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Environment News

Local Brighton Fashion Retailer Neon Collective Wins Ethical Fashion Award
By Nicki Akers 8th Oct 2009

Ethically minded companies are celebrating this evening after being selected as winners of this year's RSPCA Good Business Awards for animal welfare.

High street stalwarts rubbed shoulders with small companies and retailers alongside publicans and restaurateurs - all vying for a coveted prize.

The awards, presented at an elegant ceremony at One Marylebone in London, were judged by independent panels of industry experts based on criteria set out by the charity.3

The biggest accolades of the night went to:

* Neon Collective (Small Fashion company)
* The Co-operative (RSPCA People's Choice award)
* George at Asda (Large Fashion company)
* Lush (Large Cosmetics Company)
* The Gamrie Goat (Small Cosmetics Company)
* Restaurant Alimentum (Independent Restaurant)
* The Duke of Cambridge (Pub)
* Edge & Son (Independent Food Retailer)

In addition, McDonald's, Abel & Cole, Sainsbury's, The Feathers Inn, Bulldog, Marks and Spencer, New Look and Finisterre were also recognised either for innovation in their respective categories or for their ongoing commitment.

The Body Shop was presented with a special lifetime achievement award for its longstanding commitment in campaigning for animal welfare, and for the work of Dame Anita Roddick in being instrumental in driving legislative change, which has seen an EU wide ban on animal testing come into force this year.

For the first time, the large retail category was put to a public vote, run in conjunction with The Independent newspaper.

David Bowles, RSPCA Head of External Affairs, said: "More than 11,500 people voted in the RSPCA People's Choice supermarket award, showing that a supermarket with good animal welfare practices does impact on consumer spending. The Co-operative beat stiff competition from Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury's to be presented with this award."

"All our winners deserve high praise for being leaders in raising awareness of animal welfare issues. We are particularly pleased with the winners of the cosmetics category, through their tireless campaigning and of other companies in this field, we have seen legislative change which means there will be no cosmetics award in future years.

"The RSPCA now wants to see similar change happen in other industries in the UK - there's a definite desire from UK consumers to know the provenance of their food and proven desire to ensure a good lifestyle for all animals."

For the first time this year, the winning large fashion company category was voted for unanimously by the judges.

"From a standing start at the beginning of 2009, George at ASDA has worked hard to improve their animal welfare and traceability of products by working closely with their suppliers to ensure a collaborative effort," said Wayne Hemmingway, fashion category judge.

"George at ASDA's activities in this field has made it an innovator within the Wal-Mart group, which may lead to global policy change. Neon Collective with its high fashion range shows that ethical fashion does not mean style has to be compromised."

Gerard Duvé, cosmetics category judge, said "It has been a real honour to be involved with these awards this year - the entries were outstanding and all entrants showed real commitment to campaign for animal welfare. The Body Shop is the perfect example of a small company growing into a large multi-national whilst sticking with its principles whilst The Gamrie Goat offers a great product which is made by hand. We are particularly delighted that due to EU legislation we can be sure that animal testing will no longer take place in the cosmetics industry."

"The food categories' entrants were inspirational to us," said Richard Johnson, food category judge. "It showed us how integral animal welfare is to many large and small restaurants and pubs across the whole of the UK. The introduction of the pub category this year showed that providing ethically sourced food is not just the preserve of expensive restaurants and placing animal welfare at the core of the business is popular with customers."

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