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Beauty & Wellness 03 Nov 2017

We were the First Global Beauty Brand to Fight against Animal Testing in Cosmetics- Shriti Malhotra

Being a global beauty brand puts a lot of responsibility of not just providing the best products but also the best for the society.

By Tanvi Jetly Feature Writer

 The doors of the world of beauty are open for all. There are numerous brands that have established their mark in the beauty industry. There is a revolution in the beauty market. Consumers are getting spoiled for choice as the industry has been offering them quite a lot many things to choose from. From new types of cosmetics to nature-based ones and many new trends, the beauty industry is buzzing. In a conversation with Ms Shriti Malhotra, COO, The Body Shop India, we find out the initiatives the global beauty brand has been taking to cater to the consumers and also has a responsibility towards the environment.

1. What is ‘The Body Shop’?

The Body Shop is a global iconic beauty brand, founded in 1976 in Brighton, England, by Anita Roddick. The Body Shop pioneered the philosophy that business can be a force for good and this ethos is still the brand's driving force The brand seeks to make a positive difference in the world by offering high-quality, naturally-inspired skincare, hair care and make-up produced ethically and sustainably. The Body Shop has more than 3,000 stores in more than 60 countries. 

2. Please talk about your initiative of producing cruelty-free products.

We were the first global beauty brand to fight against animal testing in cosmetics. Over the last three decades, we’ve worked with our campaign partner Cruelty-Free International and our collective efforts helped led to the European Union ban in 2013. But that isn’t enough. 80% of countries still allow animal testing. Animals continue to be used in testing, and we want to end this practice everywhere and forever. We have recently launched the ‘Forever against Animal Testing’ Global campaign across the world and in India with an objective to collect 8 million signatures to present to the UN’s General Assembly to formulate laws against animal testing in cosmetic products and ingredients.

3. What are your target resolutions in terms of your Commitment?

 The Commitment supports The Body Shop in its aim to be the world’s most ethical and sustainable global business. It is an extensive programme of global activity and measurable targets that touches all areas of the business, to be delivered by 2020.  The Body Shop has always believed that business can be a force for good and change. The Commitment, entitled ‘Enrich Not Exploit’, embraces the bold ethical principles from which The Body Shop was built.

Under each of The Commitment there are three pillars: ‘Enrich our People’, ‘Enrich our Products’ and ‘Enrich our Planet, The Body Shop has specific, measurable targets by 2020 that make the business accountable for delivery.

 4. What initiatives has your brand taken up other than providing beauty for all?

The Body Shop pioneered social activism before it became fashionable. Some key highlights of The Body Shop campaigning history are:

The Save the Whale campaign was launched with Greenpeace (1986) - the first major campaign that Anita Roddick and The Body Shop launched, drawing attention to the continued threat facing the great mammals.  The Body Shop was one of the first international beauty brands to use an alternative to sperm whale oil, pioneering the use of Jojoba oil as an alternative.

‘Trade, not aid’ (1987): It was a philosophy that Anita Roddick passionately believed could be the most effective way to help alleviate poverty. Teddy Exports from Tamil Nadu India was our very first Community Fair Trade supplier - since 1987 they have been producing and supplying our wooden massagers, accessories and cosmetic bags. After the trade partnership with The Body Shop, Teddy Exports opened Teddy school bringing an opportunity for education to the local children. 

The Body Shop Foundation (1990):  The Body Shop Foundation was established in 1990. It is a charity that funds human rights and environmental protection groups around the world.

 Against Animal Testing campaign in the UK (1996):  The Against Animal Testing campaign led to a UK-wide ban on animal testing on cosmetic products and ingredients in November 1998 and the largest ever petition (four million signatures) being delivered to the European Commission.

 Humane Cosmetics Standard (1997):  The Body Shop was the first international cosmetics company to be recognized under the Humane Cosmetics Standard supported by leading international animal protection groups.

 Home Campaign (2003): The Stop Violence in the Home campaign was an initiative launched to raise money in support of victims of violence. 

2007:  The Body Shop became the first cosmetics company to source sustainably harvested palm oil.

2008:  The Body Shop introduced 100% post-consumer recycled PET bottles.

The Stop Trafficking of Children & Young People Campaign (2009):  The Body Shop and ECPAT International launched The Stop Trafficking of Children & Young People campaign.  It inspired change on an unprecedented scale, gathering over 7 million signatures from customers globally, resulting in over 20 countries across the world committing to adopting new legislation in response to our petitions.  It became the largest campaign ever for The Body Shop.

Wood Positive (2012): The Body Shop launched Wood Positive, offsetting all the wood-based paper and pulp that goes into its primary, secondary and transit packaging.  In 2012, it focused on the Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil, and the Southern Andes in Ecuador.

 2013:  After 20 years of relentless campaigning, The Body Shop celebrated a ban preventing the import and sale of animal tested cosmetic products and ingredients in the EU.

Enrich Not Exploit(2016): The Body Shop launched its Commitment: Enrich Not Exploit ™ It’s in our hand in 2016. The Commitment will enable The Body Shop to protect and nurture the environment and society across every part of its business: ingredients, products, packaging, stores, employees, suppliers and campaigns. Under each of The Commitment there are three pillars: enrich our people, enrich our products and enrich our planet.

 Forever Against Animal Testing (FAAT) Campaign 2017: The Body Shop has recently launched ‘Forever Against Animal Testing’ (FAAT) Campaign in June 2017. The Body Shop was the first global beauty brand to fight against animal testing in cosmetic products and ingredients. The campaign, conducted in partnership with Cruelty-Free International aims to collect 8 million signatures globally and till now we have collected 2.5 million signatures globally.

The launch of Bio-Bridge in Garo Hills, Sep 2017: The Body Shop has today pledged to help protect the endangered Indian Elephant and Western Hoolock Gibbon with its latest Bio-Bridge project in Garo Hills, India. Every transaction since September will protect habitat for some of the world’s most threatened species, with one square metre of habitat protected per transaction.  The India Bio-Bridges programme is part of The Body Shop’s existing commitment to protect and regenerate 75 million square metres of habitat as part of its Enrich Not Exploit Commitment, launched last year.

5. With the latest addition to your VITAMIN E range, what benefits can the consumers extract from it?
Vitamin E range of The Body Shop is one of the most iconic and popular skin hydration range amongst consumers across the world. It is powered by 100% natural origin hyaluronic acid. This year we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the range and we have launched the Limited Edition 40 years of Vitamin E product which promises up to 48 hours of Hydration.Over 40 years since it first launched, this 48H moisturizing must-have for all skin types is still one of our best-selling products. In fact, one is sold every 18 seconds!When it comes to skincare, one can't go wrong with our iconic Vitamin E range.It has various products including- moisture cream, toner, sleeping mask, eye cream, cleansing mask, etc. 

6. What do you think about the Indian Beauty Industry and its future?
The beauty & personal care market is estimated to be $10 billion in India. Owing to the growing consumption in rural and semi-urban areas, India’s cosmetics market is reportedly growing at 15 percent annually, twice as fast as that of the US and European markets.The personal care industry is one of the largest consumer sectors in the country.

We see a huge upsurge of consciousness in beauty purchase ‘Beauty with Responsibility’. Today consumers want to buy ‘Clean beauty’   which is chemical free, natural, organic, vegetarian and not tested on animals. The essence of ‘Ethical and Clean Beauty’ is indeed on the rise.This movement towards healthier, wellness-oriented lifestyles around the world – complemented by a growing consumer awareness of sustainability, naturality, and ethical labelling, has influenced personal attitudes towards beauty. 

7. Has GST affected your brand and its working in any way?
We have maintained our prices. There has been no change in our pricing due to GST.

8. Kindly tell us about your franchise models on offer and share its specifications.
All the stores of The Body Shop are managed, run and operated by The Body Shop India under Quest Retail.

9. Any expansion plans to look forward to?
In the last 11 years, The Body Shop India has grown rapidly e to 165+ stores in 53 cities across India. The Body Shop has a strategic roadmap in India which is the basis of our retail expansion and new stores. Primarily we believe in organic, same-store growth. For new stores, we carefully map out the city and customer potential in our strategic plan which is what we deliver every year. We open about 10-15 stores every year depending on mall openings and potential cities for The Body Shop.

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