A Tribute to Anita Roddick: "The Queen of Green" [VIDEO]
October 21, 2007
Roddick, the working class British daughter of immigrants, was an unlikely global business pioneer, who as founder of the socially responsible cosmetics firm Body Shop fought to bring sustainable and ethically-sourced products to the beauty industry long before it became fashionable, earning her the sobriquet "Queen of Green."
From its humble beginning in 1976 as a single store in Brighton, England, with only fifteen products, the company grew rapidly on the strength of strong demand for both those products and Roddick's in-your-face social activism. After eight years, the company went public and franchises spread all over England, and later the world. Today there are more than two thousand Body Shop stores in 55 different markets, serving more than 77 million customers speaking 25 languages.Anita Roddick herself once said of the beauty industry:
It makes me angry, not only because it is a male-dominated industry built on creating needs that don't exist, but because it seems to have decided that it needs to make women unhappy about their appearances. It plays on self-doubt and insecurity about image and ageing by projecting impossible ideals of youth and beauty.
Leonard Lauder, son of EstÃƒÂ©e, once refused to advertise in Ms. Magazine (back when they still accepted ads) because, he said his products were meant for "the kept woman mentality."
I think it is a moral imperative that The Body Shop, as a cosmetics company itself, continue to buck the industry on issues of self-esteem, and to expose the cruel irony of the myth that a company must make a woman feel inferior in order to win her loyalty.Check out the video to your right for more.