Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, died of a brain hemorrhage. She was 64. Roddick, who was named a Dame in 2003, pioneered ethical and environmentally conscious beauty products decades before they became fashionable. Since beauty products are often all about packaging, she introduced a biodegradable plastic bag and, in 1985, she told a newspaper, "You buy something, get it home then throw away mountains of cellophane, paper, cardboard, ribbon and other junk before you get to the product." Roddick worked closely with Greenpeace and various human rights and fair trade organizations. She also criticized the male-dominated cosmetics industry for playing on women's insecurities, saying "No ingredient can take off grief, anger and 20 years of industrial pollution. No moisture cream does more than another. Every moisture cream works." [Guardian, The Star]

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DISCUSSION

Okay. So. I have this issue regarding Anita Roddick, based on John Entine's profile on her that was killed but later resurrected (most recently in David Wallis' "Killed") where he basically speaks to everyone involved in the very early years of her career, including the owners of the orginal "Body Shop" in San Francisco who have sued her numerous times for stealing their entire retail concept; several product scientists with whom she started the company who said she made up the backstories for most of her line, which was produced in a cosmetics lab; the community leaders in third-world countries who were essentially shafted when she discontinued a product and left entire communities without a livelihood after promising them they could depend on her (not at all unheard of for foreign aid projects, but still) and many other former associates with not so nice things to say about her.

I understand that you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette, but the story was compelling enough to get me to stop spending money there, and now there are so many better products out there that I've never gone back.