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The Body Shop sold to Natura

Dec 20

Written by:
20/12/2017 12:17  RssIcon

Pioneering cruelty-free cosmetics company Body Shop is no longer owned by the world’s biggest cosmetics company L’Oréal

The Body Shop, owned by L’Oréal for 11 years, has been sold to the Brazilian cosmetics giant Natura. It now no longer has a link to Nestlé which owns 23% of L’Oréal. The sale means its score has increased from 3.5 to 10.5.

The sale has been seen by many as returning The Body Shop to its activist roots, as Natura has a reputation as a company committed to sustainability. It has a raft of policies to promote sustainable development in the Amazon, and it is working to ensure that 30% of its total inputs in value come from the Pan-Amazon region by 2020 (in 2014 it was 17%). It is a certified B Corp and, in 2015, it won recognition by the UNEP as a ‘Champion on the Earth’.


Image: Body Shop


Naturewatch has had a long-standing boycott call targetting The Body Shop due to L’Oréal’s use of animal testing – to many people this seemed particularly egregious as The Body Shop presented itself as so virtuous on the issue.

Natura has now confirmed that it has a fixed cut-off date for ingredients, so the boycott has been lifted. The Body Shop and Natura both get our best rating for animal testing. 

Are Natura’s ethics genuine?

Natura was founded by three men (who are still involved with the company, and own a proportion of it, although how much is unclear) who are now billionaires. One of them lives in London, and the other ran as the Green Party vice presidential candidate in the 2010 Brazilian presidential election.

Natura’s UK website replaces the usual pictures of emaciated models with pictures of its products and ingredients, which is refreshing. However, it is noticeable that the skinny models come back in force on the websites aimed at other countries like Brazil and the US. 

However, overall, Natura’s ethics seem reasonably genuine. Its 2016 Annual Report contains far more detailed discussion of social and environmental issues than is normally seen in an annual report, including detailed environmental data with multiple targets and impact measurements, data on its employees' well-being, information on its suppliers, data on the gender, age, disability and cultural balance within the company, and discussion of its community projects.

However, it remains to be seen whether Body Shop customers will return to the brand now it’s ownership has improved.



See our shopping guide to Perfume & Aftershave to see where The Body Shop compares to other brands in the market. 









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