Dame Anita Roddick died earlier this evening from a brain haemorrhage at the age of only 64.
She has been a real inspiration to many entrepreneurs who start up their kitchen table businesses. She built a multi-billion dollar, global company that set the ground rules in green, ethical business and laid the foundation for others to follow. I read her biography - Body and Soul a few years ago.
I remember shopping in the Body Shop in Chichester in the early days when she'd just got started. The products came in the same bottles with the same green labels that we're so familiar with the emphasis on natural. Even then the core focus of the business was on organic, natural products well before all the other companies jumped on the green and ethical bandwagon. She expanded her business with fairtrade and sourcing products from around the world but also not exploiting the communities from which these came.
Somehow the Body Shop was never quite the same when she handed over control to L'Oreal.