Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Sad Day for the Body Shop

Body Shop founder Anita Roddick dies

By D'ARCY DORAN, Associated Press Writer Mon Sep 10, 10:16 PM ET

LONDON - Body Shop founder Anita Roddick, who used her international cosmetics chain to promote eco-friendly practices long before they were widely fashionable, died Monday night after suffering a major brain hemorrhage, her family said. She was 64.

Roddick, known as the "Queen of Green," was lauded around the world for trailblazing business practices that promoted environmentalism and other causes dear to her heart, from human rights to Third World debt relief.

"Businesses have the power to do good," Roddick wrote on the Web site of the company, which was bought by the French company L'Oreal Group last year for $1.14 billion.

The Body Shop opposed animal testing and tried to encourage Third World development by purchasing materials from small communities in poorer countries. It founded a human rights award and invested in a wind farm in Wales as part of its campaign to promote renewable energy.

"Before Body Shop you could only find cruelty-free products in hippie shops — now they are everywhere," said People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals vice president Dan Mathews, who worked with Roddick on campaigns in the 1980s, when Body Shop became a global brand.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Somewhere, there are people who aren't so happy that their niche has been commercialized, re-appropriated by corporations touting their intentions are for the greater good, the preservation of the flora and fauna of the planet...but in reality, it's all about making even more money. Because to sell a product, these companies must sell wardrobe styles, eating habits, and philosophical beliefs that capitalize on the proclivity for human beings to want to belong and be accepted by those who sit atop the throne of the cultural elite.

I realize that economic development and saving the Earth are not easy or simple tasks to undertake, and that more than a handful of groups are necessary for any kind of observable progress to be made (within our lifetime). Nonetheless, it isn't a cause for sustained celebration when something you called your own (or your community's own) is cloned or even taken from you because your own efforts are no longer (good) enough. Not to suggest that it's what happened with the Body Shop.

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May Mrs. Roddick rest in peace.

pic cred: Amazon.com

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