Last week, I was at Somerset House, where the finals of Woolmark's menswear design competition took place as part of Men's Fashion Week. I had a bloodied "lamb" in tow to show people what's wrong with wearing wool. Everything about the production of wool is objectionable, especially the shearing process which often leaves sheep battered and bloodied...
Many feminist blogs have neither money nor a room of their own - run by volunteers working remotely in their free time. What Feminist Times set out to do was something radically different - not just a blog, but an online magazine which maintained regular, high-quality output by paying staff and contributors alike; an ad-free haven from commercial women's magazines...
Responsibility is a mandatory for business - and it's about being mindful. Mindful of others feelings, experiences, ambitions and hopes. Mindful to avoid upsetting them. Mindful to make them happy. Mindful of the things that are important to them. Anyway, I was thinking about my own sense of responsibility (and hopefully integrity) in the context of my business interests and thought I'd explore some of the thinking behind the things I get up to and why I do them.
There must be many more people who have suffered mental ill health as I have, and yet still work and succeed. I want to take this opportunity to encourage business owners and employees to speak up and share your experiences, as the more of us there are having the conversation, the louder it will be.
I can see the issue from both points of view, and the debate seems to have polarised with the solution probably being somewhere in the middle. I certainly don't think that zero-hours contracts should be banned outright. However, at my company, The Clean Space, nobody is on a zero-hour contract, despite them being extremely common in the cleaning industry as this list of vacancies shows.
All of my efforts over the past forty years have been concerned essentially with one central principle - the well-being of the individual. Not the isolated individual. My emphasis has constantly been on the individual within community. People do not thrive without the support of a community so, in my view, if the hope is that people prosper, find happiness and feel that all important sense of satisfaction and belonging, then we have to maintain the fabric of community and not let it become threadbare.
The issue of trust is something I feel strongly about. As a businessman and the owner of an ethical company, The Clean Space, I hear a lot of talk about building trust in terms of ethical credentials.
This was meant to be a blog about Waitrose's relationship with fossil fuel giant Shell (Waitrose had been considering plans to open up shops in Shell petrol stations across the country), calling on Waitrose to end their partnership with the mass polluter. But Waitrose must be mind-readers because on Wednesday they did just that.
'Welcome', our gracious host said as I arrived at the 11th Annual Responsible Business Summit in London earlier this month, 'would you like a Coke? They are sponsoring the conference'.