Body Shop Foundation To Close
Thursday, 24th November 2016 at 11:46 am
The UK-based Body Shop Foundation, established by entrepreneur Dame Anita Roddick, will close its doors in 2017 after the charitable organisation failed to reach a funding agreement with the new owners of global cosmetic company The Body Shop International.
A statement on the foundation’s website said: “We are incredibly sad to announce that The Body Shop Foundation will be closing down in early 2017.
“It was founded by two ‘merchants of vision’ – the irrepressible and irreplaceable Dame Anita and Gordon Roddick. Their vision for the charity was to be brave and bold – by supporting small, innovative charities that work at the coal face of issues, raising awareness, challenging laws and attitudes, and ultimately changing lives.
“In particular they insisted that the foundation should be constituted as entirely independent from The Body Shop International, so that it could support those that the company could not.”
Since it was set up 27 years ago, the foundation said it had donated over £24 million (A$45.18 million).
Dame Anita Roddick died in September 2007 aged 64. She was a businesswoman and renowned human rights activist and environmental campaigner, best known as the founder of The Body Shop, a cosmetics company producing and selling natural 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.
“We’re incredibly proud to have found and funded some of the world’s most progressive organisations working for positive social and environmental change. Our funding focus – deliberately flexible – allowed us to be nimble and quick, funding cutting edge, dynamic and undercover work on issues relevant and current to us all,” the foundation statement said.
“We’ve seen huge success from the impact of our funding but we’ve also faced challenges, seen the business change hands and lost a beloved mentor.”
It said the charity had been primarily funded by The Body Shop International and it had worked side by side on a shared set of values to make the world a better place. In March 2006, The Body Shop agreed to a £652.3 million (A$1.09 billion) takeover by L’Oréal.
“Unfortunately, despite our history and impact our lengthy conversations with the current management of The Body Shop have not resulted in a shared vision for the independent future of the foundation,” the statement said.
“A committed funding stream has not been agreed, nor has a fundraising product been put in place for us in 2017.
“This means that the foundation is now unsustainable as the independent organisation that our founders envisaged. This is why, sadly – and to quote The Body Shop themselves, ‘…we’ve been unable to align our future’. So it’s time to move on.”
The foundation appealed to its supporters to continue to fund their causes.
“We believe that through the supporters, the volunteers, and all those determined to make the world a better place, the ethos of our original and uniquely spirited foundation will go on forever.
“Don’t let this be the end of your philanthropy journey – let it be the start of a new adventure. In the spirit of our dearest friend Anita Roddick, ‘Be daring. Be first. Be different. Be just.’”