The Observer Ethical Awards: The Winners

Last night the 8th annual Observer Ethical Awards took place at stunning former church One Marylebone and we were there to see the evening’s excitement unfold.

Awards founder and Observer columnist Lucy Siegle said of this year's winners:

“This year's awards represent an extraordinary roll call of ethical achievement and ambition. Our winners are driven by finding solutions for the most vulnerable people and habitats. Tonight we've honoured four graduates from top UK design schools whose ‘Big Idea’ has the potential to solve a global sanitation nightmare. We have a travel winner specialising in tours of London conducted by guides who were formerly homeless. We have a man who has dedicated his life to creating and protecting wildlife habitats in his own community and and an Isle of Man school that takes home a £6000 bursary courtesy of our lead sponsor Ecover, to fund a bio-science project that will take the sting out of fast fashion. This represents fighting talk on behalf of planet earth!"

If you've read the blog before you may know that The Good Wardrobe founder Zoe Robinson was one of three women shortlisted in the Well dressed category. Whilst we would have loved to have seen Zoe pick up the prize, we were thrilled that she got so close, particularly as this year's awards received a record number of entries.

It was a pleasure to meet 18 year-old Rosalind Jana who was the well deserved winner of the Well dressed category. Rosalind, who edits blog Clothes, Cameras and Coffee and has blogged for the likes of Vogue and the Guardian has been an ethical fashion advocate ever since she read Lucy Siegle's book To Die For when she was 16. It's exciting to see a young woman with such a commitment to sustainable style, and we look forward to seeing what she does next. With a Well dressed award win under her belt, and hopes of going to Oxford in the Autumn, we predict a very bright future for Rosalind Jana.

The rest of the winners:

Campaigner of the Year
Joanna Lumley
Malala Yousafzai

Lifetime Achievement
Lenny Henry

Retailer of the Year
An online organic farm shop and highly successful box scheme. Each of their farms are part of a local grower group and they have a great presence in their regional community.

Unsung Local Hero
Francis McCrickard
Francis has made a significant different to his local area, establishing wildflower meadows and a climate change walk in the Myddelton Grange Centre in Ilkley.

Big Idea (sponsored by National Grid)
A unique toilet project which uses biodegradable lining instead of water.

Arts and Culture
Beasts of the Southern Wild (film)

Travel (sponsored by Virgin Holidays)
Unseen Tours
A unique enterprise in London which offers walking tours led by professionally coached homeless guides. The tours offer previously unexplored glimpses of the city and introduce a new social consciousness into London tours.

Ecover Young Green Champions (sponsored by Ecover)
Queen Elizabeth II High School
A school eco project which created a new clothing material using tea, sugar and microbes. The biodegradable material was then used to make items of clothing such as a skirt, an apron and a waistcoat.

Products and Services (sponsored by B&Q)
Opens distribution channels which Coca-Cola uses in developing countries to enable products such as oral rehydration salts and zinc supplements to use those routes.

Business Initiative (sponsored by Jupiter Asset Management)
Virgin Atlantic with Lanzatech
Uses gas fermentation technology to create sustainable biofuels for aviation.

Well Dressed (sponsored by Eco Age)
Rosalind Jana
Edits blog 'Clothes, Cameras and Coffee' and supports ethical fashion.

Image: (left to right) Lucy Siegle, Baroness Lola Young, Rosalind Jana, Livia Firth.

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