From Save the Whale to Community Fair Trade, Dame Anita Roddick, who founded The Body Shop in 1976, had already established a proven track record in game-changing campaigning when, in autumn of 1991, along with her husband Gordon, she helped John Bird to launch The Big Issue.
In those challenging early years The Body Shop continued to nurture and support the publication, investing £500,000 over the first three years.
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Roddick’s pioneering philosophy that business could be a force for good saw The Body Shop revolutionise the beauty industry as a pioneering activist brand, one of the earliest to champion body positivity, its groundbreaking Community Fair Trade programme and its campaign to end animal testing in cosmetics, which saw the practice banned in the UK in 1998. Issues such as human rights abuses, domestic violence and supporting HIV and AIDS charities have also been at the heart of the business. Roddick passed away in 2007, but her legacy lives in The Body Shop ethos today. The ethical beauty brand became a certified BCorp in September 2019.
Last year The Body Shop with the help of its customers raised over £470,000 for End Youth Homelessness – a UK-wide national movement of local charities, administered by Centrepoint, working to transform the lives of over 40,000 young people.
The donation – raised through transactional and customer donations, as well as a Sleep Out fundraiser – helped fund a dedicated housing team assisting young women and mothers between the ages of 16 to 25 move into their own homes.
The Body Shop has continued to raise money for the charity this year to help launch a Health Fund, providing vulnerable young people with access to mental health support to help rebuild their confidence and self-worth, and enable them to have successful and independent futures.