Monday, 25 July 2011

The Body Shop Revisited - Part 3!

In regards to my last post about L'Oreal buying Body Shop, I decided to have a look at PETA's website to see what they had to say..
This is what I wrote to them: On your list of "Search for Cruelty-Free Companies and Products - Companies that DO NOT test on animals" you have Body Shop listed. Although this is technically true, their PARENT company - L'Oreal - DOES. There should be a note made about this on the list, as purchases from The Body Shop will now line the pockets of L'Oreal.

Their response suprised me. This is what they had to say:  Thank you for contacting PETA about L’Oréal’s purchase of The Body Shop. We are very pleased to report that PETA has received written confirmation from The Body Shop assuring us that its animal-testing policy will not change and that all its products will remain cruelty-free. We feel that it’s imperative for consumers to continue buying personal-care products from The Body Shop in order to support the company’s strong anti-testing stance and show L’Oréal that the market for cruelty-free products is huge.

Invariably, when a massive corporation buys a smaller, more compassionate company, the big company learns from the smaller company’s success that consumers are concerned about issues such as animal testing and cruelty to farmed animals. For example, Boca Foods—maker of vegetarian burgers and other vegetarian products—is now owned by hot-dog giant Oscar Mayer, and ConAgra owns faux-meat maker LightLife. Dean Foods—the largest dairy-product company in the world—owns White Wave, the maker of Silk soy milk and other nondairy products. These conglomerates’ purchases of compassionate companies have meant that more humane products are widely promoted and sold than ever before. Shoppers see them on stores’ shelves and in advertisements, which enables these cruelty-free products to become more popular.

Large corporations now recognize the expanding market of compassionate consumers who want cruelty-free food, cosmetics, and clothing. We hope that The Body Shop’s no-testing policy and its support of projects that are friendly to animals, the environment, and native peoples will persuade L’Oréal to abandon animal tests across the board.

They make some valid points, I must admit. So, what to do? Well, I think so long as their consumers KNOW  about the L'Oreal connection and that that company still tests on animals, then they can make an educated choice as to whether they shop there or not. But the fact of the matter is, there will be a LOT out there who don't know (as I didn't know). This feels like deceit to me. And to some extent, hypocrisy from The Body Shop who really push the activist/against animal testing image.

Despite their arguments, for me, I wouldn't feel comfortable shopping there and I would inform friends/family about the L'Oreal connection. What they then do with that information, is up to them, of course. 


  1. As soon as I heard that Anita Rodderick had sold Body Shop to L'Oreal I stopped buying anything there. It was loss as a I really liked some of their products, and more importantly, I liked the (former) Body Shop ethos.

    BTW we discussed this on bookcrossing once a few years ago (just to prove, we discuss *everything* there!)

  2. Don't PETA know it's greenwashing? They don't really care about the consumer, but the dollars they make, Loreal is partly owned by Nestle the same company that sells baby formula as a better option than breast milk in 3rd world countries, if they really don't care about humans, what hope do animals have? Big companies have admitted wanting the green $ and I don't see Loreal making any moves to stop any of their abhorrent practices.