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The History Of The Body Shop

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Our History

“You’ve got to be hungry – for ideas, to make things happen and to see your vision made into reality.”

Dame Anita Roddick. Human Rights Activist Founder of The Body Shop

The very first The Body Shop® store opens on 26th March 1976 in Brighton, on the south coast of England. By 1978 a kiosk in Brussels became the first overseas franchise, and by 1982 new shops open at the rate of two per month.

In 1985, in its first year as a public company, The Body Shop sponsor posters for Greenpeace. A year later, it creates an Environmental Projects Department of its own, while the first major window campaign for The Body Shop is "Save the Whale" with Greenpeace, in 1986.

The first Community Trade product for The Body Shop, a Footsie Roller, is produced in 1986 by a supplier in southern India. This trade in Footsie Rollers has evolved into the current trade with Teddy Exports in India, one of our key Community Trade suppliers.

By 1990, just one year after launching in the USA, there are 2,500 applications for a franchise, with demand for The Body Shop® products ever-growing, driven by expansion which saw the company trading in 39 countries within just fourteen years after the opening of the very first shop!

In 1990 The Body Shop Foundation is established, a charity which funds human rights and environmental protection groups.

The Big Issue paper for homeless people, which began as a The Body Shop Foundation project, is launched in 1991. By 1998 its success saw The Body Shop Foundation part-funding the launch of The Big Issue stateside, in Los Angeles.

The New Academy of Business is established in 1995, as an initiative by Anita Roddick. This innovative management degree, addressing social, environmental and moral issues, is run at The University of Bath, in England.

In 1993 The Body Shop launches a high profile international campaign to raise awareness of the plight of the Ogoni people and their leader Ken Saro-Wiwa. They were being persecuted for protesting against Shell and the Nigerian dictatorship over exploitation in their homeland.

The Body Shop At Home™, the direct-selling arm, is launched in the UK in 1994, Canada in 1995, Australia in 1997, and USA in 2001. It has now rolled out in 48 states in the USA and is set to grow even bigger.

The Body Shop continues to increase its positive environmental practices. In 2001, The Body Shop UK region and service-centre head offices in Watersmead, switch to Ecotricity, providing them with energy from renewable sources. In addition, a number of The Body Shop® stores have now converted to green electricity.

Campaign successes include the Against Animal Testing campaign. The campaign leads to a UK-wide ban on animal testing of cosmetic products and ingredients in November 1998, and the largest ever petition (four million signatures) being delivered to the European Commission in 1996.

In 1997, The Body Shop is the first international cosmetics company to sign up to the Humane Cosmetics Standard, supported by leading international animal protection groups.

In 1995 and 1997 The Body Shop Values Reports are recognised as trailblazing by United Nations Environmental Programme and SustainAbility, and ranked highest in their review of International Corporate Environmental Reports.

In 1997, The Body Shop celebrates its 21st birthday with the launch of a new flagship store design, winning the prestigious Retail Week Store Design of the Year Award.

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1998, The Body Shop launches a joint worldwide campaign with Amnesty International to highlight the plight of human rights defenders around the world, encouraging customers to 'Make Your Mark' for human rights. This successful campaign saw three million people sign up.

In 1999, The Body Shop creates four new business units in the UK, Europe, the Americas and Asia, shifting its operational and management structure out to the regions.

2001 saw the first The Body Shop® customer reward programme launched in the US. It becomes so popular, it's now


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