With over 2,500 stores in over 60 markets worldwide, The Body Shop is a natural and ethical beauty brand with a strong position in the beauty industry. The company was founded in 1976 by Dame Anita Roddick who gained the image of a tireless social activist.
Photo source: daisylocks.blogspot.ro
Since 2006 The Body Shop was acquired by the beauty care giant L’Oréal. Before being sold to L’Oréal, The Body Shop already was regarded by many people as one of the pioneers of modern corporate social responsibility (CSR).
How it started
Anita Roddick came up to the idea of opening a cosmetic shop in UK after she visited a shop in Berkely, California. The shop was called The Body Shop and was selling scented soaps and lotions based on natural ingredients. Moreover, the company helped employ and train immigrant women. Indeed, Anita just copied a business model created by an innovative couple, but she succeed to go further with her own business. In 1987 she even purchased the naming rights from the original Body Shop.
Corporate social responsibility
Since its inception, The Body Shop relied on viral marketing strategy that involves the consumers and makes them spread the word. Having constantly initiating various CSR actions, the company manages to build strong communities that buy its products and support the company’s actions in the same time.
The Body Shop has been involved in campaigns opposing animal testing practices, in human rights and environmental campaigns and has supported the development of community trade.
In March this year, The Body Shop celebrated the end of 20 years of campaigning against testing cosmetics on animals as the European Union decided to ban this cruel practice.
For the moment the company runs another campaign which aims to reach one million signatures from people around the world to convince governments and regulators to ban animal testing in cosmetics industry.
Here is the video of the campaign:
In 1994 business ethics expert Jon Entine unleashed an international wave of criticism regarding The Body Shop’s ethics. Jon Entine accused Anita Roddick for stealing the name, marketing concept and most product line ideas from a different cosmetic chain that had the same name. He also reported that the company’s products were not at all natural as it claimed and that according to the Charity Commission for England and Wales’s records, The Body Shop made no donation to charities during its first 11 years of existence.
The company faced another wave of criticism in 2006 when it announced that it becomes part of L’Oréal. The Body Shop risked losing its credibility as a vocal supporter against animal testing, since L’Oréal was one of the most criticized group for testing its cosmetics on animals. The company defended by saying that it will keep its principles intact.
Dame Anita Roddick (23 October 1942 – 10 September 2007)
Anita Roddick was recognized as human rights activist and environmental campaigner. During her life, Anita received numerous awards. In 2003, Queen Elizabeth II appointed her Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Before her death, Anita Roddick decided to give her entire fortune to charity. She left nothing to her two daughters. She said that the act of leaving money to the family is “obscene” and that money means nothing to her.
Photo source: greatthoughtstreasury.com
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