participating designers also made pledges to investigate the National Resources Defense Council’s sustainable manufacturing practices, as put forth in the non-profit’s “Clean by Design” initiative.
Lorenzo Roccia, the Chairman of “Runway to Green”, commented on the fashion industry’s growing awareness of its environmental impact.
“This collaboration constitutes one of the most important commitments made on behalf of the fashion industry to learn and address its impact on the environment,” he stated. “It uses the power and reach of the industry to deliver a global message about the relevance and necessity to be educated on our individual role and responsibility in protecting the environment.”
This is Christie’s second annual “Bid to Save the Earth” event, with last year’s auction raising over $2 million for the featured environmental organizations. The auction itself strove to be carbon neutral, with electronic catalogues, the utilization of Christie’s LIVE for real-time online bidding, and carbon off-sets offered to those travelling to the event.
Photographs and further information on the event can be found here.
Photo credit: yuma-az.gov/8265.htm