The Body Shop reclaims activist roots with new-look store

The Body Shop, Oxford Street

The Body Shop has unveiled a new store concept on London’s Oxford Street that taps into the retailer’s mission-led heritage with a keen focus on sustainability

A slogan is emblazoned on the window of The Body Shop’s refurbished Oxford Street store: ‘Speaking Out Since ‘76’. It’s the year that the ethical beauty retailer’s founder, Anita Roddick, opened the first Body Shop in Brighton and made a name for the business with her unapologetic stance on animal rights and environmental issues.

Although The Body Shop has kept the issues on which Roddick founded The Body Shop intact – in particular her insistence on never testing on animals – in reality, the retailer’s voice has been less of a shout than a whisper in recent years. This was particularly the case during its tenure under global cosmetics giant L’Oreal, which owned The Body Shop from 2006 until 2017.

However, under new owner Natura, the retailer is raring to reawaken its activist heritage, and its refurbished Oxford Street store is a bold statement of intent.

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