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).


Congratulations to Observer Award winners

4 June 2009

Sophi and I went along to the Observer Ethical Awards last night – a glam event up on the Rooftop Gardens in Kensington. Divine wasn’t up for one, but still basking in the glow of having won Best Ethical Business last year!

A good celeb turn-out and lots of intriguing pink and green drinks – which judging by my totally clear head this morning must surely have been short of alcohol content?

Congratulations to Riverford Organic who were this year’s recipient of the Ethical Business Award, to People Tree who won the Ethical Fashion Award, and to Caroline Lucas, Leader of the Green Party, (who reminded everyone to vote today) and who won a surely coveted title Ethical Politician of the Year. We were sorry that Traidcraft missed out this year – but we felt it was at least cheering not to have to take home one of the absolutely extraordinary Award Trophies which looked like something out of Close Encounters of the Third Kind – strange white figurines with distored faces, stomachs, hands and feet. Apparently the shape of each body had been exactly calculated to match the carbon footprint of the company or person winning…… don’t ask.

The high point of the ceremony was the announcement that Sir David Attenborough had been chosen for the Lifetime Achievement Award for what he has done so spectacularly throughout his career to endear us to and intrigue us about the world we live in.  When he got up to accept it silence fell – and he very simply pointed out that he hopes and believes that we have now got to the point where the immorality of destroying our world and the other animals and plantlife in it is absolutely clear to us – and he hopes it is a tipping point.

Sophi caught up with Adrian Chiles of The One Show, who was one of the narrators on the Papapaa DVD, and with Anna Ford who is on the Board of Sainsbury’s.  Adam Vaughan of the Guardian was there tweeting all night long. I contemplated sidling up to Colin Firth… but he seemed a bit busy.

For details of all the other winners watch out for the Observer magazine this weekend or see the Observer website.