Anita Roddick, R.I.P.
I just learned that Dame Anita Roddick died yesterday, at the young age of 64.
Roddick was a woman of great principle, one of the leading lights of ethical and socially/environmentally conscious business. The founder of The Body Shop, Roddick embodied the idea I write about in Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First that doing good in the world, through business, is a pathway to doing well financially.
Starting from almost nothing, she built an international chain of socially responsible cosmetics shops, and she never forgot her commitment to the earth and to justice.
Not that she didn’t have her own blind spots. The obit in the London Daily Telegraph offers a thorough resume of her life in both business and activism, from the rough childhood to becoming the fourth-richest woman in Britain. Many of her causes are listed, and so are the many places where purists found her lacking or even hypocritical. It makes fascinating reading.
Speaking of reading, Roddick wrote several books. I read Business As Unusual, which was done in copper-colored ink and a bizarre layout. I think some of her other books were easier to read because the design didn’t get in the way.
Dame Anita, you will be missed.