The Body Shop held a celebratory event recently at their newly minted location in Toronto’s Yorkdale Mall to commemorate the passing of a law banning cosmetic testing on animals – and their role in securing that victory. Canada now joins over 40 countries that have taken the same step, an important milestone in its support of animal protection.
The event brought together staff, animal-rights supporters, and representatives of their stakeholder coalition, all of whom worked tirelessly to advance the animal welfare legislation. In 2017, The Body Shop joined forces with Cosmetics Alliance Canada and Cruelty Free International as part of their global Forever Against Animal Testing campaign. Their combined efforts saw them meet with dozens of federal MPs and helped inspire a momentum for change.
The activist beauty retailer has been fighting for the rights of animals globally since 1989, and in Canada for more than a decade. The Body Shop led various advocacy efforts to help pass the law, including: A Pet March on Parliament Hill and a petition across all retail locations in Canada which secured 925,000 signatures, making it one of the largest in Canadian history.
The achievement is consistent with the activist retailer’s mission, one born five decades earlier with the belief that business could be a force for good. “Fifty years ago, Anita Roddick started body shop with idea that business can be infused with love,” affirmed Hilary Lloyd, VP of brand & corporate social responsibility to kickoff the celebration. “It was a years-long collaboration to get the bill passed. Change doesn’t happen over night,” she added. “Many people worked behind scenes for years. It’s result of teamwork. “
The importance of collaboration in change-making seemed a running theme at the event. As Cosmetics Alliance Canada CEO Darren Praznik stated, “We realize it’s far better to work together to get success. And we did.” Though the coalition didn’t agree on every aspect of their fight, they found enough common ground to move forward. Bottom line, Praznik shared, “We leaned how to trust each other and make it work.”
The passing of the bill also came at a time of renewed animal rights activism by Canadians, many of whom were making their voices heard, shared Barbara Cartwright of Humane Canada. That certainly helped. Even more exciting than the ban on animal testing is the requirement it now imposes on government to invest and report on animal alternatives, she added. “Real change comes from working together,” she said. “We create a more humane place to live.”
Fittingly, the celebration took place at The Body Shop’s newest Changemaker’s Workshop concept store, designed to give customers an “immersive, sensorial product experience”, while encouraging their “inner activist”. The store in Toronto’s Yorkdale Mall is the sixth Changemaker location in Canada, each uniquely built with local artists designing in-store murals, installations and/or sculptures. Through various interactive features, patrons are invited to support and participate in advancing social and environmental causes.