Founded in 1976 The Body Shop was established and carried the ethos of being against animal testing and selling products that are made with natural, ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients.
Over the years my relationship with The Body Shop has been complicated. I have some fond memories of being a teenager on shopping trips with my mum and sister and being treated to little fruity lip balms and body creams. It wasn’t until 2013 when I was volunteering on a stall at VegFest that I found out about the reality of animal testing for cosmetics and as a result I made it my mission to phase out all of my old cosmetics and replace them with a cruelty free alternatives.
I was assured by the The Body Shop’s clear campaigning against animal testing that they would never test but I found out that they were owned by L’Oreal who fund tests on animals and sell their products in China where it is mandatory to test on animals.
I felt deceived by them and their anti-animal testing façade and found it really hypocritical that they were campaigning to end animal testing yet were owned by a company that funded this same testing in China. Don’t get me wrong it was great that they were still petitioning but I didn’t want to contribute towards animal testing myself. From this date on I boycotted The Body Shop among many other big brands.
Last year however I found out that the brand was bought by the Brazilian cosmetics company Natura who are entirely cruelty free. After boycotting them for so long it took me a lot of research and a bit of time to start buying their products again but I really think they’ve turned over a new leaf and stayed true to their original ethos.
Alongside their ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients they’ve started doing their bit for the environment with their new return, recycle, repeat scheme. The new scheme encourages customers to recycle all product bottles in store and these are then sent off and repurposed to become new items such as park benches.
Their loyalty card, which is made of cardboard and not plastic, gives great rewards and I often end up with £5 on my card after only visiting their store twice. Unlinke most rewards cards if you don’t use the points you lose them but The Body Shop has a new scheme which allows you to donate your points to their conservation charity partners rather than lose them.
The lengths that The Body Shop is taking towards making sure that their products are ethically and sustainably sourced is admirable as they are one of the very few on the high street to do this for all of their products. Since being bought out by Natura they have come back better than ever with new products and environmentally friendly schemes, I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!