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On the contrary, Mark. The Body Shop showed that it is quite impossible to be a 'successful business and be thoroughly ethical' to the extent that investors in Body Shop forced her to sell out to L'Oreal. As she said herself in later years, she should have worked harder to create a business which could not so easily be sold out to the highest bidder.

Anita Roddick had a big mouth, said a lot of important stuff, had the ear of important people and did a number of things that nobody else had done before. However she also made a personal fortune (which she clearly also gave away a lot of money) whilst her suppliers mostly remained very poor.

One can't fault her for doing her best, and the fact that she clearly always gave 100% to everything she did. However in the final analysis, she just proved that High Street business and ethics don't mix.

As someone in the trade, as it were, I bow to your better knowledge of the ins and outs of it... but, I don't agree 100% with your final analysis... she obviously made the BodyShop succsesful enough to be worth selling and if she hadn't been succseful she would not have "had the ear of important people"... I don't know about her suppliers tbh and no doubt she, like all people made mistakes... she certainly did give a huge amount away and there is nothing necesarily wrong with doing well financially... she did raise many things on to the agenda which where never there before, one thing that her and others have done is make "ethics" market friendly, companies like Next now sell fairly traded, organic clothing... whilst it would be good if all of their products were there is no doubt that some companies recognize that ethics can be a selling point!

Joe -

Whilst I think your comments are ineteresting, I think that to state baldly that "that it is quite impossible to be a 'successful business and be thoroughly ethical' " is a little over-simplifying.

Whilst I agree that she ran into problems that many of us run into with stakeholders, I think this merely proves that she didn't take the best path. It is indeed possible to be ethical provided one sets up correctly, and also provided one is careful about how money is raised (which is my worry with Howies). I'm sure that if Anita Roddick could have her time again, she would have taken more care over those very things and ultimately been even more successful - something that she would have doubtless admitted were she still alive today.

I agree, Mike, though I have yet to see any model that is ethical and on the High Street. The price of doing that is enormous, and therefore you need to borrow a lot from investors, which causes the problems as you correctly say.

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