Cocktails and stars at the Observer Ethical Awards

11 June 2010

Observer Ethical Awards 2010

Sophi and I went along to the Observer Ethical Awards last night at the V&A – not up for an award this time but there to help celebrate world-improving innovation and excellence.  The Observer’s Lucy Siegle – Queen of Green – shared the podium (dressed in Sika) with a sharply suited Colin Firth and presided over a cheerful and laid back evening. Amongst the winners was our own Board member Gordon Roddick – who deservedly won this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  Gordon summed up his life’s work as doing something about the things that “pissed him off” – that was the motivation behind Body Shop, helping set up Divine with his wife Anita – and his latest campaigning initiative 38 Degrees.  Other notable winners included two young lads – the Recyclists – who have been helping people in their local community in Fife recycle by delivering their waste to the local recycling centre – on trailers behind their bikes. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall was voted Campaigner of the Year, Caroline Lucas, the first Green Party representitive in the House of Commons, got the Ethical Politician Award, and Guy Watson from Riverford organic delivery service got his THIRD Observer Award (NB loook out for great review of the Riverford restaurant in Observer this Sunday)! 

Gordon Roddick - Observer Lifetime Achievement Award

Over a few cocktails (one of which had little pink petals floating in it which needed to be constantly removed from in between one’s teeth) it was great catching up with Livia Firth and everyone from Eco-Age, Marc Francis (one half of the Black Gold filmmaking team), Harriet Lamb and the Fairtrade Foundation team, and Rosie Budhani from the Foundation ethical fashion people. Vic Morgan, one of the guys behind was there too, and Martin Wright, editor of Green Futures.  Spotted Jo Wood, Ken Livingstone, and John Sauven director of Greenpeace in the audience.

We’re still extremely proud of having won Observer Ethical Business of the Year (this year won by B&Q for demystifying ecological ideas for the consumer), and it’s good to see both smallscale local initiatives and big company efforts being acknowledged at the same event. 

We went home with the mother of all goodie bags (including a Divine bar of course).


Wonderful women

11 May 2010

Posted by Sophi:

It’s been a weird and wonderful week with women at its heart.  On Tuesday I made a presentation to the Department of Business Innovation and Skills with Kresse Wesling  the wonder woman who specializes in using waste materials to make lovely things.  Her current products include high-end hand bags Elvis & Kresse, made from reclaimed fire brigade hoses and jute supermarket bags made from coffee sacks.

Beverley Knight

On Wednesday I received the International Business Women award from SHE magazine announced by Tara Palmer TomkinsonBeverly Knight was next on the platform and confessed that she to was a Divine devotee.  I’m pretty sure she said “I love Divine…. and so do my thighs!…”

On Thursday, my daughter voted for the first time and it made me think about how the opportunity for women to vote is so hard fought for around the world.  It was sad waking up on Friday morning to find we had lost some staunch supporters: Angela Smith,  Minister for the Third Sector and Social Enterprise, and Linda Gilroy Co-op MP for Plymouth, Divine’s champion in the House.

Divine MD Sophi Tranchell with Mica Paris celebrating Dubble's 10th Birthday

Over the weekend we were at the first London Fairtrade Festival by Tower Bridge which celebrated the 10th Birthday of Dubble, the Fairtrade chocolate bar with added Comic ReliefMica Paris drove down from Wales to cut the cake say how much she liked the fact that Fairtrade enabled everyone to support people around the world everyday.

The election result was frustrating and in 2010  the Men in Suits have gathered to negotiate our future – what happened to the women?  On Radio 4 Thursday night Shirley Williams, Margaret Beckett and Baroness Young were impressive with their experience and gravity but today there was no place for them.  If they really were committed to a new way of governing and to delivering the change they all spoke about,  it would have been refreshing to see Caroline Lucas invited and it might have made us believe they were serious about a future that was good for all of us.