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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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The Body Shop

How ethical is The Body Shop?

The Body Shop, a make-up owned by Natura Cosméticos S.A., is one of The Good Shopping Guide’s independently-researched skincare brands. (This parent corporation is also the owner of Avon, another health and beauty brand.) This company does not pass our ethical criterion with a Good Shopping Guide score of 69 in our Ethical Shampoo & Conditioner Ratings Table.

We encourage businesses in the Shampoo & Conditioner industry to adopt more ethical policies. We also urge The Body Shop to keep improving its score and reach for higher ethical standards.

Is The Body Shop actually ethical?

The Body Shop earns high ratings for its thorough Environmental Report, opposition to the use of genetically modified substances, animal welfare, and the availability of vegetarian and vegan items. The parent firm of The Body Shop, Natura Cosméticos S.A., has published a thorough environmental report with goals to reach net zero by 2030. The zero deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest this year is documented in this report along with its sustainability progress to date. This number is especially important for a cosmetics company because many unethical cosmetics and beauty companies use palm oil, which severely degrades the environment. The formulation of Natura Cosméticos S.A.’s 95%+ biodegradable product is also mentioned in this progress report.

However, The Body Shop does not perform well for its lack of certified-Organic products. Though the brand claims to use some organic ingredients, the brand also admits that they do not make or stock any fully-certified products.

The Body Shop and its parent company also have a poor track record when it comes to palm oil. The destruction that palm oil leaves in its wake has been well-documented and reported on. (Read the Guardian Long Read article on How The World Got Hooked On Palm Oil’ for a comprehensive overview of the history of this controversial crop.) Avon (a subsidiary owned by Natura Cosméticos) has been found to use palm oil from plantations where horrific abuse towards women and minors has taken place.

The governments, businesses, and financial organisations that collectively might almost completely eradicate tropical deforestation are identified, ranked, and tracked by The Forest 500. In the context of forest risk commodities, rankings are based on public policies, pledges, and prospective effects on tropical forests (palm oil, soy, beef, leather, timber and paper). A low rating of 25% was given to Natura Cosmeticos by The Forest 500.

How could The Body Shop improve its rating?

The Body Shop could obtain Organic-certification for some of its items in order to receive our Ethical Accreditation Award. Without the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and other agrochemicals harmful to both people and wildlife, cosmetic ingredients are grown and produced more sustainably and ethically.

Ethical performance in category

0

GSG score

69
70

GSG category benchmark

100

Ethical Rating

Environment

  • Environmental Report

    Good

  • Genetic Modification

    Good

  • Organic

    Poor

  • Nuclear Power

    Good

Animal

  • Animal Welfare

    Good

  • Vegetarian/Vegan

    Good

People

  • Armaments

    Good

  • Irresponsible Marketing

    Good

  • Political Donations

    Acceptable

Other

  • Ethical Accreditation

    Acceptable

  • Public Record Criticisms

    Poor

= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating