News was announced today that the leading Brazilian cosmetics group Natura Cosmeticos has signed on the dotted line in a deal to buy The Body Shop from L’Oreal for an undisclosed sum.
The sale potentially marks the end of an unhappy 11 years for Sussex-based Body Shop. Founder Dame Anita Roddick sold the business to L’Oréal for £652m in 2006, a move seen as a betrayal by some regular shoppers like me who are attracted to the companies ethical stance, cruelty free status and sustainable culture. Being a part of the L’oreal brand – well known for selling in parts of the world where they still test on animals – is a little contradictory.
A few questions came to mind for me instantly:
Who are Natura?
What does this mean for the Body Shop?
Will they be able to be branded as 100% cruelty free now?
Lets take a look:
Natura Cosmetics is Brazil’s number 1 cosmetics manufacturer, and the country’s leader in the direct sales sector. Based in Cajamar, São Paulo, the company employs around 7000 staff in seven countries: Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Colombia and France.
Natura is the largest Brazilian cosmetics company. In 2014, it became the first publicly traded company to be certified as a “B corp”, meeting certain standards of social and environmental performance and transparency.
“Natura and the Body Shop have always walked in parallel, and today their paths meet,” said Guilherme Leal, co-chair of Natura’s board. “The complementarity of our international footprints, the sustainable use of biodiversity in our products, a belief in ethics in management and fair relations with communities and a high degree of innovation constitute the pillars of the journey on which we are now embarking.”
I reached out to The Body Shop to get some more information on this and they responded with the following:
Natura and L’Oréal have now signed the contract for the sale of The Body Shop. This brings us a step closer to the completion of the deal, which is still subject to regulatory approval.
As you may know, Natura is a true leader in sustainability and ethics and it is a cruelty-free brand, which makes it very aligned to The Body Shop and the best new owner to nurture our brand. We’re looking forward to a bright future.
To answer your questions, for the time being, all our stores and websites continue to offer the highest quality vegetarian and vegan cruelty-free products to all our customers.
In terms of Leaping Bunny certification, The Body Shop is a cruelty-free brand and proudly Leaping Bunny certified – see more here https://www.thebodyshop.com/en-gb/commitment/against-animal-testing
We sell our products in many different countries, requiring a various languages and regulatory information on the packaging and that doesn’t always leave much space for other messages. As we update and redesign packaging, we ARE adding the Leaping Bunny to more and more products, but please rest assured that ALL products from The Body Shop are Leaping Bunny-certified by Cruelty Free International, as verified on our websites and in our stores.
What does this mean for the Body Shop?
No need to panic guys! They wont be closing stores or anything any time soon. The great news is that the ethical values and expertise of Natura makes it the perfect new owner for The Body Shop to accelerate the rejuvenation of the brand and its future expansion. The company hosts a huge amount of sustainability programs around the world, investing in giving back to communities and ensuring all their products are sustainably and ethically sourced. All of which is music to our ears! They were given a carbon neutral status in 2007, use only sustainably farmed palm oil, 100% organic alcohol, their products contain no parabens, and have been cruelty free since 2003.
How does this impact The Body Shops cruelty free status?
It’s not going to be overnight, but hopefully, this move will mean that the Body Shop will be allowed to display cruelty free logos on all of its products. While it is widely known that the body shop doesn’t test on animals and does not sell in countries where animal testing is mandatory, while it is still under the L’oreal umbrella it has not legally been allowed to display these logos. In time, we should start to see these logos added to the Body Shops products to help reinforce their stance against animal cruelty in the beauty industry.
For me, this is a welcome change for the Body Shop. It has been hard to try to explain that although they (like NYX, who are also cruelty free) are owned by L’oreal, they have not tested on animals for over 10 years and have campaigned hard to end animal testing in the beauty industry. The move to Natura will only help to strengthen this stance, especially as this comes a day after NARS released a statement that they will be selling in China, and will therefore have to hand back their leaping bunny badge. It just shows that for some companies, profits trump ethics.
For more on cruelty free top picks, please have a look through this series and let me know your must have cruelty free products!
Until next time,