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DISPATCH: 30 Years And Proud Of So Much
Posted on May 15, 2006 by Anita Roddick

I love The Body Shop. I love the history, the 30 years of campaigning, the products and stories, in short the series of brilliant accidents that made it what it is. And most of all finding that place where so many other companies refused to follow. What has warmed my heart the most over the last 30 years? In no particular order, here we go....

1. Never lying – how rare that is in an industry that is mostly fashioned on untruths.

2. Introducing Industrial Hemp - we gave the most vilified plant in the world a kiss of life showing its extraordinary benefits for chronically dry skin. Industrial hemp is one of the most sustainable plants. How we made a laughing stock of Health Canada who thought applying hemp hand cream might make you high. One of God’s way of showing who can be truly stupid,,,,,!

3. Body Butters - we wanted to introduce into our product range some food ingredients, because food is the first cousin to cosmetics. Thank you, thank you, thank you whoever was running the USA at the time for not dumping our original three as no one seemed to buy them for a couple of years. We showed the customers the way. They followed.

4. The Blue Corn Community Project - we had a range including soap, lotion, water and of course face mask. I was proud of our first small step in working with Native American family farmers in America.

5. Dewberry Perfume - an idea I grabbed whilst visiting a perfume factory in New Jersey. It was just one of the many base aromatic chemicals that are mixed with dozens of others to make a perfume. This is the single note that I want and found the word Dewberry in a Shakespearean play (I think it was ‘As You Like It’).

6. Vitamin E - one of my first products is still in the top list 30 years later.

7. Banana Hair Conditioner - because it worked on dry frizzy hair, and it unblocked gearboxes and still 30 years later they can’t invent a machine that peels banana skins from bananas!

8. Sandalwood Shaving Cream - because Antonia Banderas says he buys no other and it reminds him of Malaga (good enough for me!)

9. Same Sex Partners Insurance Schemes For Our Employees – one of the first in the USA, as was benefits to part-time workers.

10. Opening The Body Shop In Castro Street – home to the most exciting gay community in the world. Then having the Sister’s of Perpetual Indulgence bless our shop at the opening ceremony dressed in sexy nun’s outfits, bad makeup and pink feather dusters to help clean our top shelves!

11. Ruby - oh Ruby where have you gone? Why didn’t the powers that be see that you were the one metaphor on self-esteem, self worth and self-knowledge? We were there first. And we gave it away. Shame on us!

12. Style and Image - our personality that came through the visual language of the posters. They were often controversial and the buzz factor of The Body Shop. They were our personality and they created our edge. They were our voice.

13. Children on the Edge – gathering some 20 employees, including my daughters, whose job it was to clean out a Romanian orphanage, redecorate and go home. It is now one of the most respected NGO’s in the education of traumatised kids through war or displacement or disaster.

14. Amnesty International - for me AI was and has always been our moral antennae. They gave us the informational that helped shape our moral and ethical behavior.

15. Make your Mark Campaign - in the defence of Human Rights defenders we collected over 12 million signatures worldwide. We opened the campaign at the Carter Centre in Atlanta City which was hosted by the worlds’ spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

16. Ban Animal Testing - changed the law on Animal Testing within the UK - no testing of cosmetics could be used on any living vertebrae, and still have the highest standard in the cosmetic industry.

17. Community Trade - our programme began in 1987 when we sourced wooden massage rollers from India.

18. The Big Issue - established the first street newspaper for the homeless in the UK. The Big Issue is now established in 10 other countries.

19. Refilling - the first International Skin and Hair care company to introduce a refill system in its shops.

20. Environment - the first skin and hair care company to introduce environmental management into every level of its operations.

21. Recycling - the first skin and hair care company to encourage customers to bring back their used packaging for recycling.

22. Environmental Statement - the first to publish an environmental Statement in line with the new European Audit regulation of 1992.

23. Energy - the first to build a windfarm in Wales to offset the energy used in our manufacturing.

24. Ecology - the first to use an ultra-filtration plant and to develop a wholly ecological treatment system to deal with its liquid effluents. And we want to thank Ben & Jerry’s for showing us the way.

25. The first to have an environment adviser in every shop in the UK.

26. Domestic Violence - changed the law on domestic violence in Canada and Malaysia.

27. Stop the Burn Campaign - calling for a halt to the burning of the Brazilian rainforests.

28. Spending time with the Kayapo Indians in the Xingu??? Seeing them harvest Brazil Nuts and setting up a community trade relationship with them.

29. Community Shops – opened in Harlem and Brixton (UK).

30. The Body Shop enshrines its values in its Articles of Association & Memorandum.

31. Ogoni Campaign – to support Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni people of Nigeria. The final release of some of the 20 Ogoni prisoners and then 5 years later being made an Ogoni Chieftain called ‘Wiper Away of Ogoni Tears.’

32. Soapworks – the establishment of Soapworks, a soap factory in the then worst housing area in Western Europe – and 25% of the profits were returned to the local community.

33. The Body Shop Human Rights Award – being established in 2000.

34. Missing Persons – linking up with the Missing Persons Helpline and using our lorries as mobile billboards for missing people.

35. The Body Shop at Home – the creation of thousands of self-employed women (and some fellas!) who became the guardians at the gate-post for who we are.

36. The Body Shop Foundation – going where other foundations rarely went – in the field of social and environmental justice.

37. Creation of The Body Shop Children Development Centre attached to the workplace. A first in the UK? 50 kids under the age of 5 started life as eco-warriors.

Topic : About Anita
Posted By : Anita Roddick
Posted On : May 15, 2006



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9 results found

Re : 30 Years And Proud Of So Much
By Kate on August 17, 2006

I'm an At Home Consultant in the U.S. and I love this company and all that it stands for. I'm so proud of my employer, so proud of our social responsibility, and so proud to associate myself with The Body Shop and At Home. I attended the companies National Conference and Anita spoke from a place that inspired all of us out there to do more, to really push our products that benefit Stop the Violence, and to really live out "Profits with Principles." Hooray for The Body Shop!

Re : 30 Years And Proud Of So Much
By Steve H on June 19, 2006

It is amazing that in your lifetime you have achieved so much. I'm also so disappointed that you have messed one of the most important things to you up, and in the process upset someone so important to me.

My wife has been seeking a life beyond the office job that she hasn't enjoyed for a long time. We have spent much time and money to help find a new path...

Finally this weekend, she asked me if I'd be happy if she gave up her office work, and would get a job at Body Shop instead. Her values and Body Shops' seemed so in alignment.
She spent the entire weekend reading your book (she finished it Sunday after getting it on Friday night). She gained inspiration, and she looked so happy... The first time I'd seen this for a long time.

Then tonight, when researching more, she learnt about the sale of TBS to L'Oreal, a cosmetic company similar to the ones that you dismiss as greedy and without morals in your book. (We haven't been under a rock, we live in Canada, TBS is not front page news here!)

I know the world cannot be a Utopia, but when one person chooses a catch phrase of Be Brave and Be Different, yet you have allowed TBS to be owned by a company that tests on Animals.
Hardly brave, hardly different.

I apologise for the angry tone, and I acknowledge that I'm mainly upset of the timing of this in our lives of which you have no control.

This ironic door has now closed and I'm confident my wife and I will walk through another one together...

To coin a phrase my wife used this evening, "The world sucks..."

Re : 30 Years And Proud Of So Much
By Beth Bates on June 12, 2006

I love what Anita is all about....her books have opened my eyes and changed my life. The Nestle question is unsettling, I have asked her to answer on her website too, I don't think we are going to get an answer. Perhaps legally she can't, although I don't think that is stopping her. I am hoping that when the decision was made to sell TBS she did choose the best fit(the best of all the evils), and if that is the case then all of us Anita fans need to honor her decision or stop buying TBS. The sale may have been a sell out - but I am not going to give up on TBS and Anita after all the good they have done for the world. We all make mistakes, some are bigger than others. Forgive! Let it go people...move on. She is not going to answer, look for her comments elsewhere. Anita has answered the Nestle question...just not on her website. Check out Corp Watch.
The sale has been mind boggling for me yet I will continue to use and love the Body Shop products and Anita. I don't care for Nestle nor do I buy their products but I will continue to support TBS unless it changes it's values.

Re : 30 Years And Proud Of So Much
By barry Farrimond on May 30, 2006

the sale to L'Oreal / Nestle is such an awfull thing. For a company such as yours to have come so far only to sell out under the highly naieve premiss that you will be able to change these companies from within is very very sad. Nestle / L'Oreal have just purchased morality to wave at their critics.

Re : 30 Years And Proud Of So Much
By Rashmi on May 24, 2006

Hi Anita,
I am an Indian student doing my MBA in UK. I love the concept of using natural products for skin care. I think you did a fasinating job on this. However I do not like the company taken over by Loreal now. Think its quite a pity that such a commercial giant should take over and ruin everything created so far. Infact, I am so inspired by your company and concept, that I have done 3 assignments/projects on Bodyshop and 1 on you as an entrepreneur. Lastly would want to thank you for leaving a permanent impact on the cosmetics industry. Hopefully it will work as an eye-opener! -Rashmi Bajaj

Re : 30 Years And Proud Of So Much
By ellen on May 24, 2006

Dear Anita,
I just started my own business about 1 1/2 years ago, also in retail lifestyle segment. I am working as the buyer and for us every decision made from which supplier we are buying from is very important. In fact, the customers power to influence the world is so powerful and simple: Just bu the way they are shopping ! But as many consumers are not aware of the origin of the goods in terms of labour costs and environmental issues, we just want to make the choices easier for them, and already from the start make a good selection in our store. Anyways, as I just started my rocky road of trying to get my business to grow and be successfull I am more that happy to share any advise from such an experienced and soulful person as you always setting the moral values first ! Thank you for being such an tremedous source of inspiration !
All my best

Re : 30 Years And Proud Of So Much
By Corinne Lavis on May 21, 2006

Hi Anita,am french ,living in Paris...i use to go to the Body shop in the mall where i work(i work in Parashop a parapharmacy).Yes you can be proud of all what you did,you do...i just saw a television report about you...it was very interesting & great to learn more about you,your life....you are someone so good & i'm sure that you will stay always at the side of the Angels...bcse your heart is so pure...I love the Body shop & all the products there but i love more your mind...If more people could have your behaviour,your mentality all would be better on this earth...I wish you the best for you & all those who are close to you.Sincerely.Corinne

Re : 30 Years And Proud Of So Much
By Mike Brady on May 17, 2006

An impressive list of important achievements. Significant, though, that selling to Nestle/L'Oreal, believing this will change their values from within, does not figure as the crowning proud event to 30 years of hard work. We now look forward to 30 years of the Body Shop as part of the 'greenwashing' from Nestle, the 'world's least responsible' company. Dame Anita, you ask people to put the good work the Body Shop has done above putting money in the coffers of a company that contributes to the unnecessary death and suffering of infants, abuses human rights, targets trade unionists, impoverishes farmers, harms the environment and links itself with good causes to divert criticism so it can carry on putting its own profits first. Many people see the interconnectedness of their decisions and you have put them in an awful situation in asking them to try to weigh the good done by Body Shop against the harm caused by Nestlé. 'Ethical' consumerism is often about least worst options and shades of grey, but this sale shifts Body Shop significantly to the black end of the continuum.

Re : 30 Years And Proud Of So Much
By Grace on May 16, 2006

Hello Anita and Staff,
What a rewarding experience to have you, your staff, and your products in our lives. Be very proud of yourselves. You have accomplished many unselfish things. Truth is an awesome thing to have. Many people cannot do it. Living life as you should and not care what other think is so awesome. I do the same thing. You all Rock!


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