cometicos br was on holyday when Anita Rodick died last month with 64 years old. But we couldn’t let to remember The Body Shop dame and its contribution for the cosmetic sector and society as a whole.
Anita Roddick died on the 10th October of brain hemorrhage caused by hepatitis C, contracted in a blood transfusion in 1971, when she gave birth to her daughter. Anita began her beauty and retailing career in 1976 in a little hippie shop in Brighton, England. But the 33-year-old entrepreneur set herself on the sector underlining The Body Shop concepts, with well defined actuation criteria and innovative mission and vision for the epoch.
Its products eliminate any possibility of using products tested on animals, as well as the ones which haven’t raw material reforestation, which used children work or damaged any worker or put them in high risk situations, which weren’t biodegradable or recycled. She was just a woman of words: she was, for instance, founder of organizations such as Children on the Edge.
Roddick pioneered ethical beauty long before it was fashionable, long before Dove campaigns and Stella McCartney. She criticized male domination on the cosmetic industry for playing with feminine insecurities and was honest on remarking that there wasn’t products that could make women became younger. She Said to Star in 1988, “No cream does more then the other. All hydrating creams works.”
Adrian Bellamy, The Body Shop International chairman, said in a statement that “Anita was not only our founder but she was also the heart and passion of The Body Shop. It is no exaggeration to say that she changed the world of business with her campaigns for social and environmental responsibility.”
Brand´s make-up was not tested on animals and its face creams came in unglamorous, re-fillable containers. In 1976, these were modern concepts that appealed to a newly aware environmental class.
Roddick pioneered ethical and environmental beauty decades before it became fashionable, earning the royal title “Queen of Green.” In 2003, the Queen made her a dame in recognition of her contributions.
Aware that most cosmetics companies are governed by packaging, in the late ’80s Roddick introduced a biodegradable plastic bag made by a Toronto manufacturer. In 1985, she told the Star, “You buy something, get it home then throw away mountains of cellophane, paper, cardboard, ribbon and other junk before you get to the product.”
Her sphere of influence expanded to support free trade and human rights. In 1994, The Body Shop Canada launched the first STOP Violence Against Women campaign. And in 1997, the company put its shoulder into the “Help Take the Heat Off” program, an environment campaign to raise awareness about climate change.
And she has emphasized the importance of Social Responsibility: “Social responsibility can’t be a fashionable subject. It must be seen as organizations and people real mission who works on it – essential actions for the good working of communities, for social unequal diminishing, for opportunities offer to all”.
As Roddick’s convictions grew, the company flourished. Today there are nearly 2,000 stores in 50 countries. In 2006, The Body Shop was purchased by L’Oreal Group. But it remains an independently run company.
“Since the beginning, what The Body Shop generates of most important are not products, but principles”, said Anita who has ran a campaign which considered beauty as essential part of women’s day by day, as something that comes from our character, curiosity, imagination and humor. Beauty as an active and external expression of everything we like in ourselves.
At The Body Shop Roddick site Anita wrote about its start, with its shop in Brighton. “I started The Body Shop simply to create a livelihood for myself and my two daughters while my husband, Gordon, was trekking across the Americas. I had no training or experience and my only business acumen was Gordon’s advice to take sales of £300 a week..”
Gordon Roddick, a poet and traveller, ultimately joined The Body Shop. But in 2002, Roddick and her husband stepped down as co-chairmen, though she continued to contribute as a consultant.
When she came to Brazil, in 2002, she said: “Sometimes money is not the most important thing. Brazil has an undertaking and creative people. I understand the act of undertake as a whole: first you have to have an idea. Then you have to transform this Idea in reality. You will need a good dose of optimism, will have to process your work and know very well were to apply your money. At last, I think it is very important to value people and local companies, in order we contribute for the community we are”.
She said on the last times that “who does the rules nowadays are not the companies but the consumers, that are more watchfulness and exacting on products and services offered, with the quality of attendance and starts to value and support companies socially responsible”.
It is for a good reason, however that Adrian Bellamy reinforced Anita Riddick’s vision: “Anita leave us with an enduring legacy which will long guide the affairs of The Body Shop.”