Our History

"You’ve got to be hungry – for ideas, to make things happen and to see your vision made into reality."

Dame Anita Roddick. Human Rights Activist. Founder of The Body Shop

The very first The Body Shop® store opens on 26th March 1976 in Brighton, on the south coast of England. By 1978 a kiosk in Brussels became the first overseas franchise, and by 1982 new shops open at the rate of two per month.

In 1985, in its first year as a public company, The Body Shop sponsor posters for Greenpeace. A year later, it creates an Environmental Projects Department of its own, while the first major window campaign for The Body Shop is "Save the Whale" with Greenpeace, in 1986.

The first Community Trade product for The Body Shop, a Footsie Roller, is produced in 1986 by a supplier in southern India. This trade in Footsie Rollers has evolved into the current trade with Teddy Exports in India, one of our key Community Trade suppliers.

In 1989 The Body Shop launches in New Zealand

By 1990, just one year after launching in the USA, there are 2,500 applications for a franchise, with demand for The Body Shop® products ever-growing, driven by expansion which saw the company trading in 39 countries within just fourteen years after the opening of the very first shop!

In 1990 The Body Shop Foundation is established, a charity which funds human rights and environmental protection groups.

The Big Issue paper for homeless people, which began as a The Body Shop Foundation project, is launched in 1991. By 1998 its success saw The Body Shop Foundation part-funding the launch of The Big Issue stateside, in Los Angeles.

The New Academy of Business is established in 1995, as an initiative by Anita Roddick. This innovative management degree, addressing social, environmental and moral issues, is run at The University of Bath, in England.

In 1993 The Body Shop launches a high profile international campaign to raise awareness of the plight of the Ogoni people and their leader Ken Saro-Wiwa. They were being persecuted for protesting against Shell and the Nigerian dictatorship over exploitation in their homeland.

The Body Shop At Home™, the direct-selling arm, is launched in the UK in 1994, Canada in 1995, Australia in 1997, and USA in 2001. It has now rolled out in 48 states in the USA and is set to grow even bigger.

The Body Shop continues to increase its positive environmental practices. In 2001, The Body Shop UK region and service-centre head offices in Watersmead, switch to Ecotricity, providing them with energy from renewable sources. In addition, a number of The Body Shop® stores have now converted to green electricity.

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

In 1997, The Body Shop is the first international cosmetics company to sign up to the Humane Cosmetics Standard, supported by leading international animal protection groups.

In 1995 and 1997 The Body Shop Values Reports are recognised as trailblazing by United Nations Environmental Programme and SustainAbility, and ranked highest in their review of International Corporate Environmental Reports.

In 1997, The Body Shop celebrates its 21st birthday with the launch of a new flagship store design, winning the prestigious Retail Week Store Design of the Year Award.

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1998, The Body Shop launches a joint worldwide campaign with Amnesty International to highlight the plight of human rights defenders around the world, encouraging customers to 'Make Your Mark' for human rights. This successful campaign saw three million people sign up.

In 1999, The Body Shop creates four new business units in the UK, Europe, the Americas and Asia, shifting its operational and management structure out to the regions.

2001 saw the first The Body Shop® customer reward programme launched in the US. It becomes so popular, it's now in key markets globally, known as Love Your Body™ customer programme with customers rewarded by 10% off their purchases, free gifts and a birthday present, as well as other members-only benefits.

The Body Shop branches into South Africa in June 2001, via New Clicks Holdings as The Body Shop direct franchisee in South Africa. New Clicks have a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility through its New Clicks Foundation.

During 2002, The Body Shop runs a global campaign with Greenpeace International on promoting renewable energy, which culminates in the presentation of over six million customer signatures at the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. We further our commitment to environmental sustainability through investment in renewable energy, funding of energy efficiency projects in the developing world, and incorporating post-consumer recyclate into our packaging.

During 2003 The Body Shop launches a global campaign to raise awareness and funds to help those affected by domestic violence. The Stop Violence In The Home campaign builds on almost a decade of campaigning on the issue in a number of our markets, including Canada, the USA, and West Malaysia. The campaign aims to highlight the issue, raise money to support the work of groups helping victims of violence, and ensure that customers and employees are provided with information on sources of advice and help.

Anita Roddick is appointed as a Dame of the British Empire as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours on Saturday 14th June 2003.

During 2003 The Body Shop launches in Estonia and Turkey.

In 2004 The Body Shop is the first global retailer to join the Board of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil, working with NGOs and plantations to protect tropical rainforests and improve the human rights of workers and indigenous people.

In 2005 The Body Shop joins The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and is commended by Greenpeace and the Breastcancer Fund for our responsible chemicals policy.

During 2005 The Body Shop is awarded for achieving higher standards of animal welfare in the cosmetic category at the first annual awards of the Royal Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the UK. An independent panel of judges chose The Body Shop as winners because of our Against Animal Testing policy.

The Body Shop arrives in Jordan and Russia in 2005, bringing the total of stores around the globe to 2,045.

On March 27th 2006 The Body Shop turned 30.

In 2006 The Body Shop wins PETA's Proggy (progress) awards for its ongoing commitment to avoid animal testing.

In 2006, as part of the ongoing Stop Violence in the Home, The Body Shop creates a partnership with UNICEF and the United Nations Secretary-General’s Study on Violence Against Children, to conduct a study into the effects of domestic violence on children.

The Body Shop becomes part of the L'Oréal Group and de-lists from the London Stock Exchange on July 12 2006. It retains its unique identity and Values and continues to be based in the United Kingdom. It operates independently within the L'Oréal Group and is led by the current management team of The Body Shop reporting directly to the CEO of L'Oréal, Jean-Paul Agon.

On 10th September 2007, our founder and inspiration, Dame Anita Roddick, sadly passes away at the age of only 64. Her legacy and inspiration continues at The Body Shop.

In 2007 The Body Shop join forces with MTV in a new brand partnership to raise funds and awareness about HIV and AIDS amongst young people, through the Spray to Change campaign. Over £430,000 is raised through sales of the limited edition Rougeberry fragrance. The money raised goes to the Staying Alive Foundation, a charity who fund with grass roots organizations raising awareness and educating young and at-risk groups about HIV and AIDS.

In January 2008 Sophie Gasperment joins The Body Shop, assuming the role of Chief Executive from June 2008.

August 2008 sees the unveiling of The Body Shop exciting new brand look.

September 2017 The Body Shop joins the Natura family. We’ve got some brilliant news: The Body Shop has now officially joined the Natura family! Natura is Brazil’s number one cosmetics company and will be a great fit to nurture our brand. They are against animal testing and have been a true leader in ethics and sustainability since they were founded in 1969. Natura has shared our ethical vision from across the globe for over 40 years and now we are working together. We’re looking forward to a bright future and this inspiring new chapter. Keep up-to-date with The Body Shop during this exciting time by following us on social media.