The Body Shop: a cosmetics company unlike any other 

Anita Roddick 

Born in Great Britain in 1942, she came from a modest family of Italian origin. Her training as a teacher led her to travel around the world working for the United Nations.

Her first experience with her own business turned out to be a failure, but Anita did not give up. As persevering as CATERINA, she did not give up when it came to fighting for what she believed in.

Anita Roddick decided to create her company of natural skincare care products during her travels around the world.

The young traveller had the idea of creating creams and soaps that would improve the smoothness of the skin. Observing and talking about the natural methods used by women in the Third World with few

We presume that Anita Roddick must have spent long periods of time in those inhospitable places and we are sure that she was treated with genuine hospitality by the locals.

Hospitality is precisely one of CATERINA’s strong points and we are proud to be able to boast about it.

Roddick, committed to the idea of a more sustainable planet, was convinced that companies could change society with their contribution, so she created The Body Shop.

Like the innovator CARLOTA PI, the entrepreneur and environmental activist pursued the idea of making the world a better place. Caring for the planet is a common concern for all of us.

A progressive businesswoman and environmental and social activist

Anita Roddick’s business idea was completely opposed to the methods used by the big companies in the sector. Supporting sustainable trade, working fairly with farmers and suppliers, and marketing products that would never be tested on animals was of vital importance to her.

Anita Roddíck’s commitment, both on a personal level and through her company The Body Shop, led her to join Greenpeace and promote a cause worldwide: the fight for the protection of animals.

Her business trips became real battles against whaling and the use of their sperm, used in mainstream cosmetic factories.

Recycling or promoting Fair Trade with developing countries were also some of the brand’s objectives as part of its ethical consumption project.

Her courage and strong convictions led her to lead countless protests and demonstrations. Today, the brand created by Anita Roddick is heir to these worthy causes.

Those who knew her have described her as a determined, optimistic, pioneering, effervescent and hard-working woman. Amusing and perhaps a bit tongue-in-cheek. Without a doubt, a sensitive and inspiring woman.

Social change. Betting on the well-being of women and girls around the world.

However, she had something in common with another great figure in the industry. She shared a common purpose with Elizabeth Arden: to create beauty products and rituals for all body types that would make women feel good without wanting to change their bodies.

The company’s female approach was one of its key points. The entrepreneur was a firm believer in the important role that women should play in the world.

Women and girls needed to feel comfortable and gain self-esteem. To this end, her brand would offer products that act as a daily ritual formula of self-love.

During her many travels, she learned that the capacity of the female gender was fundamental to the livelihood of many families in underdeveloped countries.

She stated openly that part of her success was due to her lack of start-up capital. “If I had the money, I would have gone to business school and my odds would have been different.” 

The Body Shop was already an established company with international franchises when, in 1990, Roddick founded Children on the Edge, an NGO that helps children in need in Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia.

Anita received many awards during her business career. Among them, one of the most prestigious in the United Kingdom when she was made a Dame of the British Empire.

Changing things from within.

In December 2005, Anita Roddick left the business world. A year later, she would reveal that she was suffering from hepatitis C, caused by a blood transfusion received decades earlier during the birth of her second daughter and cirrhosis.

In March 2006, the purchase of The Body Shop by the large French company L’Oreal for 980 million euros was publicly announced.

The environmental activist then received countless criticisms, as the French brand was one that Roddick had always fought against for its method

“The Body Shop can spread its methods to other companies and other parts of the world”:

  • Through trade agreements with Third World communities,
  • Protecting the environment.
  • Vetoing animal testing.
  • Respecting human rights.
  • Demonstrating social responsibility.

In 2017 the Brazilian group Natura confirmed the closing of the deal to acquire The Body Shop from the French giant L’Oreal.

Today, together, Natura, Avon, Aesop and The Body Shop make up the fourth-largest beauty group in the world.

Her will as proof of their social commitment

Anita Roddick died on the 10th of September 2007, aged 64, of a cerebral haemorrhage.

Her strong convictions were recorded in her will. The environmental activist left her entire estate to the Roddick Foundation, which supports non-governmental organisations such as Amnesty International and Greenpeace.

The businesswoman’s two daughters, Sam and Justine, said they fully supported their mother’s decision.

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