Back now with DAY TO DAY.

Long before going green became mainstream, there was a little shop in Brighton, England that changed the way we pamper ourselves. Anita Roddick opened The Body Shop in 1976.

Ms. ANITA RODDICK (Founder, The Body Shop): It just - it would seemed to be so easy. It was just a series of brilliant accidents. But what set us apart is we were activists. We were so impassioned about, you know, this is where we took our heart to the workplace.

BRAND: Anita Roddick speaking to NPR's Scott Simon three years ago. She died yesterday of a brain hemorrhage. Anita Roddick was 64.


Anita Roddick founded the company on green ideals. The Body Shop's cosmetic bottles are made from recycled materials. The products are made from natural ingredients. They're not tested on animals. She managed to turn one little boutique into this billion-dollar empire. And that impressed business reporters like Parmy Olson, London bureau chief of

Ms. PARMY OLSON (London Bureau Chief, And then that's why a lot of people are calling her a maverick because in a way she was really reconciling the irreconcilable - the idea of making money, of being an entrepreneur, but at the same time having a set of ethical standards and a set of boundaries that she wasn't willing to walk over. And somehow, she managed to keep to those standards and also make money at the same time.

SMITH: She sold the company to L'Oreal last year. Animal rights activists were enraged because L'Oreal tests on animals.

BRAND: After the sale, Anita Roddick went on to do charitable work and social activism, giving much of her fortune to charity, more than $100 million. And she promised not to die rich. She constantly updated her Web site about her charitable works.

Ms. OLSON: I know that she was working quite extensively right up to the last day. I mean, if you look at her Web site, which is basically like a blog, it was being updated every a couple of days with inputs made by her about, you know, political prisoners in Angola, the developments in Amnesty International, all sorts of human rights issue. So she was really dedicating her time and her money.

BRAND: Money made from such products as hemp hand cream and peppermint foot lotion, money that she could turn into her legacy.

Ms. RADDICK: The feeling alive - of being alive from The Body Shop with all the campaigns and social issues, the changing of the laws, that's - that was the purpose for me.

SMITH: Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop died yesterday. She was 64.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.