The Body Shop
Company: L’Oréal SA
Brand value: US$1,271 million
Headquarter city: Watersmead Business Park, Littlehampton
Year formed: 1976
The Body Shop was launched by the late human rights activist and environmental campaigner Dame Anita Roddick. Her shops specialised in toiletries and make-up that were made from natural ingredients and had not been tested on animals; there are now 266 stores in the UK as well as an online store, and 3,200 The Body Shop stores worldwide. The Body Shop describes its products as 100 percent vegetarian, and some are also vegan. The brand was the first international cosmetic business to prohibit ingredients that had been tested on animals, and has always been a high-profile activist for environmental and human rights causes. These range from a Save the Whale campaign in the 1980s to the Stop Sex Trafficking campaign from 2009 to 2012, which delivered 7 million signatures to the UN. This year The Body Shop is running a petition against animal testing, one of its original points of difference in the market, with the hope of presenting 8 million signatures to the UN in support of an international ban. “Beauty with heart” is the brand’s tagline in communications, promoting consideration for people, animals and the planet in the pursuit of beauty. As ethical values become more mainstream, however, competing brands such as Lush and Boots in the UK are moving into what was once exclusive Body Shop territory. The brand ceased advertising with the Daily Mail newspaper in early 2017 over the paper’s coverage of the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean, which it said “seems to go against” The Body Shop’s commitment to human rights.
The Body Shop was sold to L’Oreal – listed on the Paris Stock Exchange – just over a decade ago but is widely seen as having failed to thrive since then. A deal to sell the brand to Brazil’s Natura is awaiting approval by Brazilian and US regulatory authorities.