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OUR STORY

WELCOME TO THE BODY SHOP.

Our story started in Brighton, England in 1976. It began with our founder, Dame Anita Roddick, and her belief in something revolutionary: that business could be a force for good. Following her vision, we’ve been rule breaking, never faking and change making for over 40 years.

Anita Roddick filling bottles

“Business shapes the world. It is capable of changing society in almost any way you can imagine.”

Dame Anita Roddick

FOUNDER OF THE BODY SHOP

NOT YOUR AVERAGE COSMETICS COMPANY

When The Body Shop first opened its doors in 1976, it was a little green-painted shop in the streets of Brighton, England. Its approach to beauty was radically different to the big players in the beauty industry. It was simple – ethically sourced and naturally-based ingredients from around the world, in no-nonsense packaging you could easily refill. Products and beauty rituals made for every body, that made women feel good in their skin – never promising to make them look like someone else.

Original The Body Shop

“Social and environmental dimensions are woven into the fabric of the company itself. They are neither first not last among our objectives, but an ongoing part of everything we do.”

Dame Anita Roddick

FOUNDER OF THE BODY SHOP

PIONEERING SOCIAL CHANGE

Over 40 years ago, this kind of approach was ahead of the curve. With Anita’s passion for the planet and campaigning for causes, The Body Shop was always more than just a beauty brand. It had purpose – profit and principles working in harmony. Our products were never tested on animals and didn’t exploit anyone in making them. We worked fairly with farmers and suppliers, and helped communities thrive through our Community Fair Trade programme. Today, there are more and more brands following in our footsteps, and we’re glad to welcome them aboard. The world needs it.

Anita Roddick with several other women

“Beauty is an outward expression of everything you like about yourself.”

Dame Anita Roddick

FOUNDER OF THE BODY SHOP

Woman holding her shoulder

REDEFINING BEAUTY

When The Body Shop first started, the beauty industry had pretty set ideas on what girls and women should look like. But Anita had her own ideas, too. She believed that beauty was a person’s source of joy, comfort and self-esteem. It was what you liked about yourself, and what made you feel good. Her beauty products, she believed, were more about a daily ritual of self-love instead of the false promising of slimming and anti-ageing that the industry pedalled. She didn’t want to create products to make women look a certain way – but to help them be the best versions of themselves.

“I think all business practices would improve immeasurably of they were guided by ‘feminine’ principles.” Dame Anita Roddick - FOUNDER OF THE BODY SHOP

Anita Roddick in a crowd of women

EMPOWERING WOMEN AND GIRLS

Anita was an activist at heart. It’s what gave The Body Shop our unique purpose and drive for social change. A true feminist and human rights activist, she built the brand on empowering women and girls with every product and every business decision, striving for equality and creating opportunities for women through our Community Fair Trade programme. Principles some labelled as ‘feminine’ – inclusivity, collaboration and compassion – are the foundation of our brand.

Activist in street

BUSINESS AS A FORCE FOR GOOD

The Body Shop is rooted in activism, and our history of campaigning started in 1986. Anita teamed up with Greenpeace on the Save the Whale campaign to fight the cruel practise of whaling, promoting jojoba oil as a substitute for sperm whale oil, which was used widely in cosmetics at the time. We started big. We started as we meant to go on. Today, we’re a trusted global brand with decades of successful activism behind us, and we’re in a unique position to voice millions of customers’ concerns and take our causes to decision makers around the world, to secure long-term positive change.