The Body Shop, founded in 1976, was the first beauty company to actively fight against animal testing. Today, it is the first global beauty brand with 100 per cent of its product range vegan certified. The Body Shop’s APAC brand and activism director Shannon Chrisp, told Inside Retail “Our decision to have 100 per cent of our product formulations vegan certified was a natural next step for The Body Shop.” In 2021, The Body Shop set its ambitious goal to be the first global beau
l beauty brand that was 100 per cent vegan and cruelty-free after reporting only 60 of its products met the criteria. According to The Vegan Society Market Insights, the vegan cosmetics industry is predicted to grow with a 6.31 per cent compound annual growth rate between 2023 to 2028 and is set to reach US$24 billion by 2028. Obtaining a vegan certification Eager to meet the growing market demand for vegan products and looking for a third party to help certify its wide range of beauty products, The Body Shop turned to The Vegan Society. “To work with such an established, trusted partner for our certification was an important decision to reinforce our activism credentials,” said Chrisp. The Vegan Society, whose co-founder Donald Watson coined the term ‘vegan’ in 1944, has been using its seal since 1990 to help both consumers and retailers identify products that are free from animal ingredients and animal testing. The Vegan Trademark by The Vegan Society is widely recognised as the global standard and is stamped on more than 65,000 products across multiple industries. The process to get every formulation, material and ingredient used to create a product by The Body Shop approved by The Vegan Society was extensive. “Each individual raw material required its own confirmation which was shared and validated by the team at The Vegan Society, followed by many discussions and resolves between them and our team at The Body Shop. Without vegan certification approval on each raw ingredient/material, we had to cease all use of it within our product formulations and development,” said Chrisp. “This means that when creating new product formulas, The Body Shop’s product team must submit the desired formula to The Vegan Society for approval. Only once every single raw material/ingredient is approved, can the new product formula be added to the brand’s launch calendar.” Giving a vegan education While The Vegan Society represents the global gold standard in vegan certification and provides a trusted stamp for The Body Shop’s beauty products, educating its staff and customers was the next frontier. The Body Shop already employs a variety of strategies to help educate its customers on the significance of its vegan formulations and certifications; utilising in-store signage, clear product labelling, informational pamphlets, customer testimonials, online articles and educational videos. However, The Body Shop places a lot of value on its in-store staff and their ability to engage and educate the brand’s current and potential customer base. “From a staff education standpoint, we seamlessly integrate vegan education into our onboarding process and service training,” explained Chrisp. “In 2023, we successfully unveiled our transformative change-making beauty brand expression. To support with this, we rolled out a dedicated 90-minute education training session which comprehensively covered our impactful change-making beauty commitments to the planet.” This training program focused on veganism, product details, ingredients, and formulations that were relevant to The Body Shop’s customer conversation and team education. The Body Shop re-launched this educational initiative for the announcement of its 100 per cent certified vegan formulas in partnership with The Vegan Society. “Our team now possesses an array of resources that not only facilitate their understanding of veganism but also actively support Veganuary. This involves a deeper comprehension of the movement and guidance on how to engage their teams, customers, and themselves in this significant initiative,” said Chrisp. The Body Shop is proud to be the first completely vegan global beauty brand and has reputable certification and educated staff to sell its ethical product portfolio.