The Body Shop

The Body Shop

Infobox Company
company_name = The Body Shop International plc
company_type = Public limited company
foundation = 26th March, 1976
founder = Dame Anita Roddick
location_city = Brighton, England
location_country = United Kingdom
key_people =
industry = Cosmetics
products =
revenue =
operating_income =
net_income =
num_employees =
parent =
subsid =
homepage = []
intl = yes

The Body Shop International plc, known as The Body Shop, has over 2,000 stores in 54 countries. Following O Boticario, a Brazilian company, The Body Shop is the second largest cosmetic franchise in the world. The company, headquartered in Littlehampton, West Sussex, England, was founded by the late, Dame Anita Roddick and is known for its vegetable-based products ranging from Body Butter, Peppermint Foot Lotion, and Hemp. The Body Shop has emphasized its support for a wide range of issues around the globe. Its core values are: Against Animal Testing, "Support Community Trade, Activate Self Esteem, Defend Human Rights, and Protect Our Planet. [ Made with Pass!on] " In September 2007, Roddick died suddenly of a brain aneurysm.


In 1970, Anita Roddick and her husband, Gordon Roddick, visited the "San Francisco Bay Area", and encountered a store on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley selling shampoos, lotions and body creams. The store, founded by two local entrepreneurs and called "The Body Shop", publicized environmental concerns, and offered customers discounts for bringing in their own bottles instead of using new ones from the store. [cite web |url= |title=Made In Berkeley: Berkeley's Body Time the Original Body Shop |accessdate=2008-07-16 |work=The Berkeley Daily Planet |date=2004-02-03 ] [cite web |url= |title=Body Flop |accessdate=2008-07-16 |work=Report On Business Magazine |date=2002-5-31 ]

On 27 March 1976, the first The Body Shop opened at 22 Kensington Gardens, Brighton, [ The Body Shop ] ] .

There are many stories about the start of the company including how it opened next to an undertaker, who complained to the local council about the name of the store. The local bookmaker nearby took bets on how long it would be before The Body Shop closed. In response to this opposition, Roddick wrote a letter to the council stating that she was a housewife with children trying to make a living. The original logo and product labels were designed by an art student, Jeff Harris, who was paid £20.

The Body Shop has always had many controversies surrounding it, including several related to marketing campaigns the company has run such as the Ruby campaignFact|date=September 2007. The company created a doll in the likeness of Barbie but with a lifelike voluptuous figure and luxuriant red hair, that came with the tag line, "There are 3 billion women who don't look like supermodels and only 8 who do" [ [ Google Image Result for ] ] Mattel later sued the company for copyright infringement [John Riviello. [ Body Image. More than just dolls?] ] The company stopped the campaign but by that time the word had got out and Roddick had made her point. The company operated that way for most of its first 20 years. Roddick was the controversial figureheadFact|date=September 2007 that would always stir up some trouble somewhere in the worldFact|date=September 2007 because of something she said, including the time she spoke out against the Iraq war. The company and Roddick received harsh criticism. [ [ What's New in INES, No. 2/2003 ] ]

The Body Shop experienced rapid growth, expanding at a rate of 50 percent annually. Its stock was floated on London's Unlisted Securities Market in April 1984, opening at 95p. In January 1986, when it obtained a full listing on the London Stock Exchange, the stock was selling at 820p. By 1991 the company's market value stood at £350 million ($591 million).Fact|date=August 2007

There were other achievements as well including being instrumental in banning animal testing for cosmetic purposes in the UK.Fact|date=September 2007

In 1996 The Body Shop launched another shopping channel. 'The Body Shop at Home.' Over 2000 Consultants work within the at home Service in the United Kingdom. Customers can book a Consultant at no charge to visit their home and demonstrate a range of Body Shop products.

In March 2006, The Body Shop agreed to a £652.3 million takeover by L'Oréal. It was reported [ [ L'Oreal buys Body Shop for £652m - Business News, Business - ] ] that Anita and Gordon Roddick, who set up The Body Shop 30 years ago, would make £130 million from the sale.

There was a huge controversy surrounding claims that L'Oreal continues to test on animals, which contradicts The Body Shop's core value of Against Animal Testing. L'Oreal states the company has not tested on animals since 1989. There were many boycotts around the globe from customers and other retailers, especially in the United Kingdom where the company has its headquarters. Roddick had to go on the news and face harsh criticism from the public. She addressed it directly in an interview with The Guardian [The Guardian. [,,1938850,00.html Interview: Anita Roddick, Body Shop founder] ] , which reported that "she sees herself as a kind of "trojan horse" who by selling her business to a huge firm will be able to influence the decisions it makes. Suppliers who had formerly worked with the Body Shop will in future have contracts with L'Oréal, and working with the company 25 days a year Roddick will be able to have an input into decisions."

ocial activism

From early on, The Body Shop reflected the activism of its founder through billets posted on shop windows to sponsorship of local charity and community events. Roddick criticized what she considered the environmental insensitivity of the industry and traditional views of beauty, and aimed to change standard corporate practices [] Roddick said: "For me, campaigning and good business is also about putting forward solutions, not just opposing destructive practices or human rights abuses".

In 1986, The Body Shop formed an alliance with Greenpeace, campaigning to "Save the Whales", despite some concerns among franchisees that the head office was becoming too political. By 1990 Roddick had switched allegiances to Friends of the Earth, following disagreements with Greenpeace.

The Body Shop also promotes values such as Community Trade, reflecting its avowed practice of trading with communities in need and giving them a fair price for natural ingredients or handcrafts they purchase from these often marginalized countries. The first CT activity in 1986 was a footsie roller which was supplied by a small community in Southern India (today known as Teddy Exports) and still a key CT supplier [ [ The Body Shop - Values & Campaigns - Our Values - Support Community Trade] ] . Since then, The Body Shop has found many trade partners in over 24 different countries that often are overlooked by the local as well as the global society. Criticisms have been made of the programme, however, by fair trade activists. "The company’s prominently displayed claims to pay fairer prices to the Third World poor covered less than a fraction of 1 per cent of its turnover," wrote Paul Vallely, the former chair of Traidcraft, in the obituary of Anita Roddick published in The Independent on 12 September 2007.

The Body Shop Foundation

The Body Shop Foundation supports innovative global projects working in the areas of human and civil rights and environmental and animal protection. It is The Body Shop International Plc's charitable trust funded by annual donations from the company and through various fundraising initiatives. [ [ The Body Shop Foundation ] ]

The Body Shop Foundation was formed in 1990 to consolidate all the charitable donations made by the company. To date, The Body Shop Foundation has donated over £9.5 million sterling in grants. The Foundation regularly gives gift-in-kind support to various projects and organisations such as Children On The Edge (COTE). [ [ Children On The Edge ] ]

Policy on animal testing

Signage posted in Body Shop location reads, "Our products are not tested on animals, never have been and never will be." However, the Body Shop website expands this to acknowledge that "the fact is that almost all cosmetics ingredients have been animal tested by somebody at some time for someone. So no cosmetics company can claim that its ingredients have never been animal tested." [cite web |url= |title=The Body Shop and animal testing |accessdate=2008-09-05] The same page asserts that The Body Shop "also supports the development of alternatives to animal testing."

Community Trade (formerly Trade not Aid)

By 1991, The Body Shop's "Trade Not Aid" initiative with the objective of "creating trade to help people in the Third World utilise their resources to meet their own needs" had started a paper factory in Nepal employing 37 people producing bags, notebooks and scented drawer liners. Another initiative was a 33,000 square foot (3,000 square metre) soap factory in the depressed Glasgow suburb of Easterhouse, whose payroll included 100 residents, some previously chronically unemployed.

Sometimes considered anti-capitalist or against globalization, The Body Shop philosophy is in fact in favour of international marketplaces. The chain uses its influence and profits for programmes such as Trade Not Aid, aimed at enacting fair labour practices, safe working environments and pay equality.

The Body Shop has decided to not import their products to China, because cosmetics sold there have to be tested on animals, according to Roddick. they also used this event for publicity [ [ BBC: The Magazine Monitor] ]

The Body Shop has undertaken periodic independent social audits of its activities [ [ The Body Shop Values Report] ] .


The Body Shop carries a wide range of products for the body, face, hair and home. As of June 2007, The Body Shop became 100% vegetarian, although some products still include ingredients such as beeswax, preventing the company from becoming fully vegan.

65% of the company's products will contain community traded ingredients by the end of 2008 and the company spent over $12 million on Community Traded ingredients in 2006.

The company also pledge that by 2010, 80% of all it's products will be artificial preservative free, as the company are researching many ways to use natural preservative, using tea-tree oil for example, one of nature's natural anti-bacterials. [ [ The Body Shop Values Report] ]

As of 2008, the new slogan for The Body Shop will be "Nature's way to Beautiful".


External links

* [ Official Body Shop Global Web site]
* [ Official Body Shop UK Site]
* [ Official Body Shop US Site]
* [ Official Body Shop SINGAPORE Site]
* [ Official Body Shop HONG KONG Site]
* [ Official Body Shop CA Site]
* [ Official Body Shop Australia Site]
* [ Official Body Shop Japan Site]
* [ Official Body Shop Denmark Site]
* [ Official Body Shop Finland Site]
* [ Official Body Shop Korea Site]
* [ Official Body Shop Norway Site]
* [ Official Body Shop Switzerland Site]
* [ Official Body Shop Sweden Site]
* [ Official Body Shop Turkey Site]
* [ Official Body Shop International Web site]
* [ "Body Shop Scrutinized" from "Investing For A Better World", September 1994]
* [ Neoliberal Ecopolitics and Indigenous Peoples: The Kayapo, The “Rainforest Harvest,” and The Body Shop]

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