Anita Roddick – Essay

For the first three years of their marriage, Roddick and her husband were content running their restaurant and eight-room hotel. She dealt with the customers while he took care of the behind-the-scenes management. However, after three years, the pair found themselves overworked and separated from their children. They decided to sell their restaurant and embark on their own pursuits. Roddick’s husband, an equally avid traveler, decided that he wanted to ride a horse from Buenos Aires, Argentina to New York City.

Ever the supportive wife, Roddick agreed and stayed home to care for their two children. It was during her husband’s time away that 33-year-old Roddick decided to open up a cosmetics store. But, it wouldn’t be just any cosmetics store. Roddick wanted her operation to be natural and environmentally conscious. Roddick was known for her campaigning work on environmental issues and was a member of the demos think tank’s advisory council. Children on the edge (COTE) is an organization that Roddick founded in 1990, in response to her visits to Romanian orphanages.

Upon seeing the conditions the children were in, she created COTE to help manage the crisis and worked to de-institutionalize the children over the course of their early life. COTE’s mission focuses on disadvantaged children affected by conflicts, natural disasters, disabilities, and HIV/AIDS. On 13 December 2005, the national pose reported that Roddick had decided to turn her back on the world of commerce and give away her fortune, worth some ? 51 million ($104 million).

The Body Shop proved so successful that soon Roddick wanted to open a second store. When she was rejected for a $8,000 loan from the bank, Roddick turned to a gas station owner named Ian McGlinn, who agreed to purchase half a share in the company. By the time her husband returned, Roddick’s chain had become so popular that more and more people had begun inquiring about franchise rights. The Body Shop franchise was based on a unique business philosophy; its goal would not be limited to profits, but would also try to encompass socially responsible principles.

Roddick wanted her company to offer “a two-for-one sale no other cosmetic company could ever hope to match: buy a bottle of ‘natural’ lotion and get social justice for free. ” The company also employed unique advertising techniques, such as lining the sidewalk leading into her store with Body Shop perfume and hanging potpourri. From campaigning to save Brazilian rainforests to fighting for fairer trade rules, Roddick has dedicated her company to social activism both at home and abroad. By 2004, there were over 1,980 Body Shop stores in over 40 countries around the world.

It was voted the second most trust brand in the United Kingdom and Roddick was knighted by the Queen. More recently, the Body Shop was bought out by L’Oreal. Roddick has since spent most of her time giving away the majority of her accumulated $104 million fortune. Dame Anita Roddick, DBE (23 October 1942 – 10 September 2007) was a British businesswoman, human rights activist and environmental campaigner, best known as the founder of the body shop, a cosmetics company producing and retailing beauty products that shaped ethical consumerism.

The company was one of the first to prohibit the use of ingredients tested on animals and one of the first to promote fair trade with third world countries. *Roddick was involved in activism and campaigning for environmental and social issues including involvement with Greenpeace and the big issue. In 1990, Roddick founded Children On The Edge, a charitable organization which helps disadvantaged children in Eastern Europe and Asia.

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