The famous shop in the heart of Galway city has been a firm favorite with locals and tourists alike. Snugly nestled in the center of Shop street you are greeted with the delicious smells of their organic products when you walk in the door. Anna and Alexandria from the Galway city store sat down with Galway Pulse’s Aoife Burke to share more about their values, practices, and products.
This shop uses environmentally friendly products and practicing their business certification encourages them to place a central focus on the ‘three P’s’: People, Planet and Profit. In a world where expediency, efficiency, excess, and the bottom line are valued–our earth and preserving it tend not to find themselves as a priority in business. However, the same cannot be said for The Body Shop.
Founded by Anita Roddick in 1976, sustainability has been at the heart of the company since its conception. Launching the shop with consideration for the environment including the use of refillable containers to reduce plastic waste is intimately interwoven with the moral and profitable aspects of the shop.
With the rise of fear regarding the effects of climate change, The Body Shop sees people of all ages indulging in their refillable products. Namely their Ginger shampoo, however, their top seller remains “White Musk”.
“It doesn’t just take you down memory lane but memory village,” Alexandria said, “and it’s all vegan friendly.”
“The reintroduction of refills, not only are they better value for money, help in the reduction of plastics, it’s a metal canister with a pump. We keep the product in circulation that prevents the use of further plastics,” Alexandria continued.
People, planet, profit
“We are a company which emphasises people, profit and planet. The companies and people that we do work within more impoverished countries, and we ensure that everyone is receiving a living wage, which is perhaps not what is guaranteed by all massive corporations. So, for example with our Christmas Advent Calendars this year, each one promotes a different environmental story, which we are helping. We help promote different people from all parts of the world,” Alexandria explained.
“I know regarding environmental friendliness and planet and seeing as we are a ethical company, during the Covid times, with the return of TikTok, etcetera, the avocado became a massive product. Everyone was seeking it, in all forms of life, everyone was indulging in avocado toast. This led to overconsumption of avocado, so in parts of the world where avocados are grown such as perhaps Brazil or Mexico, we source ours elsewhere. This is to help with overconsumption and to make sure everyone in those areas gets a living wage,” she said.
Reducing plastic consumption
Even if one doesn’t shop with the protection of the environment at the forefront of their mind, by shopping at The Body Shop you’ll still be making a difference unbeknownst to yourself! Even their plastics have been cultivated in a way that is more recyclable and environmentally friendly. If used correctly, they can use plastics to their advantage versus polluting in excess.
To curb the problem of overconsumption they source their plastics from Community Trade recycled plastic from Bengaluru, India. This location is home to “waste pickers”, who collect the waste. These people are common amongst the lower classes and prone to experiencing discrimination and working under poor conditions. The Body Shop partnered up with Community Trade to ensure employees in this area are provided with an improved work environment and wages.
Alexandria continued: “Furthermore with all our current plastic products we have invigorated all of the products so that the plastics that we do use are more environmentally friendly, also we encourage customers to bring back the products that they use, and we can recycle on their behalf to ensure it’s been recycled correctly.”
Other features of their shop include their products, but more so their ingredients. They are aiming towards creating an entirely vegan collection of products. Currently, honey is the only ingredient in non-vegan products. To couple that, their products are of 95% natural origin, so you’re guaranteed a product where you can source its origins.
As for The Body Shop in Galway, their doors are always open for anyone with questions about them, their morals as a shop, or their products. In fact, they welcome it! They love chatting with their customers and building a welcoming environment.
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