Amelia’s Magazine | The 2012 Inaugural Lush Prize Awards Dinner: £250,000 towards the end of Animal Testing

Anti Animal Testing By James McCourt
Anti Animal Testing by James McCourt.

On Thursday 15th November Lush held their inaugural Lush Prize at a warehouse venue in the heart of Shoreditch, and I was there. During the afternoon Mothers Meeting invited us to a tea party for kids, complete with luscious cakes by Lily Vanilli for the mummies and plates of healthy snack food for the kiddies.

lush prize lily vanilli November
Snarfle Lush prize mothers meeting party November 2012
Snarfle Lush prize mothers meeting party November 2012
The older ones were invited to make brilliant animal masks with Margot Bowman in celebration of the Lush #animalperson campaign, whilst our wee ones babbled at each other and noshed on each other’s heads.

Lush Prize awards November 2012-
Then it was home to put Snarfle to bed before heading out once more for the prize giving dinner, a delicious vegan affair catered for by Tom’s Feast, and made entirely out of food that would otherwise go to waste.

Tom's Feast Lush Prize November 2012-
Tom's Feast Lush Prize November 2012-
Tom's Feast Lush Prize November 2012-
I particularly enjoyed a bright green foraged salad, complete with pineapple weed… aka wild chamomile. Take a look at Tom’s blog if you really want to make your mouth water.

Rowena Bird, Kelly Lush Prize November
By a stroke of luck I happened to sit next to the gorgeous Rowena Bird, co-founder of Lush, who we interviewed many a moon ago for the print version of Amelia’s Magazine. We talked about her new make up range for Lush, Emotional Brilliance, which is based on colour psychology: spin the wheel and find out what colours jump out at you. I also met an inspiring lady with an intriguing project, Lucy Gilliam and the New Dawn Traders. Her mission? To get tall ships back on the seas to transport large cargos in carbon free style. What an amazing idea and one I’d never thought about – apparently the technology is there and now it’s all about the will (as ever with these things). Also at my table was the film maker responsible for the viral ad campaign designed to promote the Lush Prize, Josef Valentino. Watch it here.

YouTube Preview Image
The space was conceived as a high tech homage to forward thinking science by Something & Son and Inition, and each table featured an iPad with which to view specially designed cards placed on our plates – through these we experienced augmented reality, as the chaotic graphic patterns took shape to make hearts, feet and lungs. Using fingers we were able to dismantle these, as if performing our very own human vivisections.

Inition augmented reality lush prize November 2012
The Lush Prize is a dauntingly ambitious project designed to highlight the ongoing use of animals in cosmetics testing, with a total prize fund of £250,000. It aims to promote and support all the exciting new developments which will hopefully rid our world of this outdated mode of experimentation. As Lush says ‘In a parallel universe not very far away, some of the world’s leading scientists and engineers are working towards a future where computers and molecular biology have replaced animals in laboratory tests.We reported on the new REACH act (which makes extensive animal testing mandatory by law) way back in 2009 but sadly this is a battle which still needs to be fought: thank god Lush have stepped back in to bring the spotlight back on animal testing.

Animals Against Testing by Annie Rickard Straus
Animals Against Testing by Annie Rickard Straus.

Perhaps even more worrying are the Chinese regulations which require researchers to retest every single product that arrives from the West. I was really disgusted to learn that several well known brands have removed their Against Animal Testing logos since entering the Chinese market. All for the sake of profit. Naturally Lush is boycotting China at present.

Lush Prize boxing hare
“Ask experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: ‘because they are like us.’ Ask experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: ‘because the animals are not like us.’ Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction.” Charles R. Nagel.

But back to the Lush Prize – the winners had travelled from all over the world to receive one half of a boxing bronze hare (created by ceramist Nichola Theakston) and a large amount of cash, designed to aid them in their work putting an end to unnecessary animal testing. Prizes were awarded for Science, Training, Lobbying, Public Awareness and to post doctoral students. The recipients included Hiromi Kamekura from the Japan Anti-Vivisecton Association, which has been doggedly raising awareness of animal testing by cosmetics giant Shiseido. Winners also came from India, Italy, the USA, Canada and Russia, for this is a truly global fight. It’s brilliant that Mark and Mo Constantine of Lush are so passionate about the things they care about, regularly stumping up cash to help others create the better world they strive and wish for. If only wish more companies were as bold and principled in their decisions.

For a far more detailed analysis of the science behind the awards visit Lucy’s in depth blog here. A full list of the prize winners can be found here. It’s well worth revisiting our analysis of REACH too. I’m not a great one for endorsing petitions as I am not convinced they work, but there are quite a few out there against animal testing: you could lend your signature to this one. And finally, check out the Fighting Animal Testing website.

Categories ,#animalperson, ,Animal Testing, ,Annie Rickard Straus, ,Augmented Reality, ,Boxing Hare, ,Charles R. Nagel, ,China, ,Emotional Brilliance, ,Fighting Animal Testing, ,Foraged, ,Hiromi Kamekura, ,Inition, ,ipad, ,James McCourt, ,Japan Anti-Vivisecton Association, ,Lily Vanilli, ,Lobbying, ,Lucy and the New Dawn Traders, ,Lucy Gilliam, ,lush, ,Lush Prize, ,Margot Bowman, ,Mark Constantine, ,Mo Constantine, ,Mothers Meeting, ,Nichola Theakston, ,Pineapple weed, ,Post Doctoral Students, ,Public Awareness, ,R.E.A.C.H., ,reach, ,Rowena Bird, ,science, ,Shiseido, ,shoreditch, ,Snarfle, ,Something & Son, ,Tom’s Feast, ,training, ,vegan, ,Vivisection, ,Waste Food, ,£250000

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Amelia’s Magazine | Think Act Vote presents The Future We Choose Pop Up Radical Think Tank and Book Launch Party

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch stack of books

On the 25th of July I had the pleasure of attending – unfortunately only a part of – the launch event organised by Think Act Vote (?!X) at The Arch Gallery for their new book titled The Future We Choose. This book project was initiated by Think Act Vote (?!X) in order to create a new conversation around democracy and how we create the future we choose. Revolving around ‘The Futures Interview’, The Future We Choose brings together over 200 forward thinking voices from the general public mixed in with those more well known, from fashion designers to historians, campaigners to presenters, all of whom share their vision of the world they want to live in with their ideas of how to create it.

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch Amy at the book stand

Think Act Vote (?!X) is run by a powerhouse of volunteers, interns (such as Amy Haworth Johns pictured above) and a vibrant community of collaborators and supporters. The Future We Choose has been brought to life through the work of all those contributors, while the design of the book was devised also collaboratively by a team made up of Joana Casaca Lemos, Ella Britton, Matthieu Becker and Amisha Ghadiali.

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch Amelia Gregory Quote

In the book one can find hugely inspiring quotes by the numerous contributors who completed ‘The Futures Interview’, categorised into Thinks, Acts and Votes. Here is one by Amelia’s Magazine editor Amelia Gregory.

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch illustrations spread 1

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch illustrations spread 2

Since early 2010, when Think Act Vote (?!X) started compiling responses from ‘The Futures Interview’ participants, it invited 50 different artists to bring words from the interviews to life and selected 52 final illustrations. A large number of these images have been created by illustrators who regularly contribute to Amelia’s Magazine too! Some of them are Abby Wright, Abi Daker, Ailish Sullivan, Antonia Makes, Alison Day, Amber Cassidy, Bryone Crane, Claire Kearns, Celine Elliott, Erica Sharp, Faye West, Gemma Sheldrake, Gilly Rochester, Harriet Gray, Jo Cheung, June Chanpoomidole, Jenny Robins, Katie Harnett, Laura Frame, Yelena Bryksenkova, Luke Waller, Michelle Urvall Nyrén, Nanae Kawahara, Natalia Nazimek, Natalie Hughes, Sam Parr, Vicky Ink aka Vicky Fallon and Slowly The Eggs aka moi… A lot of the illustrations appear in the book, as seen above, but Think Act Vote (?!X) is also sharing them online, one every week of 2012, this way gradually creating an illustrated Futures Calendar! You can also see all the illustrations together in this online gallery.

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch spread from book

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch bit from Futures Interview

You can take part in ‘The Futures Interview’ here.

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch Peter Gregson

The Future We Choose book launch at The Arch Gallery was split into an afternoon pop up radical think tank, featuring a selection of contributors including Lucie Barat, Ed Gillespie, Annegret Affolderback, Emily Wilkie, Melissa Sterry, Chris Arnold and Olivia Sprinkel each speaking for five minutes on an idea they shared in the book. When I arrived Peter Gregson, pictured above, was giving a talk on ‘Defending Your Tastes’.

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch Paul Hilder

Paul Hilder on ‘Making Things Right’.

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch Amisha Ghadiali

Amisha Ghadiali on her Rules to Dress By.

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch Alan Wolfson

Performance Poetry by Alan Wolfson.

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch Michael Norton

Michael Norton on 365 Ways To Change The World. This hugely inspiring man also talked about another splendid book he has written titled Click 2 Change, in which you can find ways to change the world from the comfort of your seat.

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch Jessi Baker

Jessi Baker on ‘Data and Visualisation’.

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch Christina Rebel

Christina Rebel on ‘Empathy’.

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch Spencer Maybe Pearce

Music from Spencer Maybe Pearce.

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch happy audience

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch Zoe and Amisha in the audience

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch Interviews workshop 1

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch Interviews workshop 2

The talks were followed by a ‘A Futures Interviews Workshop’, during which we sat in groups to talk about Thinks, Acts and Votes.

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch Zoe Robinson

The lovely Zoe Robinson of Think Style and The Good Wardrobe among the attendees.

Think Act Vote The Future We Choose Book Launch Amisha signing a book

From 6.30pm there was a party featuring a collective book reading, words from Sam Roddick and live music from cellist Peter Gregson, folk noir band Delirium Tremens and electro pop songstress Sharliza Jelita.

The book is now on sale through Think Act Vote’s etsy store, where you can purchase the limited edition that has been printed in the UK on recycled paper. You can request to have your copy signed and personalised too. The Hardback and e-book editions will be available in Autumn. If you would like to request an e-version review copy, please e-mail

You can also read Part One and part Two of an interview Sally Mumby-Croft did a while ago for Amelia’s Magazine with Think Act Vote’s founder Amisha Ghadiali.

All photography by Maria Papadimitriou

Categories ,Abby Wright, ,Abi Daker, ,ACOFI, ,Ailish Sullivan, ,Alan Wolfson, ,Alison Day, ,Amber Cassidy, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Amisha Ghadiali, ,Annegret Affolderback, ,Antonia Makes, ,book launch, ,Bryone Crane, ,Celine Elliott, ,Chris Arnold, ,Christina Rebel, ,Claire Kearns, ,Delirium Tremens, ,Ed Gillespie, ,Ella Britton, ,Emily Wilkie, ,Erica Sharp, ,Faye West, ,Futures Interview, ,Gemma Sheldrake, ,Gilly Rochester, ,Harriet Gray, ,illustration, ,Jenny Robins, ,Jessi Baker, ,Jo Cheung, ,Joana Casaca Lemos, ,Jonathan Bartley, ,June Chanpoomidole, ,Katie Harnett, ,Laura Frame, ,Lucie Barat, ,Lucy Gilliam, ,Luke Waller, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Matthieu Becker, ,Melissa Sterry, ,Michael Norton, ,Michelle Urvall Nyrén, ,Nanae Kawahara, ,Natalia Nazimek, ,Olivia Sprinkel, ,Patrick Hussy, ,Paul Hilder, ,Peter Gregson, ,Sally Mumby-Croft, ,Sam Parr, ,Sam Roddick, ,Sharliza Jelita, ,Slowly the Eggs, ,Spencer Maybe Pearce, ,The Arch Gallery, ,The Future We Choose, ,Think Act Vote, ,Vicky Fallon, ,Vicky Ink, ,Yelena Bryksenkova, ,Zoë Robinson

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