Over the years, there has been a lot of controversy around the Body Shop and their cruelty free status. In many peoples’ eyes, despite their sustainability and great advertising, the Body Shop hasn’t always been cruelty free.
“The Body Shop exists to fight for a fairer, more beautiful world. This is our purpose, and it drives everything we do. Our beliefs are everything to us: that business is a force for good, the empowerment of women and girls and the belief that everyone is beautiful.”
The Body Shop exists on most high streets in the UK, and are generally known for the sustainability of their products and their wide range of vegan, vegetarian and cruelty free skincare and makeup.
Is The Body Shop Cruelty Free?
The Body Shop was cruelty free when it was first opened by Anita Roddick in a small shop in Brighton, UK in 1976. It was cruelty free for the many years it took to become the high-street name it is today.
Unfortunately, in 2006 the Body Shop was bought by the animal testing international conglomerate L’Oreal. This sparked huge debate in the cruelty free and vegan communities, about whether or not a brand can be ‘cruelty free’ if it is owned by an animal testing parent company. This is still a complex and ongoing debate, and something many people in the cruelty free community can ‘agree to disagree on’. Not like us, eh!
The Body Shop was owned by L’Oreal for eleven years. Just three years ago, it was bought by Natura, a Brazilian beauty group that is cruelty free. Many of the customers that boycotted the Body Shop whilst it was owned by L’Oreal returned, but many of them didn’t.
Although they don’t shout it from the rooftops, the Body Shop is certified cruelty free by Cruelty Free International. This is one of the most reliable certifications a brand can get, because they are routinely audited to ensure their cruelty free status.
Are The Body Shop Products Vegan?
All products by the Body Shop are vegetarian, but a wide range of their products are suitable for vegans too. You can easily browse their vegan products under each category on their website, or look for the small ‘suitable for vegans’ on the back of their products in store.
Are The Body Shop a Sustainable Brand?
The Body Shop have so many great sustainability and CSR initiatives, I don’t even know where to start! If this is something you’re particularly interested in, I’d recommend checking out their ‘about us’ section of their website. You can get much more detail there than I’ll fit into a couple of paragraphs!
My favourite page is their “Fighting to Empower Women and Girls”. It lists all of their initiatives to date around violence in the home, sex trafficking, period poverty and so many more amazing initiatives and partnerships that really make a difference. They also have their own community fair trade programme, plastic recycling scheme and pilot refill scheme, to name a few!
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