It's easy to back up a brand because you love its products, without peeling back the layers and unveiling their brand ethos. Are they responsible? Are they ethical? Are they environmentally conscious? We're all guilty of loving brands that throw caution to their moral conscience, but the beauty of this brand is that the warring factions of our hearts (that want fabulous—but ethical—products) can breathe easy.
Apart from being a vegan, cruelty-free brand that doesn't test on animals, TBS has launched its first Community Trade recycled plastic endeavour by partnering with some really phenomenal NGOs—Plastics For Change, Hasiru Dala and Hasiru Dala Innovations.
A big part of what was truly impactful, and why I'm writing about it, is because I went with The Body Shop team to actually see the segregration and aggregation centres wherein plastic, after being brought in and fairly purchased from the many waste-pickers of the city, was sorted, both manually and by machine. Seeing the environment, meeting with waste-pickers, hearing their stories, and realising how much more there is to the trash and recycling process than we ever give thought to in our daily lives was a truly glass-shattering experience. It made it dawn on me how much help the environment needs—and how much of that help the (very under-appreciated waste-picking communities of each city provide it through their daily efforts. The first thing I did when I came home was to start segregating my waste; and asking my neighbours to as well.
The nice thing in it for The Body Shop loyalists (apart from the satisfaction of buying into a conscientious brand) is their in-store recycling programme–BBOB (Bring Back Our Bottles), encouraging customers to return empty plastic packaging in stores for recycling. The long term goal they have is, in three years to purchase over 900 tonnes of Community Trade recycled plastic, which will in turn help empower up to 2,500 waste pickers in Bengaluru. This means fair prices for what they bring in, a better income and working conditions for them in general.
They've currently started using the recycled plastic for their Ginger shampoo (their top-selling product), and will soon use it for many more products as well. BBOB is currently operational across 40 stores, pan India, which entitles you to discounts as well as some free products, if you needed more incentive.