Anita Roddick turns to Asia; Bangkok

CSR Journal, Business and Society - Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop is going to play a more active role in Asia. Body Shop results are very good in Asia, compared with operations in other conti­nents. The Body Shop with 2010 stores in 52 countries is a lighting example of a successful business with a message. Body Shop cosmetics are not only free from being tested on animals, the Body Shop actively promotes community trade and Human Rights activism. The Body Shop proves that corporate social responsibility can be a competitive advantage but Anita openly criticizes corporations that allocate o budget for public relations reasons only.

With her husband Gordon Roddick the instigator of “the Big Issue' - a communally viable magazine run by and for homeless people in England - she conducted a workshop on Business as Unusual the new College for Sustainable Living in India last year. This College with the Indian name Bija Vidyapeeth situated on an organic farm near Dehra Dun in northern India was founded by Vandana Shiva and Satish Kumar. Vandana Shiva is a feminist environmental activist and promoter of local seed propagation and Satish Kumar is the founder of Schumacher College in England. The workshop was a profound experience for business people and young entrepreneurs.

In March 2004 Anita Roddick visited Thailand at the invitation of The International Peace Foundation, She lectured in Thammasat University, the Asian Institute of Technology and Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. The present campaign of the Body Shop focuses on the prevention of violence at home.

One of her last books is Brave Hearts - Rebel Spirits: A Spiritual Activists Handbook. It       contains an overview of social activists with their respective religious and spiritual backgrounds; including Christians, Quakers,  American Indians, Hindus, Jews and Muslims. Among the Buddhist “rebels” introduced are Thich Nhat Hanh and Sulak Sivaraska.