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The end result of kindness is that it draws people to you.
– Anita Roddick
I am still looking for the modern equivalent of those Quakers who ran successful businesses, made money because they offered honest products and treated their people decently… This business creed, sadly, seems long forgotten.
If you do things well, do them better. Be daring, be first, be different, be just.
If I can’t do something for the public good, what the hell am I doing?
But if you can create an honorable livelihood, where you take your skills and use them and you earn a living from it, it gives you a sense of freedom and allows you to balance your life the way you want.
Over the past decade… while many businesses have pursued what I call ‘business as usual,’ I have been part of a different, smaller business movement, one that tried to put idealism back on the agenda.
Since the governments are in the pockets of businesses, who’s going to control this most powerful institution? Business is more powerful than politics, and it’s more powerful than religion. So it’s going to have to be the vigilante consumer.
I didn’t go to business school, didn’t care about financial stuff and the stock market.
When you run an entrepreneurial business, you have hurry sickness – you don’t look back, you advance and consolidate. But it is such fun.
At The Body Shop we had always been measured by how many jobs we had created, and I got a major award from the Queen on that.
I traveled enormously during the 1960’s, when you measured everything by where you traveled and what you did as travelers.
I believe in businesses where you engage in creative thinking, and where you form some of your deepest relationships. If it isn’t about the production of the human spirit, we are in big trouble.
The movement for the environment really only started in the mid 1970’s.
All through history, there have always been movements where business was not just about the accumulation of proceeds but also for the public good.
Years ago nobody was elected on the economic ticket. It was either the education platform, or it was health or it was other issues. It is only recently that economic values have superceded every other human value.
But the minute we went public on the stock market, which is how our wealth was created, it was no longer how many people you employed, it was how much you were worth and how much your company was worth.
If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.
The Body Shop Foundation is run by our staff and supports social activism and environmental activism. We don’t tend to support big agencies.
There is no scientific answer for success. You can’t define it. You’ve simply got to live it and do it.
If I had learned more about business ahead of time, I would have been shaped into believing that it was only about finances and quality management.
I want to work for a company that contributes to and is part of the community. I want something not just to invest in. I want something to believe in.
The money that we make from the company goes into The Body Shop Foundation, which isn’t one of those awful tax shelters like some in America. It just functions to take the money and give it away.
Nobody talks of entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking.
Look at the Quakers – they were excellent business people that never lied, never stole; they cared for their employees and the community which gave them the wealth. They never took more money out than they put back in.
The market controls everything, but the market has no heart.
Consumers have not been told effectively enough that they have huge power and that purchasing and shopping involve a moral choice.