The company The Body Shop was founded by Anita Roddick in the year 1976. It was started as a small store in Brighton, South England, and Anita Roddick was the only owner and employee of the store. However, the products were appreciated by people for their unique qualities. Soon, Anita’s husband Gordon Roddick introduced the idea of franchising the company to establish a global presence…
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The company, from the very beginning, tried to present itself as the leader in corporate social responsibility. Throughout its history, the company fought against human right abuses, and abuse of animals and plants. Environment protection was an important part of the agenda of the company. As a result, the company gained a large number of environmental friendly customers in America and Europe, and this helped develop a standard image in Asia and Middle East too. The company always promoted five core values which are as follows.
1. Against animal testing
The company claims that it will not purchase any ingredient that is tested on animals for cosmetics purposes. In addition, the company campaigns against cosmetics tests on animals. Instead of testing on animals, the company depends on human volunteer trials like skin patch tests. In 1986, the company joined the ‘Save the Whale Campaign’ along with Greenpeace. In 1990s, the company conducted a number of campaigns against animal testing.
2. Protecting the environment
The company, throughout its history, has supported all activities aimed at environmental protection. In 2001, the Body Shop joined Greenpeace in the effort to raise awareness of the global warming. In addition, in its environmental policy, the company promoted the idea, ‘reduce, recycle, and reuse’. The company’s policy of recycling, and encouraging customers to refill their products by reusing bottles won the heart of many environment-friendly customers around the world.
3. Human rights Throughout its history, the company fought for human rights. To illustrate, in 2000, the company started ‘Make your Mark’ campaign with their 3,000,000 customers signed up. The program intends to address human rights issues, especially in neglected areas. Undoubtedly, the Body Shop gets a lot of publicity in the effort to promote human rights. An example of this company’s human rights efforts is the fight for the rights of Ogoni people in Nigeria that won the wrath of Nigerian government. 4. Support Community Trade Through this program, the company collects ingredients and accessories from small producers around the world, especially from underprivileged societies. The company ensures fair prices, and this money goes back to the society to improve their lives’ basic needs like water and education. Presently, the company has trades with more than 42 community trade suppliers in more than 26 nations around the globe. To illustrate, as stated in The Body Shop International values Report (Living our values, 2009), its palm oil comes from Columbia, coconut oil from Samoa, timber from Russia, Peppermint oil from Norfolk, cocoa butter from Ghana, Soya oil from Brazil, beeswax from Africa, and Footsie Roller from India. However, one has to doubt if the step will help such communities become independent as they tend to be totally dependent on the company for survival. 5. Self-esteem Te Body Shop always advocated the promotion of self-esteem especially in women. According to the company, it is about respecting oneself, looking after body and soul, and being proud of what one is. In 1998, there came a publication named ‘The Body and Self Esteem’ that was meant to raise awareness on the issues of
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