The Body Shop’s B Corp certification is under review just five months after the British beauty chain got bought by private equity firm Aurelius, Retail Week can reveal.

Body Shop Denmark

The beauty chain, which fell into administration in the UK in February, is at risk of losing its B Corp certification that it was first awarded under its old owner Natura &Co.

The Body Shop was given its certification in 2019, becoming one of the largest global B Corps and the largest beauty chain with a B Corp certification outside of Latin America.

B Corp certification is awarded to businesses that are purpose-driven and are run with high social and environmental standards. A B Corp business must meet high standards of verified performance, accountability and transparency in all aspects of the business including employee benefits, charitable giving, supply chain practices and input materials.

A spokesperson for B Lab, which assesses companies seeking B Corp status and monitors complaints about members, told Retail Week that the struggling beauty chain’s status was under review after it had received complaints about the brand and its compliance. 

The spokesperson said: “When there is a change of ownership, a certified B Corp must notify B Lab of their intent to remain within the B Corp community. After this, large enterprises such as The Body Shop must recertify within two years of the change to maintain their certification.

“B Lab has received complaints regarding The Body Shop as part of our public complaints process. These complaints are being reviewed within the wider context of The Body Shop’s change of ownership in December 2023 and news of its administration in February 2024.

“We are looking at all the above issues to determine The Body Shop’s eligibility for continued B Corp certification.”

A source close to the situation revealed that there was speculation that this may also affect Natura &Co’s B Corp status after how the Brazilian chain handled the sale of The Body Shop.

This comes after The Body Shop’s controversial fall into administration a mere three months after it was sold to German private equity group Aurelius. The once disruptive beauty chain has since closed nearly half its 197 stores and made more than 750 staff redundant across its head office, distribution centre and store estate in the UK.