Dame Anita Roddick
Anita Roddick has been a campaigner since the age of 10, when her sense of moral outrage was awakened by a book I read on the Holocaust. When she founded The Body Shop in 1976 in Sussex, England, it was simply a way of creating a livelihood to support herself and her two daughters. By the time The Body Shop went public in 1984, she realised that rather than just being an innovative skin and hair care company, The Body Shop had the potential and power to do good.
The company's Mission Statement opens with the overriding commitment, 'To dedicate our business to the pursuit of social and environmental change.' And that's what's been happening ever since. It is impossible to separate the company values from Roddick's own personal values, and the issues that she cares passionately about : social responsibility, respect for human rights, the environment and animal protection, and an absolute belief in community trade. But The Body Shop is not a one-woman-show : it's a global operation with thousands of people working towards common goals.
Involved with the International Trade Justice campaign, a coalition of groups including Friends of the Earth, the student network, People and Planet, and the World Development Movement to 'shrink or sink' the WTO, Roddick believes that the WTO's pro-globalisation, 'free trade at all costs', agenda is behind pretty much all of the issues she has spent the last 25 years campaigning on.
Perhaps the most obvious example of how globalisation isn't bringing wealth to the world's poor is the issue of sweatshops , where workers are paid less than $5 a day for making jeans and other garments sold at vast profit in America and Europe. With campaigners from the National Labour Committee, Roddick has been proactive in investigating workers and human rights abuses in sweatshops from Central America to Bangladesh.
Anita Roddick travels from United Kingdom
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