Monday, September 10, 2007

In Memoriam - Dame Anita Roddick

I discovered The Body Shop more than a dozen years ago, and continue using their products today. Anita Roddick was an excellent role model for how to ethically run a business. None of their products are animal tested, and Roddick was "green" before green was the fashion. The company provides an incentive for customers to recycle by offering a refund on Body Shop containers.

The Body Shop would address a social issue. In 1997 The Body Shop launched a campaign based on 'Ruby', a real doll representing real women with the now famous caption "There are three billion women in the world who don't look like supermodels and only eight who do." Ruby was originally nameless, but consumers adopted the name Ruby after "Rubenesque."

Another of my favorites was their education campaign, with wonderful t-shirt that read "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance."

The New York Times reports:

Anita Roddick, founder of the international Body Shop cosmetics chain, died Monday night after suffering a major brain hemorrhage, her family said. She was 64.

Roddick, who died at a hospital in Chichester, had revealed in February that she contracted hepatitis C through a blood transfusion while giving birth to a daughter in 1971. She made the announcement after being named head of the British charity Hepatitis C Trust.

The business woman was lauded as the ''Queen of Green'' for trailblazing business practices that sought to be environmentally friendly and won her renown in her native England and around the world.

''Businesses have the power to do good,'' she wrote on the Web site of the company ... Roddick opened her first Body Shop outlet in 1976 in Brighton, southern England, before fair trade and eco-friendly businesses were fashionable. [...]

In recognition of Roddick's contribution to business and charity, Queen Elizabeth II made her a dame, the female equivalent of a knight, in 2003.

Thank you Dame Anita Roddick for your vision. You will be missed.

1 comment:

FranIAm said...

In the 1980's I used to go to London quite a bit. It was always fun to go to the Body Shop and find fun things to bring home for gifts, with a few things for me.

It was nice when it came here, but nothing will ever change the special spirit of the early days, London only feel.

One day one of the women at a Body Shop on Tottenham Court Road I think told me all about Anita. At that time she was known only over there. And of course, she became known around the planet.

Peace to her spirit.