Wednesday , July 15 2020

Body Shop Founder Anita Roddick Changed The Way Companies Do Business

This title is a very big statement. To say that someone has changed the world, it would have to radically change the way we think. Jeff Bezos did when he got the idea from Amazon. Steve Jobs did that at Apple. But these people are rare in life. Anita Roddick was one of those people. Anita who? Well, maybe you (or the women in your life) are fans and customers of The Body Shop. Roddick is the woman behind The Body Shop. Roddick sold scented shampoos and lotions, of course, but also defended animal rights, human rights, fair trade and environmental protection, to name a few. who fascinated her. In 1990, Roddick founded Children on the Edge, a charity that helps underprivileged children in Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia. She believed that companies should offer a form of moral leadership, being a more powerful force in society than government or religion.

Larry Ellis / Daily Express / Hulton Archives / Getty Images

In the mid-1960s, Roddick was a bona fide hippie living on a kibbutz in England. In the business world at the time, England was run by companies that produced chemicals. These companies were huge monolithic empires that employed thousands of people. These companies existed to make a profit, that’s all. They were not in business to be an engine of social good. Social good was for charities. Then Anita Roddick arrived. She opened the first Body Shop in Brighton in 1976. She was 34 years old and was simply trying to earn an income for herself and her two young children while her husband Gordon worked in South America. She wanted to provide quality skincare products in refillable containers and sample sizes, all marketed truthfully rather than hyped. She opened her second store six months later. Upon her return from South America, her husband joined the company.

There was however a difference in Anita’s products. None of The Body Shop’s products have been tested on live animals. It is common practice these days, but 45 years ago it was not. The testing of cosmetics on animals was a standard procedure. In the mid-1970s, cosmetic companies tested new shampoo formulas to see how much they would sting the eyes by dropping them directly into a rabbit’s eyes. Roddick did not want to participate in this barbaric practice. Over time, she discovered that neither did her customers. She found that ethical consumerism was not only good for business, but that it could allow a business to change society.

Roddick set out to do cosmetic tests on banned animals in England (and not so long after, across Europe). She used her business for social good. In the 1970s, it was a concept that was completely unknown. Anita has shown cosmetic companies that it is possible to test cosmetics without using animals. They did not believe it. She showed them the way. Anita Roddick was not just a businesswoman. She was an environmentalist who also owned her own business.

Fair trade was its most important cause. She bought exotic products in exotic places and insisted that the people who made these products be paid fairly for them. It is also a new concept that Roddick has brought to the forefront of his business. Anita’s insistence on fair trade went against the exploitation of developing countries and their people, which had long been the way Western capitalism did business. She was the first person to insist on fair trade in her business.

Human rights were also a major concern for Roddick. Her support for human rights has led her to champion causes worldwide, including the threat of global warming, particularly in poor developing countries. Roddick created a model for companies to do social good too.

In 1991, The Body Shop had 700 stores, and Roddick received the 1991 World Vision Award for its development initiative. In 1993, she told Third Way Magazine:

“The original Body Shop was a series of brilliant accidents. It smelled good, it had a funky name. It was placed between two funeral homes – which has always been controversial. It was incredibly sensual. was in 1976, the year of the heat wave, so there was a lot of flesh around. We knew the story then, so all the products had stories. We recycled everything, not because we were respectful of the environment. environment, but because we didn’t have enough bottles. It was a good idea. What was unique, without any intention at all, without marketing to us, was that it was translated across cultures, to across geographic barriers and social structures. It was not a sophisticated plan, it just happened. “

In 2004, the Body Shop had 1,980 stores, serving more than 77 million customers worldwide. It was voted the second most reliable brand in the United Kingdom and 28th in the world. On March 17, 2006, L’Oréal purchased Body Shop for $ 804 million.

Roddick was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver due to hepatitis C. Roddick underwent a major blood transfusion in 1971 after the birth of his youngest daughter. She was convinced that the transfusion, which had taken place 20 years before hepatitis C testing in blood donors in the UK, had infected her with the disease.

Anita Roddick died of an acute brain hemorrhage on September 10, 2007 after being admitted to hospital the day before with severe headaches. She was 64 years old.

She left her $ 64 million estate to charities rather than friends and family.

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