The Body Shop sells cosmetics while helping the world

By Jillian Smith
September 29, 2006

In today’s high society of makeup and plastic surgery, there are still people out there that care more about the common good of society than about how well they look. Dame Anita Roddick is one of those people.

Her cosmetic store, The Body Shop, which opened its doors in 1976, values five core principles in helping to better our society: support community trade, defend human rights, activate self-esteem, protect our planet and, most importantly, protest against animal testing.

Roddick is a human rights and animal welfare activist. She started selling natural, hand-made products in a small shop in Brighton, England, and went onto become an entrepreneur. Roddick was appointed Dame of the British Empire in 2003 for services to retailing, the environment and to charity in recognition of her success in these key areas, according to www.thebodyshop.com.

With over 2,000 stores in 54 countries, The Body Shop, which is a not-for-profit corporation, produces an international cosmetic brand. The store trades with 31 community trade suppliers in 24 countries and as a result, the suppliers can build a community within their country and introduce health care and education.

This creates fair trade and can help developing countries on a global scale, instead of just a local scale.

In the last two decades, The Body Shop has been financially helping impoverished regions, such as Ghana, Brazil, and parts of China. As an example, Ghana gives The Body Shop tea tree oil to make some products, so when a tea tree oil product is sold, all that money goes back to Ghana to help set up schools and health care systems.

The Body Shop is a store with great morals and stands up for the protection of animals. According to the press release from Naturewatch, “Since its inception, The Body Shop has maintained a strong ethical standpoint.” The Body Shop prides itself with being a “company with a difference.” Naturewatch also said that their, “website urges people to ‘boycott cosmetic companies which continue to test on animals’.”

The Body Shop is in compliance with the “fixed cut-off date” policy, which means that they do not conduct testing on animals and will not use any ingredients that are tested on animals from an immovable fixed date. This concept is a widely known policy in the animal protection groups worldwide and is considered “the gold standard.”

Also, P.E.T.A., People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is also a supporter of The Body Shop. According to www.thebodyshop.com, in 1997, The Body Shop was the first international cosmetics company to sign up to the Humane Cosmetics Standard supported by leading international animal protection groups.

Jane Chieco, a sophomore, English and communication major, is an employee of The Body Shop in the King of Prussia Mall. She has been working there for three weeks and already “loves it!” She said, “I am against animal testing and I feel that we, as Americans, carelessly throw away money, can give that money to educate countries that are less fortunate than us.”

Every product in The Body Shop is made of things found in nature such as seeds, nuts, oils and tea leaves. “One of the greatest things in our store is that our makeup brushes are not made with animal hair,” Chieco said. “We have products for everyone’s skin, and all our products are color-free and fragrance-free and won’t irritate skin.”

According to The Body Shop website, in 1996, The Body shop presented the European Union with the largest petition against animal testing in history – signed by over 4,000 people. By 1998 the UK government banned animal testing on cosmetic products and ingredients.

A common misconception of animal testing is that it has been banned. However, over 38,000 animals are still being used to test cosmetics across Europe and many more countries globally.

Although animal protection is one of the top priorities of The Body Shop, it also helps other groups and organizations in need. “I think it’s amazing that we’re always coming up with new campaigns and finding new groups to help,” Chieco said.

Right now, as a promotional event for 2006, The Body Shop is helping domestic violence shelters. There are hypo-allergenic bars of soap sold for $4 each and all of that money goes to a domestic violence house. Calcutta House is one of the main domestic violence houses that The Body Shop gives the proceeds to.

Another big promotion that is going on now is that all The Body Shops around the world are collecting old cell phones and giving them to shelters for free.

I think that The Body Shop is a great store for an even better cause. I am against animal testing, and appalled that most cosmetic companies still use ingredients that are being tested on animals.

I am happy to know that there is an organization out there that helps to better the society we live in. I believe in everything that The Body Shop stands for, even community trade, which is fair trade combined with environmental awareness and protection and a respect for human rights.

I was unaware of The Body Shop, but now that I have been informed, I will shop there more often, knowing that my money isn’t going to help generate a corporation, but instead, help a developing country get the resources they need, such as education and health care.

If you are interested in finding out more information about this wonderful organization that works for a cause, you can visit The Body Shop’s website at www.thebodyshop.com.

If you would like to check out a store, there are 20 stores located within Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with the closest being the King Of Prussia Mall, both in the Plaza and in the Court.

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Jillian Smith

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