Picket of Body Shop store on Oxford St - Sat 21st March from Noon
Dave Morris (McLibel Defendant) to hand out first leaflet to the public
London Greenpeace, fresh from its successful mammoth 'McLibel' battle with the McDonald's Corporation, has just produced a thoroughly researched leaflet about 'green' consumerism focusing on the Body Shop because of its ethical claims. The leaflet (for distribution worldwide) is being mailed out this week to all London Greenpeace contacts around the world, and is entitled "What's Wrong With The Body Shop? - a criticism of 'green' consumerism". It is intended as an educational leaflet (rather than boycott leaflet), showing that consumerism ('green' or otherwise) has a detrimental effect on the environment, society, and the world's poor. Nobody can make the world a better place by shopping and in fact the world's problems will only be tackled by curbing consumerism - one of the fundamental causes of world poverty, environmental destruction and social alienation.
The Body Shop have put themselves on a pedestal in order to exploit people's idealism and therefore the leaflet has been produced as a necessary response. Contrary to their image and reputation, the Body Shop (like all big cosmetic companies) make wide use of petrochemicals, synthetic colours, fragrances and preservatives, and use only tiny amounts of botanical-based ingredients. The Body Shop pay their workers low wages and are opposed to trade unions, ensuring that they keep labour costs down and that employees are not able to organise to improve their working conditions. Also, the Body Shop exploit indigenous people they claim to be helping through so-called 'Trade Not Aid' or 'Community Trade' projects. As the Body Shop rely so heavily on their 'green', 'caring' image, they have threatened or brought legal action against some of those who have criticised them, trying to stifle legitimate public discussion.
As well as being a criticism of 'green' consumerism, the leaflet is highly critical of the cosmetics industry (of which the Body Shop is a part), creating a demand for products where a real need for them does not exist.
London Greenpeace's point of view, as stated in the leaflet, is: "Let's consume less, and live more. Fightback against the institutions and people in power who dominate our lives and our planet. Join in the struggle for a better world."
To launch the leaflet, there will be a picket of the Body Shop store at 374 Oxford Street, London W1 (opposite Bond St tube) on Saturday 21st March from Noon to 2pm. Dave Morris, one of the McLibel Defendants, will hand out the first leaflet to the public at the picket.
The leaflet contains a subverted Body Shop logo - the petals have turned into claws and coins are falling through and accumulating at the bottom! A referenced version of the leaflet is available, meticulously detailing the sources and facts behind the criticisms.
This is the latest in a series of leaflets produced by London Greenpeace focusing on multinational companies, for example McDonald's, Unilever and Shell. We want to show that, at the end of the day, all multinationals have the same characteristics and negative impact on society and the environment.