News from The Body Shop

November 14, 2008 |

Many of us remember the Body Shop. It brought natural cosmetics to the mass market, was a pioneer in refusing to sell products tested on animals, and advocated for Trade Not Aid, long before it became a buzzword. I loved to walk into my local shop just to smell the delicious scents. But truly it was Body Shop founder, British-born Anita Roddick, whom I admired the most. Sadly - a bit behind the curve on this one - I learned only recently that she passed away last September.
Dame Anita Roddick was knighted by the queen for her social justice work, and was among the two dozen founders of Business for Social Responsibility, along with Ben and Jerry, in 1976, that set out to revolutionize how business in America operates. They walked their talk, introducing family leave, fair wage and health equality practices in their own businesses. It’s hard to imagine what radical notions these were at the time. There’s still a ways to go, but the idea of corporate responsibility - profits with principles - is embedded in business ethics. And they were surely forerunners of the millions who have created the civil liberty, social justice and the environmental organizations that Paul Hawkins features on his website,, and in his book, Blessed Unrest, How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being, and Why No One Saw It Coming.

Anita Roddick referred to her success as a ’set of brilliant accidents’. In her book, Body and Soul: Profits and Principles, The Amazing Success Story of Anita Roddick and the Body Shop, the first of seven books on her business philosophy, she famously wrote, “I hate the beauty business. It is a monster industry selling unattainable dreams. It lies. It cheats. It exploits women.” So she offered two-for-one sales: Buy a bottle of natural lotion and get social justice for free.”

Meanwhile the Body Shop continues to serve those of us who grew up along with her, with a portion of the proceeds supporting The Body Shop Foundation. The Wise Woman™ range is their newest line for mature skin with a luxurious regenerating complex of red clover, wild yam, starflower oil, and Community Trade organically grown soy oil. It’s a rich hydrating skin care regime for skin that becomes finer and drier with age, stimulating cell renewal and supporting collagen levels for elasticity.

I Am an Activist website also continues her work in the areas of poverty, trade justice, human rights, health equality and peace, among others. Among her enduring quotes, and there are many: ”If you think you are too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito”. She was a mosquito with quite a bite.

« « Previous: Journey Out of Depression| Next: Test Drive Your Dream Job » »


1 Comment so far

  1. dcp511 on December 12, 2008 6:41 am

    Excellent blog, very imformative and to the point, keep up the good work.

Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind