Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Inspirational women - Dame Anita Roddick 1942-2007

Anita Roddick founded The Body Shop in 1976 at the age of 34; today it is the 2nd most trusted brand in the UK. During those grassroots days Anita set the foundations for a new way of conducting business, The Body Shop was the first to prohibit the use of ingredients tested on animals & was also one of the first to promote fair trade with third world countries. In 1993 Anita spoke of her early days of building up the business:

The original Body Shop was a series of brilliant accidents. It had a great smell, it had a funky name. It was positioned between two funeral parlours--that always caused controversy. It was incredibly sensuous. It was 1976, the year of the heat wave, so there was a lot of flesh around. We knew about storytelling then, so all the products had stories. We recycled everything, not because we were environmentally friendly, but because we didn’t have enough bottles. It was a good idea. What was unique about it, with no intent at all, no marketing nous, was that it translated across cultures, across geographical barriers and social structures. It wasn’t a sophisticated plan, it just happened like that”

In her later years she dedicated more and more of her time to charitable work; this included founding COTE (children on the edge) for orphans, and working for the UN and Greenpeace. Towards the end of her life she also grew to be less materialistic and gave away a great deal of her fortune. Upon her death she left her entire estate to charity.

"Get informed. Get inspired. Get outraged. Get Active"
Anita Roddick

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