The Body Shop is a popular beauty and cosmetics brand that can be found in stores worldwide. The brand is vegan and cruelty-free and lauds itself on its commitments to sustainability and fair labor. Coming in at $12, the Angled Blusher Brush seems to be a sustainable option. However, the product’s use of nylon does make me hesitatete to buy this brush over other sustainable beauty options. Despite this, I believe the Body Shop is committed to becoming more sustainable in the future. I rated this product at just 1.7 planets for now, but as the brand continues to meet its sustainability goals certain aspects of this review will hopefully become outdated.
The Body Shop Angled Blusher Brush is made from a bamboo and aluminum body with nylon bristles and packaged in cardboard. They do not list the adhesive used to connect the bristles to the brush body. The Brush’s primary ingredient, bamboo, is mostly sustainable. The crop usually needs to be planted once and regrows quickly from its own roots after being harvested, making it a renewable resource. However, The Body Shop is a massive company that sells a lot of bamboo-based products, so I would like to see more information on where they source from and how that affects the natural environment. I’m disappointed that the bristles are made from Nylon, a synthetic fabric material made from crude oil. The Body Shop is a global corporation and mall mainstay that can absolutely afford to use a more sustainable synthetic bristle. Most of their products seem to have this same issue: they’re mostly sustainable but are either packaged in plastic or contain one or two unsustainable elements. In the future, I hope to see The Body Shop take more steps towards eliminating plastics from their products, as they do seem to want to be sustainable, but as of now are reliant on a few unsustainable materials.
All Body Shop products are vegan and cruelty-free. The company audits its supply chain at all points to ensure fair labor and publishes a “Modern Slavery Statement” annually with its findings. I was overall impressed with the brand’s labor practices, though I would like to see more published findings from third parties, rather than just the company website. While they do seem to treat their employees well, their manufacturing process is not completely sustainable due to the sheer scope of their brand. The Body Shop sources ingredients globally, which creates a taxing amount of emissions through transportation. Their use of mostly natural ingredients (emphasis on the mostly) offsets some emissions, but they do still have to rely on larger manufacturing plants due to the scope of their brand.
The Body Shop is a certified B corporation, which means it is investigated annually to ensure that it meets social and environmental sustainability guidelines. However, the B Corporation certification is somewhat misleading, as a company can earn less than half of the points possible on their assessment and still qualify. Because of my misgivings with B Corporations as a whole, I was happy that the Body Shop also publishes reports of its own. They publish annual sustainability and modern slavery reports on their website. In their sustainability report, they outline their ambitious goals for future sustainability. Working with Natura&Co, a partnership with three other beauty brands, The Body Shop is committed to a “Commitment to Life” - a series of goals that they wish to meet by 2030, such as reducing their net carbon emissions to zero, defend human rights, and embrace circularity in their products.
The Body Shop states that all of its employees at all points of manufacturing are paid a global living wage and works with the Ethical Trading Initiative. The Ethical Trading Initiative regularly audits every point of their supply chain, usually with third parties who understand the local customs, to ensure that working conditions are good and continue to improve. They also work with a Community Trade Initiative, which sources some of the company’s ingredients from small communities that specialize in certain trades.
Overall, I was impressed by the Body Shop’s intensive goals and commitment to fair trade. The 2 planet rating for this section acknowledges that they do have room to grow as a company (which they recognize and are working towards) but seem to treat their employees well and hold themselves to high standards.