Big Issue founder Lord John Bird says that Anita Roddick’s importance has only grown over the years.
Along with her husband Gordon, The Body Shop founder helped Bird to launch The Big Issue in 1991, and continued to nurture and support the company.
As The Big Issue commemorates the 10th anniversary of Anita’s death – she died of a brain haemorrhage, aged 64 – Bird has described the shock of losing his “extraordinary” friend.
“It is 10 years since one of the most important people in social and ethical trading left us,” he said. “It was an enormous surprise at the time, and I don’t think that any of us have got over it. And her importance grows over the years.”
Anita Roddick started The Body Shop in 1976, opening the first store in Brighton, which was dedicated to the ethical trading of beauty products. Forty years later, the organisation continues to thrive, with over 3,000 stores in 66 countries.
Not only did Anita play a huge part in creating and shaping a more socially-conscious marketplace, but she also brought her remarkable campaigning spirit and business acumen to a variety of good causes, including the Amazon rainforest, the Angola Three, and the National Missing Persons Helpline (now called Missing People).