Anita Roddick & The Body Shop: An Entrepreneur with a Unique Vision

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“I want to work for a company that contributes to and is part of the community. I want something not just to invest in. I want something to believe in.” – Anita Roddick

In reading this quote by Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, it’s plain to see how personal values and passion were interconnected with the vision she had for her company. And it’s why we’re featuring Anita as a Trailblazer on Like a Boss.

Just about any conversation about successful women entrepreneurs would have to include Anita, who started The Body Shop in 1976 as a way to provide for herself and her daughters while her husband was traveling. She got started as a means of financial survival, which in turn sparked her creative thinking. Thirty-five years later, The Body Shop is in more than 60 markets worldwide with 2,500 stores.

The Body Shop sells personal care and beauty products, from moisturizers and shampoos to makeup and fragrances. But what makes The Body Shop so unique is that it’s about much more than skin and body care products…it’s a movement.

From the very beginning, Anita strongly believed in a business’s power to do good. That sentiment is reflected in the company’s mission statement: To dedicate our business to the pursuit of social and environmental change.

Here are just a few of the ways in which The Body Shop is sticking to that mission:

Anti-Animal Testing: The Body Shop has never tested a single product on an animal (if you know anything about cosmetics, you know this isn’t the norm), and all of their products are animal cruelty free and vegetarian. The Body Shop was the first international cosmetics brand to be recognized under the Humane Cosmetics Standard for their Against Animal Testing policy.

Pro Fair Trade: Fair trade is a system of exchange that honors producers, communities, consumers, and the environment, and The Body Shop has been committed to this approach since their very beginnings. Over 20 years ago, the company set up its own fair trade program – Community Trade – which helps generate income to more than 25,000 people in 20+ countries.

Modeling Charity: The Body Shop created its own foundation in 1990 – The Body Shop Foundation – which provides money to support those working in the areas of human and civil rights, environmental and animal protection.

The Body Shop also applies its core values – including reducing their environment impact, promoting positive self-esteem, and affecting social change – to every aspect of the company. You could say they’re walking the walk in a very real way.

Though visionary Anita Roddick passed away in 2007 at the age of 64, the legacy she leaves behind through her company’s unique culture and by demonstrating that financial success and social responsibility can go hand in hand, is sure to live on for a long, long time.

To find out more about The Body Shop, poke around their website here. And to peak your interest, here’s a video about how community trade in developing countries has not only strengthened The Body Shop’s brand, but created positive change:

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