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Anita Roddick

Anita Roddick, cofounder and chief executive officer of The Body Shop

Anita Roddick
Anita Roddick

Anita Roddick is internationally known for the unconventional success of her cosmetics business and for the ethical standards she promoted through The Body Shop which she founded. She is recognized as a pioneering leader in the field of corporate social responsibility and views business in the greater context of a world that should respect communities, the environment and employees. She taught English and History, worked in the Women's Rights Department of the International Labor Organization in Geneva, owned and managed a restaurant and a hotel before she opened The Body Shop in 1976 in Brighton. From this single storefront, The Body Shop has grown to more than $650 million in revenues and operates in over 50 countries. Roddick began modestly, borrowing $12,000 to develop a line of skin and hair care products based on natural ingredients which she mixed on her kitchen stove.

Roddick has been committed to a no-advertising policy and to expanding the market for plants, herbs and other produce farmed by indigenous people. The Body Shop has also worked with numerous organizations on campaigns against acid rain and on programs to halt the destruction of the rain forests. A self-described renegade business leader, activist, agitator, and author, Roddick has received various honorary degrees and has been awarded business, communication and human rights awards, including knighthood, and the distinction of DBE (Dame Commander of the British Empire).

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