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Dame Anita Perella Roddick, founder of The Body Shop.

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    2 Reviews
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      23.01.2008 02:42
      Very helpful



      Did a great thing, then undermined that for cash!

      Anita started by doing great thing, starting up a chain of animal friendly beauty products but then went and sold out to Loreal who test on animals like bunnies are going out of 'fashion'. Its sad she died n all but she should have been removed from her pedastall years ago and recognised as just another run of the mill business woman. She cashed in on a gap in the market and then sold out her beliefs to the highest bidder!

      Business wise, well done her.

      Morally, not a nice move!!

      I think body shop was great and I always shopped there in confidence knowing I would be buying cruelty free products. Now that my money would be going to one of the most sickening corporations out there I don't set foot in a body shop outlet!!

      In all, I think Anita was probably a fine person and just a run of the mill business woman. Im sorry she passed away and my sympathy went to her family at that time. But I feel it is unfair that she was described as some kinda missionary in the movement for animal rights in beauty when the woman sold out when the price was right!!!


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        15.10.2007 14:38
        Very helpful



        A well known campaigner who will be sorely missed

        Anita Roddick was born on 23rd October 1942 and is most famous for being the founder of the British ethical cosmetics company The Body Shop.

        Roddick was born Anita Lucia Perilli in Sussex and was one of four children. She trained as a teacher in Bath prior to travelling extensively before she marrying her husband Gordon Roddick in 1970 by which time they already had one child and were expecting their second. Roddick founded The Body Shop in 1976 and initially sold just 15 different products, compared to over 300 products in 2007.

        Between 1962 and 1976 Roddick work in Library of International Herald Tribune in Paris, taught English and History in England and owned and managed a hotel/restaurant in Littlehampton.

        Roddick had seen a store in San Francisco selling various lotions and creams was called The Body Shop and offered its customers discounts for bringing in their own bottles instead of using the store’s own. Roddick liked this idea enough to start her own business based along the same lines. The Body Shop was opened by Roddick initially to make money for her and her 2 daughters, Sam and Justine whilst her husband was away trekking across the USA. She had gathered lots of ideas whilst travelling abroad and put these into practice with The Body Shop products. She had already inherited her mother’s habit of recycling; now she had cosmetic products which were ethical in that none of the ingredients were tested on animals. Her husband had also given her some ideas about business which she put into practice as she personally (as admitted by herself) had no training or business acumen at that time.

        When her husband returned from the US he also joined the business and by 1991 they had grown the business to 700 branches, having gone public in 1984! During 1991 Roddick won the World Vision Award for Development Initiative Award. By 2004 the business had 1980 stores and served over 70 million customers all over the world and it was 2 years later when controversially The Body Shop was sold for over £650 million to L’Oreal. The controversy was due to L’Oreal being part-owned by Nestle – a company which has had a lot of bad press for treating its third world producers poorly. Roddick promised that she would keep giving her input into the business until her death in September 2007.

        In 1993 Roddick met some Ogoni people from Nigeria who were seeking justice against the multinational oil company Shell that had been destroying their land through exploring and producing oil. Working with NGOs, the cause became international but sadly the key spokesperson and some others involved were executed in 1995 by the Nigerian government. The campaign continued and further down the line almost 20 imprisoned Ogoni people were released. 4 years after the campaign first started, Shell relented and issued a renewed charted which Roddick liked to think their campaign “had a hand in getting Shell to think about what it really means to be a corporate citizen”.

        Below is a list of some of the campaigns Roddick was involved in:
        • 1985 - Stop the dumping of toxic waste in North Sea, Greenpeace
        • 1987 - Acid Rain pollution, Friends of the Earth
        • 1987 - Published first 'Green' Diary, Friends of the Earth
        • 1980s - Against Animal Testing for cosmetics, collected 4 million signatures through shops
        • 1990 - The Body Shop Foundation set-up. Over first 6 years of operation donated more than 3.5 million pounds to 180 charitable groups
        • 1990 - Set-up project to refurbish 3 Romanian orphanages. Work extended into Albania and Bosnia
        • 1991 - Funded Unrepresented Nations and Peoples organization
        • 1993-98 - Ogoni Campaign against Shell and Nigeria
        • 1994 - Marked 50th anniversary of UN Declaration of Human Rights, launched 'Make Your Mark' campaign with Dalai Lama, in partnership with Amnesty International. 3 million thumbprints collected in 34 countries. 17 prisoners of conscience released
        • 1997 - Self-Esteem Campaign with its controversial mascot, Ruby, exposes myth of the perfect body
        • 2000 - The Body Shop Human Rights Award launched, biennial award of $300,000 to selected grassroots groups fighting for human rights globally
        • 2001 - 2002 - Positive Energy Campaign with Greenpeace

        Roddick was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2003 and her title from then on was officially Dame Anita Roddick DBE. She was well known for her charity work and campaign work on issues surrounding the environment. She founded Children On The Edge (COTE) in 1990 after having visiting Romanian orphanages, whose mission was to help disadvantaged children affected by disabilities, natural disasters, war and HIV/AIDS.

        Here is a list of just some of the awards Roddick won in her lifetime:
        • 1984 - Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year
        • 1988 - Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
        • 1991 - Center for World Development Education's World Vision Award, USA
        • 1993 - Mexican Environmental Achiever Award
        • 1994 - Botwinick Prize in Business Ethics, USA
        • 1994 - University of Michigan's Annual Business Leadership Award, USA
        • 1995 - Women's Business Development Center's First Annual Woman Power Award, USA
        • 1996 - Women's Center's Leadership Award, USA
        • 1996 - The Gleitsman Foundation's Award of Achievement, USA
        • 1997 - United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Honouree, Eyes on the Environment
        • 1999 - British Environment & Media Award
        • 2001 - International Peace Prayer Day Organisation's Woman of Peace
        • 2003 - Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE)
        Early on in 2007 Roddick admitted that she had contracted hepatitis C from a blood transfusion back in the 70s and that she was diagnosed by chance in 2004. Suffering from a bad headache one evening she was admitted to hospital and died of a brain haemorrhage the next day on 10th September 2007.

        Anita Roddick will always be remembered by many as a great campaigner as well as an excellent entrepreneur. She was heavily into encouraging recycling many years before it became “fashionable”!

        More information can be obtained about Roddick from: http://www.anitaroddick.com/


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