When I went to boarding school in England in the late 1970′s, I used to love to go shopping for beauty products at the Body Shop, founded by Anita Roddick in 1976. Recently, I read her autobiography and was so inspired by her vision for her business that I underlined many passages which resonanted so strongly for me. What an inspiration she is! I was amazed at how similar my vision is to hers and was thrilled to learn how important environmental activisim was to her and her business.
The book is called Body and Soul by Anita Roddick.
Page 7: ” My passionate belief is that business can be fun, it can be conducted with love and a powerful force for good.” Yes!!
Page 24: “How do you stay successful and still keep your soul and your sense of fun, and remain human in a business environment that alienates humanity every way? We dealt with these dilemnas by coming out of the closet and declaring publicly that we intended to be a force for social change. We believed that it was possible to shift from a value system of ever increasing profits to one in which core values were concerned with human and social issues and were founded on feminine values like love and care.” Yes!!!!
Page 86: “To succeed you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality.” Yes!!!
Page 165: “I never had any doubt that the Third World needed work rather than handouts. Trade gives people in the Third World the ability to choose their destiny when they meet the pressures of the west, and helps them utilize their resources to the benefit of their social, cultural and material needs.” I’m jumping up and down I am so excited about this one!
Page 165: “Most multinational companies didn’t give a damn about the Third World: their only interest in it was as a source of cheap labour and extra profits. We believed that Trade Not Aid was likely to be the most effective way to alleviate suffering and poverty around the world, and over the next few years from 1987 we refined the ground rules into an international trading policy.
The principles behind Trade Not Aid were that:
-we respected all environments, cultures and religions
-we utilized traditional skills and materials
-we created trade links that were not only successful but sustainable
-we traded in replinshable natural materials
-we encouraged small-scale projects that could be easily duplicated
-we provided a long-term commitment to all projects.”
These two last quotes are of particular significance to me, because I support several women’s cooperatives from around the world by selling their products on my site. It’s important to me to raise awareness of their struggles to overcome the many challenges they have to survive and and help them be proud in earning their own income.
Anita Roddick rocks!