World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

The Body Shop

The Body Shop International PLC
Industry Cosmetics
Founded 26 March 1976
Founder Dame Anita Roddick
Headquarters Littlehampton, England, United Kingdom
Number of locations
2,605 (2010)[1]
Key people
Anita Roddick
Parent L'Oréal
Body Shop in Majorstuen, Oslo
The Body Shop in the Prudential Center in Boston
The Body Shop in Hillcrest Mall

The Body Shop International PLC, known as The Body Shop, has a range consisting of 1,200 products, including cosmetics and make-up in its 2,500 franchised stores in 61[2] countries. The company, which has its international headquarters in Littlehampton, West Sussex, England, was founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick and is now part owned by L'Oréal.


  • History 1
  • Social activism 2
    • Policy on animal testing 2.1
    • Community Fair Trade (formerly Trade not Aid) 2.2
    • Products 2.3
    • Marketing 2.4
    • The Body Shop Foundation 2.5
  • Controversy 3
  • References 4


In 1970, Anita Roddick (then Anita Perilli) visited "The Body Shop" housed in a car repairs and garage in Berkeley, California selling naturally-scented soaps and lotions. The shop run by Peggy Short and Jane Saunders used natural ingredients, and helped to employ and train immigrant women. Six years later, in 1976, Roddick opened a similar shop in the UK, using the same business name, colour scheme, and cosmetic lines. In 1987, Roddick offered Short and Saunders USD 3.5 million to change their shop's name to Body Time. By 1992 the rename was completed.[3][4][5] From its first launch in the UK in 1976, The Body Shop experienced rapid growth, expanding at a rate of 50 percent annually.

Year of opening Country[6]
1976 UK
1978 Belgium
1979 Austria, Greece, Sweden
1980 Iceland, Canada
1981 Denmark, Ireland, Finland
1982 France, Netherlands
1983 Cyprus, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore, Australia
1984 Italy, Hong Kong, Malaysia
1985 Norway, Bahamas, Bahrain
1986 Portugal, Spain, Kuwait, Oman
1987 Malta, Antigua, Bermuda, Qatar, Saudi Arabia
1988 Gibraltar, United States, Taiwan
1989 Cayman Islands, New Zealand
1990 Indonesia, Japan
1991 Luxembourg
1993 Mexico, Brunei, Thailand, Macau
1996 Philippines
1997 Korea

The Body Shop stock was floated on London's Unlisted Securities Market in April 1984, opening at 95p. After it obtained a full listing on the London Stock Exchange, the stock was given the nickname "The shares that defy gravity," as its price increased by more than 500%.

But the opening of Roddick's first modest shop received early attention when the Brighton newspaper, The Evening Argus, carried an article about an undertaker with a nearby store who complained about the use of the name "The Body Shop."[7]

In March 2006, The Body Shop agreed to a £652.3 million takeover by L'Oréal. It was reported that Anita and Gordon Roddick, who set up The Body Shop 30 years previously, made £130 million from the sale.[8]

Following her death in 2007, Prime Minister Gordon Brown paid tribute to Dame Anita, calling her "one of the country's true pioneers" and an "inspiration" to businesswomen. He said: "She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. She will be remembered not only as a great campaigner but also as a great entrepreneur."[9][10]

The Body Shop turned increasingly toward social and environmental campaigns to promote its business in the late 1980s. In 1997, Roddick launched a global campaign to raise self-esteem in women and against the media stereotyping of women. It focused on unreasonably skinny models in the context of rising numbers in bulimia and anorexia.

There was a media controversy surrounding claims that L'Oréal continues to test on animals, which contradicts The Body Shop's core value of Against Animal Testing. L'Oréal states the company has not tested cosmetics on animals since 1989 (but still continues to test new ingredients on animals).[11] Animal testing on cosmestics ceased for the French-headquartered L'Oréal and all cosmetic companies in Europe as well as cosmetics imports when the European Union passed legislation banning all testing for personal care products.

Roddick addressed the controversy over selling The Body Shop to the world's largest cosmetics company in an interview with The Guardian,[12] 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 was able to have an input into decisions."

Social activism

The social activism dimension of the company first evidenced in 1986 when The Body Shop proposed an alliance with Greenpeace in the UK to save the whale. Roddick began launching other promotions tied to social causes, with much public and media interest. The Body Shop regularly featured posters on shop windows and sponsorship of local charity and community events. Over time, Roddick blossomed into a full-time critic of business in general and the cosmetic industry in particular, criticizing what she considered the environmental insensitivity of the industry and traditional views of beauty, and aimed to change standard corporate practices[13] Roddick said: "For me, campaigning and good business is also about putting forward solutions, not just opposing destructive practices or human rights abuses".[14]

The Body Shop instituted pioneering social audits in the mid-1990s, and continues to support its values[15][16] such as Community Trade,[17] 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 Community Trade activity in 1987 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.[18] Since then, The Body Shop has found many trade partners in over 20 different countries that often are overlooked by the local as well as the global society.

Criticisms have been made of the programme 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.

Policy on animal testing

The Body Shop web site explains that the organisation does not sell or use either finished products or ingredients that were tested on animals after 31 December 1990.[19] In October 2009, The Body Shop was awarded a 'Lifetime Achievement Award' by the RSPCA in Britain, in recognition of its uncompromised policy which ensures ingredients are not tested by its suppliers.

Community Fair 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.

Sometimes considered anti-capitalist or against globalization, The Body Shop philosophy is 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.According to The Body Shop, 65% of the company's products contained community traded ingredients by the end of 2008 and the company spent over $12 million on community trade ingredients in 2006.

In October 2009, The Body Shop invited employees, including a store manager from the UK to visit a supplier and see the benefits that the Community Trade programme has brought to a community in India.[20]

The Body Shop does not export its products to China, because cosmetics sold there have to be tested on animals, according to Roddick.[21] However, The Body Shop has always sourced many of its baskets and other non cosmetic supplies from China.

The Body Shop has undertaken periodic independent social audits of its activities.[22]

The Body Shop stand at New Zealand department store Farmers


The Body Shop carries a wide range of products for the body, face, hair and home. The Body Shop claims its products are "inspired by nature" and they feature ingredients such as marula oil and sesame seed oil sourced through the Community Fair Trade program.

In 2010, The Body Shop produced its first ECOCERT certified organic skincare line, Nutriganics. Following the launch of Nutriganics, The Body Shop reformulated their hair line to contain no colourants (Rainforest Hair Care), and produced a new line of deodorants that contain no aluminum salts, and use volcanic minerals as a substitute.

Products include:


The company was not directly competing against the traditional cosmetics companies, which marketed their products as fashion accessories designed to cover up flaws and make women look like fashion models who appear in lavish ads. Instead, The Body Shop offered a line of products that promised benefits other than appearance—healthier skin, for instance—rather than simply a better-looking complexion.

The Body Shop Foundation

The Roddicks founded The Body Shop Foundation in 1990, which 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.[23]

The Body Shop Foundation was formed to consolidate all the charitable donations made by the company. To date, The Body Shop Foundation has donated over £21 million sterling in grants. The Foundation regularly gives gift-in-kind support to various projects and organisations such as Children On The Edge (COTE).[24]

The Body Shop does not recognise Trade Union membership.[25]

Approximately 65% of the grants that the company funds come to nominations from the staff, consultants or franchisers attached to the company from all over the world.


The September 1994 investigative article "Shattered Image: Is The Body Shop Too Good to Be True?,[26] " written by Jon Entine and published in Business Ethics magazine, created an international controversy and led to dozens of stories in the international media, including articles on The New York Times' business section front page and on ABC World News Tonight. A flurry of news reports led to a temporary 50% drop in the market value of the stock of the company, which until that point had been considered a model "socially responsible" company.

Entine reported that Anita Roddick, founder of Body Shop International (BSI) in the UK, had stolen the name, store design, marketing concept and most product line ideas from The Body Shop[3][4][5] founded in 1970 in Berkeley, California by Peggy Short and Jane Saunders who started the French-style perfume store, where customers could do their own blending. Roddick subsequently fabricated her story of traveling around the world discovering exotic beauty ingredients. In 1989, Roddick purchased the U.S. and Israeli rights to The Body Shop name, and the Berkeley-based chain of five stores renamed itself Body Time.

He reported that Roddick's "natural" products contained extensive amounts of artificial colourings, scents and preservatives. Despite Roddick's unsubstantiated claims and inaccurate reports in popular articles and even some university case studies that Roddick's The Body Shop "gave most of its profits to charity", documents from Britain's Charity Commission showed that Roddick's company gave nothing to charity over its first 11 years and was penurious in its philanthropy thereafter. The Body Shop also faced millions of dollars in claims by disenchanted franchisees.

Entine referred to The Body Shop's marketing as "greenwashing," which was one of the first uses of that term. The article in Business Ethics (now defunct), which was cited with a National Press Club Award for Consumer Journalism in 1994, is still widely used in university business ethics classes and is generally credited with prompting companies claiming to be socially responsible to match their claims with operational practices and to increase transparency.

The "Shattered Image" article had originally been scheduled to be published as a 10,000 word feature in Vanity Fair earlier in 1994 but was dropped after legal threats by The Body Shop. The original article was eventually published in 2004 by The Nation Books in Killed: Great Journalism Too Hot to Print,[27] edited by David Wallis. Business Ethics, which had featured Roddick on its cover just the year before, subsequently agreed to print a much shorter version of the exposé.

In April 2013 it was revealed that The Body Shop was charging Irish consumers up to 50% more than their British counterparts.[28]


  1. ^ "L'Oréal 2010 financial statements, Management Report of the Board of Directors, Annual Financial Report and additional information". Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "About us | Our Company". The Body Shop. 29 October 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "History". 
  4. ^ a b "Body Flop: Anita Roddick proclaimed that business could be caring as well as capitalist, by Jon Entine, The Globe and Mail Report on Business Magazine". 31 May 2002. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Made In Berkeley: Berkeley's Body Time the Original Body Shop. Category: Features from". The Berkeley Daily Planet. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Dame Anita Roddick". Growing Business. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "L'Oreal buys Body Shop for £652m". The Independent (London). 17 March 2006. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "Dame Anita Roddick dies aged 64". BBC News. 10 September 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  10. ^ About The Body Shop Story from Encyclopedia of Leadership, Volume 4. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  11. ^ Booth, Robert (17 March 2006). "Activists call Body Shop boycott". The Guardian (London). 
  12. ^ The Guardian. Interview: Anita Roddick, Body Shop founder
  13. ^
  14. ^ "The Body Shop". The Body Shop. 25 February 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  15. ^ "The Body Shop: Our Values". Retrieved 30 April 2006. 
  16. ^ "The Body Shop: Values Report". Retrieved 30 April 2006. 
  17. ^ "The Body Shop: Values Report, Community Trade Principles" (PDF). Retrieved 30 April 2006. 
  18. ^ The Body Shop - Values & Campaigns - Our Values - Support Community Trade
  19. ^ "Against Animal Testing Policy" (PDF). Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  20. ^ "Nicola will be no stranger to fair trade (From This Is Cheshire)". 22 October 2009. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  21. ^ "BBC: The Magazine Monitor". BBC News. 16 December 2005. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  22. ^ The Body Shop Values Report
  23. ^ "The Body Shop Foundation". The Body Shop Foundation. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  24. ^ Children On The Edge
  25. ^ "What'S Wrong With The Body Shop?". 8 May 1997. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  26. ^ "The Body Shop: Jon Entine writes on sustainability, corporate responsibility, DNA, race, and Jewish identity". Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  27. ^ ISBN 1-56025-581-1
  28. ^ Kelleher, Lynne (2 April 2013). "Irish shoppers pay 33% more than London counterparts". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.