The Body Shop is getting back to the activist roots of its founder Anita Roddick, embracing a circular economy approach to eliminating some of the waste from its products rather than recycling it. In 2019, the The Body Shop launched refill stations in two of its newest concept stores in London and Vancouver. The brand is expanding its refill and recycling program worldwide, expanding the concept to 400 stores by the end of the year with plans to have all stores equipped within the next five years.
“We want eco-activists to join our revolution and make it part of their new, more sustainable beauty lifestyle,” the company said in a press statement. “Why waste a container when you can refill it?”
Currently shoppers can refill up to 12 of its shower gels, shampoos, conditioners, and soaps with 250 ml recyclable and reusable aluminum bottles. Depending on the store size, the assortment varies from a minimum six references to a maximum of 12. The execution requires consumers to clean the bottles, and in-store beauty advisors refill and label bottles indicating the batch number and expiration date.
“We are proud to be the first cosmetics brand to deploy this solution so broadly, both in terms of number of stores and references,” continues the statement. “Since we are B-Corp-certified, we feel responsible for what we market, so all our products are recyclable.”
The brand was acquired by Natura & Co from L’Oréal in 2017 in a $1.1 billion deal. The Brazilian beauty brand said that by switching to refill bottles, customers could save up to 25 tons of plastic from being wasted every year if the average consumer uses 32 plastic bottles from their shampoo and conditioner to hand washes and shower gels, annually.
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