Since Anita Roddick opened The Body Shop back in 1976, we’ve been championing equality. Feminism is in our bones; our feminist principles include everyone, and we firmly believe that equality benefits everyone. We’re committed to advocating self-love and body acceptance, and through our activism, we campaign to make the world a fair and safe place for women and girls.Here at The Body Shop we celebrate International Women’s Day 2021 by reflecting on all the partnerships we’ve made throughout the years; discover the projects we have worked on and find out how you too can help empower women all over the world.
Today, more than ever, we’re committed to continuing Anita’s fight to empower women and girls all over the world. Equality benefits the whole of society. When women have equal rights and education, it’s better for everyone. These guiding principles are our north star, and our pledge to future generations.
We will be outspoken activists with the desire to fight for the equality of rights and opportunities between genders to empower women and girls.
We will shed light and to educate on the issues that really matter for equal rights and opportunities.
We will use our platform to amplify feminist leaders, voices and the movement, and celebrate those working towards a more equal and fair world.
We will create products and experiences that send a message of self-love and body acceptance and reject beauty standards.
In 2003 we launched Stop Violence in the Home, built on almost a decade of campaigning on the issue. Our goal was to raise awareness and funds to support local partners helping those affected by domestic violence, including child survivors, as well as lobbying governments to enact legislation.
We launched the Stop Trafficking of Children & Young People campaign with ECPAT International in 2009. It inspired change on an unprecedented scale, gathering over 7 million signatures from customers globally and leading to 24 countries across the world committing to adopting new legislation.
Our shea is handcrafted by women in Ghana, where the techniques have been handed down for generations. Our Community Fair Trade partnership ensures the women receive a fair price and benefits for their work, however, lots of shea is still exported from Ghana with little benefit to the women who produce it. In 2011 we brought industry stakeholders together to form the Global Shea Alliance. The key objectives are to improve shea production, grow the market and to drive greater benefit to the women at the bottom of the supply chain. The Sustainability Principles establish how shea collectors, processors, exporters and the brands that use shea should operate if they want to claim their supply chains are sustainable.
In 2019, we encouraged girls to dream big. In partnership with Plan International, we worked to give women and girls in Indonesia and Brazil the tools they need to succeed and unlock their dreams. Sadly, lots of girls in these countries don’t have access to education and employment. Our Dream Big campaign supported an 18-month programme that provided young women with vocational training and skills to help them start their own businesses or find good, safe employment. We’ve been helping 1,500 young women through this programme.
Period products should not be a luxury, but many people who have periods aren’t able to afford them. In 2019 we teamed up with Bloody Good Period, a charitable project that provides menstrual supplies to asylum seekers, refugees and those living in poverty. Gabby Edlin founded Bloody Good Period when she realised that food banks and drop-in centres weren’t supplying enough period products to people who needed them, or couldn’t supply any at all. We used our thousands of stores and The Body Shop at Home™ network to collect period products for those in need, donating them to local organisations like refuges, drop-in centres and shelters.
In 2019 we partnered with Plastics for Change to forge a new Community Fair Trade partnership, purchasing recycled plastic from Bengaluru, India. Plastics for Change work with ‘waste pickers’ in India who are often ‘dalits’ – the lowest members of India’s caste system, and vulnerable to discrimination and poor working conditions. They’ve helped women like Annamma, who was a waste picker since she was a child and now manages a Dry Waste Collection Centre, employing a number of people and supporting her daughter through a plastic engineering course.
During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, many countries reported a sharp and shocking rise in domestic violence. With much of the world in lockdown, many women, men and children were trapped at home with their abusers and isolated from their friends and family. With our Natura &Co sister brands (Natura, AVON and Aesop) we launched our #IsolatedNotAlone campaign, working with global domestic violence charity NO MORE to keep the issues front of mint for governments, and offer essential guidance to those in need and anyone who may know someone in need.
Our Community Fair Trade programme has helped us take our fight for female equality global. Through our partnerships, we provide a fair price and market access to artisans and producers around the world – many of them in rural communities with limited employment opportunities. Our trade has helped the women we employ to find stable incomes, independence and the respect they deserve, as well as helping fund community projects that have included promoting girls’ education and equal pay.Find out more about the campaign
We’ve sourced Community Fair Trade shea butter from Tungteiya Women’s Association in northern Ghana since 1994. 640 women from 11 villages handcraft shea butter using an 18-stage process of traditional techniques, passed from mother to daughter for generations. Receiving a fair price is providing an independent income for the women, and also helping to empower them through increased confidence and respect in their community. We also pay a premium price to help fund community projects that positively impact the lives of 49,000 people across 11 villages in the wider community. Long-term investment has enabled the community to build 7 schools that educate approximately 1,200 students every year, and provide access to safe water and healthcare facilities.
Our Community Fair Trade handcrafted paper and gift packaging is sustainably sourced from Get Paper Industry in Kathmandu, Nepal. We’re really proud to have worked with GPI since 1989. They employ more women than men and pay them a fair, equal wage, making sure they receive equal benefits. They’ve also pioneered social projects to benefit the whole community around Bansbari. They helped send children from the poorest families to school, and raised education levels for girls through their ‘Send Your Daughters to School’ campaign and scholarships.
In recent years, GPI have pioneered initiatives to raise awareness of human trafficking through facilitating girls’ groups in local villages. They’re now also using their voice on a wider scale, by organising nationwide school essay competitions on the topic of human trafficking.
Anita Roddick launched The Body Shop At Home™ in 1994. It was an accessible way for women to work around their other commitments and take control of their income. The programme has been empowering women for over 25 years, giving financial independence and professional flexibility, as well as providing a powerful social network and community.
“A few years ago, my life changed completely. I recovered from a serious illness and decided to resign from my stressful corporate job where I worked very long hours. Looking for a little fun, I hosted a The Body Shop At Home™ party. Chatting with the Consultant, I realised that this opportunity would give me something to focus on, but would also allow me to spend time with my family. I loved partying so much that I decided to concentrate on creating a career and building my own team. I have since been promoted and I now work with and support some really successful managers. This business is amazing and with some dedication and hard work, the opportunity is there for anyone that wants it!”
SENIOR AREA MANAGER
“When I attended a The Body Shop At Home™ party, I certainly wasn’t looking for a new job as I had two children under 18 months old. But it was such fun and I could see how the Consultant role would fit perfectly into family life and have the potential to grow when I had more time. I loved partying and meeting new people. So when my maternity leave ended, rather than return to my full time job, I decided to focus on being a Consultant and growing my own business. The flexibility and unlimited earning opportunities are amazing – I work around my family commitments and choose my own hours. I would highly recommend this job - you never know what you could achieve! Find out more about how our consultant program has changed the lives of many women and how you can get involved.”