By and  on April 23, 2008

ROYAL REWARDS: Queen Elizabeth II gave her seal of approval to several British fashion businesses on Monday, as part of her annual enterprise awards. Winners included the Pentland Group plc, the parent of Speedo and Ellesse, in the international trade category. There were also smaller companies: I & G Cohen Ltd., a clothing recycling company, and Keela International, producers of a waterproof clothing system. This was the 43rd year of the awards, which grants companies the right to use the Queen's Award Emblem on packaging and marketing material for five years. Winners also receive commemorative engraved crystal bowls and are invited to a summer reception at Buckingham Palace.

DOWN TO EARTH: In honor of Earth Day, LOHAS, or Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, was host of a forum-luncheon at Blue Hill in Manhattan's Greenwich Village Tuesday, where panel members challenged the media to penetrate "green talk" and communicate authentic eco-friendly ideas. Participating were Eli Halliwell, creator of Jurlique skin care products; Wolf Ludge, chief executive officer of Hess Natur, an organic German clothing company launching in the U.S. this summer; Summer Rayne Oakes, model and green activist, and Planet Green president Eileen O'Neill. Oakes called on the media "to educate the consumer, not just list the top five green trends. I don't believe style will change the world, but it's an incredible tool to communicate this message. [Fashion] is an industry that can make a difference." The panelists urged that articles get beyond the superficial levels of green marketing and basics like organic cotton to look at the chemicals used along the production processes, to how the farmers are treated and how far clothes must travel to retail.

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