- a criticism of 'green' consumerism -
Part 2 of 2

(with commentary)!

[1] See "Fuelling Consumption" paragraphs in the leaflet and associated references.

[2] See "Exploiting Indigenous Peoples" paragraphs in the leaflet and associated references.

[3] See "Helping Animals?" paragraph in the leaflet and associated references.

[4] See "Natural products?" paragraph in the leaflet and associated references.

[5] See "Fuelling Consumption" paragraphs in the leaflet and associated references.

[6] See "Fuelling Consumption" paragraphs in the leaflet and associated references.

[7] See "Helping Animals?" paragraph in the leaflet and associated references.

[8] See "Exploiting Indigenous Peoples" paragraphs in the leaflet and associated references.

[9] See "Natural products?" paragraph in the leaflet and associated references.

[10] [Numerous publications, statements, advertisements etc by the Body Shop.]
For example, the company's Mission Statement (1998) says that they are dedicating their business "to the pursuit of social and environmental change" and are trying to ensure that their business "is ecologically sustainable, meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future." "For us, animal protection, human rights, fair trade and environmentalism, are not just fads or marketing gimmicks but fundamental components in our holistic approach to life of which work and business are a part" [Gordon Roddick (Chairman) quoted in 1996 Body Shop publication "Our Agenda".] "I'd rather promote human rights, environmental concerns, indigenous rights, whatever, than promote a bubble bath" said Anita Roddick (the Body Shop founder and Chief Executive) [speech at 'Academy of Management', Vancouver (Aug 95).] The current Mission Statement says the company is dedicated to "honesty" and the first Mission Statement (1980) said it "will be the most honest cosmetics company in the world". Anita Roddick has stated the company is "committed to establishing non-exploitative trading relationships with indigenous people" and that the Body Shop "is driven by values rather than profits" [Introduction to 1993 Body Shop product catalogue.] "The company is not simply a manufacturer of toiletries and cosmetics] We are committed to environmental protection and respect for human rights, we develop trading relationships with communities in need, we are against animal testing in the cosmetics industry, and we encourage education, awareness and involvement among our staff and customers" [Body Shop News Release 19/1/98.]

[11] For example, there is very little advertising and marketing of fruit and vegetables whereas vast amounts are spent on promoting cars, junk food, and cosmetics.

[12] For example, Body Shop stores around the world are designed to look and even smell the same] And their products and packaging are virtually the same worldwide.

[13] See "Fuelling Consumption" paragraphs in the leaflet and associated references.

[14] ["Worldwide Shop List", Body Shop (1/6/97); Body Shop News Release (29/10/97).]

[15] 118 new stores were opened during the 1996 financial year [Body Shop News Release (8/5/97)] and approx 89 during FY1997 [Body Shop News Release (29/10/97).] The Body Shop was ranked as the world's second best-known retail brand by 'Interbrand' in Nov 97 [Body Shop News Release (18/4/97).] * HUMAN RIGHTS - The Body Shop have stated that responsible companies should not deal with governments with poor human rights records [eg. speech by Anita Roddick to International Chamber of Commerce in Oct 93.] Yet for more than 10 years, the company has been purchasing baskets from China in huge quantities produced by cheap labour, including during the Tiananmen Square protests and massacre ["Social Evaluation: The Body Shop International 1995"; New Consumer (Feb 94).] Kirk Hanson (a Stanford University lecturer) stated in his independent report commissioned by the Body Shop that the company "lags behind a small group of companies which have and are implementing systems for insuring that suppliers adhere to basic human rights" ["Social Evaluation: The Body Shop International 1995".] The Body Shop also have stores in many particularly repressive countries around the world (such as Indonesia) ["Worldwide Shop List", Body Shop (1/6/97).] Over a number of years, the Body Shop have been exploring the possibility of opening stores in China ["Social Evaluation: The Body Shop International 1995"; article by Peter Lynch in 'Worth' magazine (Jan 96).]

[16] Retail sales exceeded 622 million in 1996-7 (more than $1 billion) giving the company a pre-tax profit of 38 million [Body Shop News Release (8/5/97).] On 8th May 1997, the main shareholders in the Body Shop were as follows: Ian McGlinn (owning 23.6% of the company's stock), Gordon Roddick (12.5%), Anita Roddick (12.4%), Prudential Corp (3.6%), Aeon Group (3.5%) [Body Shop Annual Report 1997.] The top four basic boardroom salaries (before adding perks and share options) ranged from 159,000 to 224,000 in 1997 [Guardian (10/5/97).]

[17] See reference 10 above.

[18] Charles Secrett (Executive Director of Friends of the Earth UK) reported in 1996 that "The richest fifth of humanity consumes some 85% of the world's natural resources and causes 65% of greenhouse gas emissions, 90% of industrial effluents, and 95% of hazardous wastes] The average Briton uses 200 times the natural resources of someone from sub-Saharan Africa." ['Earth Matters' (Winter 1996).]

[19] The gap between rich and poor in the world is enormous and is widening] Between 1961 and 1991, the poorest fifth of the world's people saw their share of global income drop from 2.3% to 1.4% while the share for the richest fifth rose from 70% to 85%] In other words, in 1991 the richest 20% of the world's people earned 61 times more income than the poorest 20% (thirty years ago, they earned 30 times more income)] ["Human Development Report", United Nations Development Programme (1996).]
[20] These environmental problems and their causes are exhaustively documented by countless UN bodies, inter-govermental bodies, governmental bodies, non-governmental bodies, scientific bodies, scientists, environmentalists, and others. * PACKAGING - For example, the Body Shop use plastic containers made from petrochemicals which are not recyclable in the vast majority of markets in which the company operates [Jon Entine, 'Green Washing' (Nov 95).] * TRANSPORTATION - The mass production of Body Shop products and their transportation over large distances not only results in environmental damage but also necessitates the products containing many preservatives and other synthetic ingredients (see References 22 to 24 below)] Cosmetic products containing a much greater proportion of natural ingredients require small production units, decentralised production and short channels of distribution.

[21] "To achieve sustainable development and a higher quality of life for all people, states should reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of production and consumption." - Principle 8, The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, 1992] The urgent environmental problem is the pollution, energy use and habitat destruction caused by the extraction of resources and manufacturing of products, with impacts such as climate change, acid rain and toxic pollution] Much Southern environmental degradation - such as forest destruction - is driven by Northern consumption - for example, of wood and other raw materials.

[22] The Body Shop first promoted its cosmetics as 'natural', then 'plant based', before settling on 'naturally based' [numerous Body Shop materials]. Company catalogues have stated "the Body Shop is green all over", their products "promote health and well-being", "there's a fruit product to try", they sell "a kitchen of things for the skin", offer "indigenous beauty secrets", with a "natural approach to skin and hair care".

[23] [Lists of ingredients produced by the Body Shop; consumer advocates and natural cosmetics experts including Zia Wesley-Hosford (author of "Putting on Your Face: The Ultimate Guide to Cosmetics"), Paula Begoun (author of "Don't Go To the Cosmetics Counter Without Me"), and Debra Lynn Dadd (author of "Nontoxic, Natural and Earthwise"); New Consumer (Autumn 94).] Christine Malcolm in "Drug and Cosmetic Industry" magazine (May 1995) placed Body Shop cosmetics in a category of 'alibi' natural products that use "primarily synthetic materials but purport to be natural"] Industry experts, including their own suppliers, contend that many of their products are drug-store quality and based on aging commercial formulas heavy with petrochemical ingredients [cosmetic consultant Rebecca James (Feb 94); Dieter Wundrum (chief scientist for 'Oko-Test' magazine and a consultant to the Body Shop for four years); suppliers Brooks Industries, Lipo Chemical, and Croda Chemical.] An industry expert quoted in "Women's Wear Daily" (April 96) is blunt about the quality of Body Shop cosmetics: "low-end products at a premium price" [Kim-Van Dang.] The independent US magazine 'Consumer Reports' excoriated Body Shop in Feb 1991 for using 'silk powder' in its eyeshadow, which is a bulking agent: a powdered polymer, derived from petrochemicals, similar in make-up to "nylon, polyethylene and urea/formaldehyde resin"] 'Oko-Test' (a German magazine) singled out the Body Shop for its extensive reliance on synthesised almond and peanut oils - crude, inexpensive oils common to standard-quality cosmetics [May 1993.]
* SWISS TV REPORT (1993): "The beautiful colours are striking in the Body Shop, in order to make the products more conspicuous and therefore to induce a desire to purchase them] Soaps and shampoos can be manufactured with natural dyes without problems, it is just that the products would then be less brilliantly coloured] The Body Shop's argument concerning this artificial richness in colour is that "life is dull enough, we make it colourful"] The biologist Gabriele Kotschisch, who works as an environmental consultant, says: "Dyestuffs can in general be allergenic; natural dyes are supported well yet are more expensive, more sensitive to light and are less colour-intensive; synthetic dyes are the result of mass-production technology and are allergenic irritants." "

[24] For example, approximately 1.5% of their Brazil nut hair conditioner contains nut oil ["Broken Promises" by Saulo Petean (Dec 96); Geoffrey Brooks (head of Body Shop supplier Brooks Pharmaceuticals)] far below levels that could affect its efficacy.

[25] For example, Zia Wesley-Hosford (a consumer advocate and cosmetics expert) stated "I selected seven basic skin and body care items [of the Body Shop] and found that they all contained at least two or more of the following ingredients: isopropyl myristate, mineral oil, petrolatum, sodium lauryl sulfate and triethanolamine] These ingredients are of no benefit to the skin whatsoever] In fact, they can sensitize, irritate, strip the skin and cause breakouts." ['Great Faith' newsletter (Fall 1993).] The German magazine 'Oko-Test' has found formaldehyde in various products, including a baby lotion [reports 1989-94.] Formaldehyde is a carcinogen which may accelerate the aging of skin] In January 1996, Danish National Broadcasting also reported significant levels of formaldehyde in two best-selling Body Shop cosmetics ["Body Shop Cream in Chemical Alert", Mail on Sunday 14/1/96.]

[26] [Numerous employees and ex-employees of the company, including Marilyn Gettinger (head of product sourcing and development) and David Brook (environmental director).]

[27] [Numerous company statements and publications.] The Body Shop's trademark "Against Animal Testing" appears frequently in stores and company publications.

[28] For example, a company internal memo in May 1992 (produced by the monitoring officer of the Body Shop) stated that 46.5% of ingredients had been tested on animals [Private Eye report of Body Shop / Channel 4 courtcase.] In 1989, the Body Shop changed its slogan from "Not Tested on Animals" to "Against Animal Testing" - the former statement was clearly untrue. Concurrent to the change, Body Shop was successfully prosecuted by the German government for misleading advertising] The court ruled that since all cosmetic companies use ingredients tested on animals by third parties, claims that products were "not tested on animals" and that "we test neither our raw materials nor our end products on animals" were misleading [Higher Regional Court Dusseldorf case 34-0-202/89.] In 1996, the European Union's Department of Trade & Industry announced that the Body Shop's "against animal testing" label and symbols such as a tortured white rabbit (used frequently in their marketing) deceive consumers and would be banned so as to "avoid any misleading claims".

[29] The Body Shop's animal testing policy up to 1997 (allowing ingredients tested on animals five years previously to be used) was described by many concerned about animal welfare as a complete sham [eg. Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (1993).] In the face of this criticism, the Body Shop have adopted a new policy, stating no ingredients will be used that have been tested on animals since 31/12/90] But the new policy does not exclude ingredients tested on animals since 1990 which were tested for some purpose other than cosmetics] Jon Entine states that "since most chemicals are developed for medicinal use, this effectively renders the ban ineffective" ["Squandering the Intregrity Premium" (Feb 98).] See information on Vitamin E Acetate in the following reference] In addition, other companies have adopted cut-off dates much earlier than 1990 [eg. Honesty Cosmetics - 1975.] In their brochures and press handouts, the Body Shop maintain that their campaign has been enormously effective in getting suppliers to curtail animal testing] It claimed that ICI (a large UK-based chemical company) "changed its policy and agreed to sign the Body Shop's five-year rule declaration" [Body Shop brochure 1993.] A spokesperson for ICI called the Body Shop's statement "utterly ridiculous" and said ICI had never been licensed to test chemicals for cosmetic purposes] ICI regularly tests chemicals on animals for other uses. [ICI statement 9/9/93.]

[30] The Body Shop state in their literature that if a supplier does not comply with their policy, they will find an acceptable alternative supplier or, failing that, will scrap the ingredient] In 1989-90, the company did not cut off the supplier of bath salts Heinrich Hagler after it learned that its ingredients were being tested on animals [documents disclosed during the Body Shop law suit against Channel Four in 1993.] In 1989, Hoffman-LaRoche had been supplying The Body Shop for many years with Vitamin E Acetate for use in its sun screens] Hoffman-LaRoche performed animal tests on Vitamin E Acetate in 1989 for medical use; it ran more animal tests in 1991 for pharmaceutical use as an ingredient for sun screens] Throughout this period and beyond, the Body Shop continued to purchase Vitamin E Acetate from Hoffman-LaRoche. [Hoffman-LaRoche testing documents 1989 & 1991.] The examples cited above and the other substantial loopholes in the Body Shop animal testing policy enabling the company to buy ingredients tested on animals for some purpose other than cosmetics, mean that the the policy and its enforcement continue to cause concern.

[31] "Gelatine is the material which forms the capsule of our bath beads and is a by-product of the meat industry" [Body Shop 'Values Report 1995']. Some Body Shop products contain materials obtained from animals such as lanolin and honey [Values Report 1995].

[32] The starting rate of pay for shop assistants at the Body Shop in the UK is between 4.37 and 5.18 per hour (depending on the location of the store) [figures provided by Body Shop UK headquarters (27/2/98)]] In 1997 the Council of Europe set a 'decency threshold' for pay then as a minimum of 6.60 per hour [Govt. New Earnings Survey 1997].

[33] Anita Roddick, in an interview broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in Spring 1997, said that the company does not wish to have a dialogue with unions, and that they would do so only if forced by legislation] "The Company does not formally recognise any Trade Union as representing any of our employees, and has no plans to do so" [Document entitled "Employee Consultation and Representation" produced by Stuart Rose (Managing Director of Body Shop) and dated 20/3/96.]

[34] For example none of their store workers in the UK are unionised [research by Naomi Klein (journalist), and information provided by Transport & General Workers Union] and, as far as we know, the same is true elsewhere] One of the main reasons for the Body Shop moving their US headquarters and filling plant from New Jersey to North Carolina in 1993 was to move away from New Jersey's union-friendly laws to North Carolina's union-unfriendly laws. This has resulted in the company having considerably lower labour costs at their filling plant] Many workers are employed on a freelance basis which means the company provides them with significantly reduced benefits on top of their wage, and the workers have no guaranteed employment.

[35] Radio 4 interview (see Ref 33) and information provided by Transport & General Workers Union.

[36] [Numerous Body Shop publications, statements and advertisements.] For example, a 1995 leaflet states these projects represent "our commitment to the development of long-term, sustainable trading relationships with communities in need] The goal is to help create livelihoods and to explore trade-based approaches to supporting sustainable development by sourcing ingredients from socially and economically marginalised communities." In a nutshell, the projects are meant to pay first world prices to third world workers] In a 1993 leaflet, Gordon Roddick called fair trade a "cornerstone of the company" which "provides a platform from which our purchasing power is used to direct money straight to the primary producers".

[37] Richard Adams of New Consumer calculated that in 1993 just 0.165% of gross retail sales ended up in the pockets of TNA producers (and 0.3% of sales in 1994) [New Consumer (Autumn 1994).] Terrence Turner (an anthropologist at the University of Chicago and a leading expert on the Kayapo has stated that the company's work with the Kayapo is "a public relations ploy above all" which aids the Body Shop in promoting its image while offering the Kayapo little trade in exchange [Franklin Research's Insight (Sept 94).] Kirk Hanson (a Stanford University lecturer) stated in his independent report commissioned by the Body Shop that "in this area more than any other, the company's performance lags behind what has been implied by its past promotions" ["Social Evaluation: The Body Shop International 1995".]

[38] The Body Shop had over many years sourced a substantial amount of babassu oil for its 'Rainforest Bath Beads' from Croda Chemical Company (which processed the oil from nuts not growing in the rainforest) [internal Body Shop document and transcribed testimony from a courtcase (libel action against Channel 4 in 1993)] and from Cultural Survival Enterprises which stated it sourced most of its supply from the mainstream commercial markets ['Business Ethics' magazine (1994).] Testimony at the trial (Body Shop v Channel 4) by a Body Shop representative confirmed that the Body Shop experienced delays in getting babassu oil from South America, so it bought in babassu oil from Croda "rather than have to stop the product and thereby not being able to launch the Trade Not Aid material" [Letter from the editor of 'Business Ethics' magazine (13/9/94).]

[39] Body Shop Comic "Fight for the Forest" (circa 1992).

[40] [" 'Harvesting Moonshine' taking you for a ride" - Survival International (1993); "Survival International's contacts with the Body Shop" (Oct 94); "Broken Promises" by Saulo Petean (Dec 96); Institute of Developmental Studies (1995).] In 1994, the project employed about 70 out of 3,500 Kayapo Indians in 2 out of 14 Kayapo villages ["Survival International's contacts with the Body Shop" (Oct 94).]

[41] [" 'Harvesting Moonshine' taking you for a ride" - Survival International (1993); "Survival International's contacts with the Body Shop" (Oct 94); "Broken Promises" by Saulo Petean (Dec 96).] "Over five years, Body Shop has sold 1.3 million litres of Brazil Nut oil conditioner valued at $28 million; from this, the Kayapo have received $686.000" [Saulo Petean (a consultant for the Body Shop on the Kayapo project 1990-96) in "Broken Promises" (Dec 96).]

[42] [" 'Harvesting Moonshine' taking you for a ride" - Survival International (1993); "Survival International's contacts with the Body Shop" (Oct 94); "Broken Promises" by Saulo Petean (Dec 96); Institute of Developmental Studies (1995).]

[43] [" 'Harvesting Moonshine' taking you for a ride" - Survival International (1993); "Survival International's contacts with the Body Shop" (Oct 94); "Broken Promises" by Saulo Petean (Dec 96); Institute of Developmental Studies (1995); reports by anthropologist Terrence Turner.] An article in the Observer (3/3/96) entitled "Amazon chief sues Body Shop" reported that a Kayapo village chief (whose image in traditional feathered head-dress had appeared on thousands of Body Shop posters, and whose picture appeared in an American Express advertisement alongside Anita Roddick) was claiming compensation because the company had made 'unauthorised' use of his image 'for publicity ends'] Saulo Petean stated that the chief agreed to drop the law suit as a result of intense pressure from the company ["Broken Promises" (Dec 96).] In addition, Anita Roddick herself has admitted that some of the 'Trade Not Aid' projects have resulted in enormous media coverage and could be costed as public relations [Independent 25/8/94.]
A critical analysis of the Kayapo project was prepared by the UK-based Institute of Developmental Studies in 1995] Commissioned by the Body Shop, the IDS report concluded that the extraction of Brazil nuts is unsustainable; that the Body Shop misrepresents the for-profit trade link as a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) project; that the Body Shop has seen a sales boom while experts believe that the Kayapo are not adequately compensated for use of their image; and that the project has disrupted centuries-long social structures ["An Evaluation of the Trade Not Aid Links Between The Body Shop and the Mebergokre Communities in Para and Mato Grosso States" by Patricia Stocker, Iara Ferraz & Ruben Almeida (Sao Paulo: Institute of Developmental Studies, 1995).]] According to the authors of the study, the Body Shop suppressed the report and enforced a non-disclosure clause in their contract preventing them from discussing its conclusions.

[44] [" 'Harvesting Moonshine' taking you for a ride" - Survival International (1993).]

[45] At the time of the joint advertising campaign between American Express and the Body Shop, American Express (through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Lehman Brothers) was heavily involved in arranging financing for James Bay II, a massive hydroelectric scheme due to flood vast areas of Cree Indian land in Quebec] Not surprisingly, the Cree were totally opposed to this] Bill Namagoose, Executive Director of the Grand Council of the Crees (Quebec) said, "American Express is involved in arranging financing for the destruction of our lands] That American corporate interests are using indigenous peoples' plight for their advertising is 'inexcusable'] That the Body Shop's ingredients are 'environmentally friendly' adds insult to injury." [" 'Harvest Moonshine' taking you for a ride" - Survival International, 1993.] Anita Roddick says in her autobiography (1991): "If [Body Shop customers] realise the connection between certain products and major issues like the destruction of the rainforest, global pollution or the threat to primitive cultures, they will avoid these products." Like American Express, for example? ["Harvest Moonshine" - Survival International, 1993.] "While Roddick herself received $600,000 for the [advertising] campaign, the Indians got $1,632 for the use of their images" ["Broken Promises" by Saulo Petean (Dec 96).]

[46] The Body Shop has threatened legal action against many critics or potential critics such as the Sunday Times (UK, 1980), BBC 'Tomorrow's World' programme (UK, 1980), Mail on Sunday (UK, 1991), 'International Management' magazine (1986), 'Mandesbladet Press' (Denmark, 1994), the Guardian (UK, 1996), 'Oko-Test' magazine (Germany), Survival International (UK, 1992), 'Vanity Fair' (USA, 1994), and 'Business Ethics' magazine (USA, 1994)] The company brought a libel action against Channel 4 (UK) in 1992/3] The Body Shop retained Hill & Knowlton, the giant PR company whose clients have included Idi Amin (Ugandan dictator), the Chinese government (after the Tiananmen Square massacre), and former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier] Hill & Knowlton founded the American Tobacco Research Council (an arm of the tobacco lobby)] The Body Shop's lawyers in the UK are Lovell White Durrant, who represented the notorious Robert Maxwell] After publication of the critical article 'Shattered Image' in 'Business Ethics' magazine, the Body Shop set up a fake charity in order to illegally obtain Business Ethics' mailing list; they then sent out a condemnatory letter to all 12,000 subscribers] [Numerous articles by Jon Entine including "Squandering the Integrity Premium" (Feb 98); New Consumer (Autumn 94); Franklin Research's Insight (Sept 94); Body Shop letter to 'Business Ethics' subscribers (Sept 94); Letter from the editor of 'Business Ethics' magazine (13/9/94); "Survival International's contacts with the Body Shop" (Oct 94).] Survival International characterised the Body Shop's attitude towards them as "aggressive and bullying" ["Survival International's contacts with the Body Shop" (Oct 94).] In his social assessment commissioned by the Body Shop, Kirk Hanson concludes that "the company has not demonstrated adequate openness and transparency, accuracy in its general communications and willingness to entertain constructive criticism." He notes that it has "reacted poorly to criticism even from 'friends', franchisees and employees" ["Social Evaluation: The Body Shop International 1995".]


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