L'Oreal and Body Shop

17 March 2006




The Body Shop, trailblazer of ethical issues on the high street, will see its ethical rating fall from 11 out of 20 to 2.5 on Ethical Consumer's unique rating system "ethiscore", if its takeover by L'Oreal goes through.


"It's ironic that a company well-known for its anti-animal testing stance should sell-out to one that tests on animals and which has yet to show its commitment to any ethical issues at all" says Ruth Rosselson from Ethical Consumer magazine. "I for one will certainly not be shopping there again and I urge other consumers concerned about ethical issues to follow my example. There are plenty of other higher scoring ethical companies out there."


L'Oreal receives a worst rating from Ethical Consumer for its animal testing policy, and also has had boycott calls against it for testing its cosmetic products on animals. And while the Body Shop has always considered natural ingredients as important, L'Oreal is criticised by environmental campaigners for including harmful pollutants and worrying chemicals in its cosmetics.


L'Oreal's link to Nestlé - it owns 26% of the company - is also a concern. Nestlé is the subject of a long-running boycott because of its marketing of breast milk substitutes and is the UK's most boycotted company. Baby Milk Action, which coordinates the international Nestlé Boycott over the company's aggressive marketing of baby foods will be adding Body Shop to the list of brands from which the company profits. Mike Brady, Campaigns and Networking Coordinator at Baby Milk Action said: "Many Nestlé boycott supporters will be dismayed if the takeover goes ahead and we have to add Body Shop to list of brands from which Nestlé profits. In a global Internet vote last year Nestlé was proclaimed the world's 'least responsible company'. How could the Body Shop, with its proclaimed ethical values, have fallen into its hands? We are asking supporters to send messages to Anita Roddick asking her to reconsider." See Baby Milk Action's response to the takeover.


"Anita Roddick has always been a keen advocate of ethical consumerism," says Ruth Rosselson. "We think consumers can now show their disgust at this highly unethical takeover by voting with their feet and their wallets and refusing to further line the pockets of L'Oreal and Nestlé. If L'Oreal is really concerned about ethical issues, it can start taking them more seriously within L'Oreal itself."


SKINCARE Scores from March 2006

Honesty (15)
Neal's Yard (14)
Organic Blue (14)
Faith in Nature (14)
Green People (13)
Weleda (13)
Body Shop (11)
Lush (10.5)
Clarins (9)
E45 (7.5)
Nivea (7)
Aveda (6.5)
Clinique (6.5)
Origins (6)
Boots (4)
Botanicals (4)
Neutrogena (4)
Lancome skincare (2.5)
Vichy (2.5)
Biotherm (2.5)
L'Oreal (2.5)
Oil of Olay (2)
Dove (1.5)


For the latest scores for cosmetics companies, updated daily, see our online shopping guide www.ethiscore.org.

Related links


Ethical takeovers