Sometimes it sucks to be me (see also: Saturday night alone-half way through a pint of soy ice cream). But sometimes being me is incredible (see also: last night). Yes friends, your very own beloved Parrish, spent last evening celebrating 21 Years of The Body Shop Community Trade Program while downing delicious pear-ginger cocktails and hob-knobbing with Minnie Driver.
First off, let me say that before this event I wasn’t a fan or foe of The Body Shop. Quite honestly, it was only about a year ago (with my ex-gf’s relentless persistence) that I started washing my face with anything more than a plain old bar of soap. Today, I am gushing…practically falling on the floor with excitement over The Body Shop’s incredible line of products and even more incredible commitment to establishing global fair trade. These guys are the real deal!!
Not only can The Body Shop be proud to celebrate 21 years of paying their suppliers fair wages, but also for taking it a step further by helping to set up schools, health care and various other public programs in the indigent communities that support them. Graham Clewer, Head of Ethical Trade for The Body Shop told me, “It’s all about letting these people make choices in life. We’re gonna pay them what their due, but we’re also gonna help them develop in their community as well. It’s little small things about how you can do business differently. Anita Roddick (the late founder) used to call it, ‘doing business as unusual’ and 21 years later we’re still doing it, it’s bigger than ever, and it’s just the most fabulous thing to be involved with.”
Later in the evening we were treated to a short program with speakers like Cecilia Appianim (a Chanaian Community Trade supplier), a guest speaker from the UN, and last but not least, actress and Oxfam representative, Minnie Driver.
It’s important to note that I have a thing for British chicks, and even more of a thing for famous British chicks, and even more of a thing for famous British chicks that want to save the world. Well, Minnie is all three. Before I left the party, I had the opportunity to sit down with the star for a little one on one. What Minnie doesn’t know (well she does now…hi Minnie) is that this was my very first celebrity interview EVER and I was a total nervous wreck. Whether she could tell or not, Minnie was warm, gracious and intelligent and made me feel uber comfortable.
Click more below to continue reading the interview
Regarding her long relationship with Oxfam she said, “I just love them. I know this charity. I know they are consciences people who are intent on getting rid of poverty. And the people that I’ve met and worked with over the years are just exceptional human beings and they really do affect change.”
I asked her what in the world made her so darn charitable and she said, “ I like really seeing what you can do on a local level, which is why programs like the Body Shop Community Trade are so important. For me it isn’t just about being a celebrity-it’s about how do you directly affect change? How do you actually go and get your hands dirty? It doesn’t matter how small, if one person benefits then it was well worth it.”
Minnie is quite “green” and admitted, “I’ve off-set my car, because I was stuck in a lease I couldn’t get out of, so I’ve offset it by buying trees…which anyone can do.” She then recommended we all go to Global Green and buy trees that can offset “well just about everything.” With that, her “people” ushered us out and we made small talk in the elevator as my great evening came to a close.
As Ecorazzi readers, I know that you all care about the future of our world and the development of our society. And hopefully, apart from my occasional misspellings and lackluster understanding of English grammar, you believe me enough when I tell you to walk, run or bike to The Body Shop and buy your skin products from a company that you can really feel proud to support. To learn more about everything The Body Shop does, check out their website. Also, because Minnie was a gem I want to promote her new album, Seastories, which I will be buying right after this post.
My personal thanks to The Body Shop, Minnie Driver, and David Abrams from Cohn and Wolfe for making this whole evening possible. YOU GUYS FRIGIN ROCK!!!!