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About Us

Ethical Trading

As the original, ethical cosmetics company, The Body Shop was founded on strict values and our customers expect these values to be present in everything we do, including how we work with our suppliers. This passionate commitment to human rights has always shaped how we trade around the world and we aim to build close relationships with our suppliers and work together to ensure ethical trading is at the heart of our, and their, business.

The Body Shop is a founding member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and our Supplier Code of Conduct was adopted from their Base Code in 2005.  We require our suppliers to sign their commitment to working within this code and we will ask you do to this each time you complete the assessment process.

The CoC can be viewed here.

We also expect our supplier to engage within our Ethical Trade programme which enables us to monitor our suppliers against this code of conduct and work with them, if necessary, on a continuous journey of improvement.

Stages of the Ethical Trade Programme

The Body Shop Suppliers


All manufacturing sites that supply The Body Shop are required to become members of Sedex and link their account with us.  The minimum requirement of Sedex membership is the completion of the on-line SAQ (self-assessment questionnaire) of all 4 pillars – Labour Standards, Health and Safety, Business Ethics and Environment.

You can find more details of membership of the Sedex platform here.

We are aware that many of our suppliers are already members of the Sedex platform for other customers and, if this is the case, we would ask you to let us know and link your company to The Body Shop so that we can review the ethical information you have stored in the system.

Once completed, your questionnaire will be reviewed by the Ethical Trade Team who may raise further questions or request copies of policies, certifications and other documents that you mention in completing the questionnaire. 

Ethical Auditing

Following the evaluation of the completed questionnaire, we will ask you to commission an ethical audit at each manufacturing facility supplying The Body Shop. These will be conducted by a third party.  During the visit, the auditors will interview management and workers, review documentation and tour your site.  Please note that the whole process may take more than one day and this will be confirmed at the time of booking

For our smaller suppliers who fall within the criteria for audit, a risk assessment site visit will be carried out by The Body Shop Ethical Trade staff.  For those who are not within the audit criteria, the Sedex self-assessment questionnaire must be kept up-to-date and our Code of Conduct signed every three years.  Your buyer will advise whether an audit is required or not.  

We are aware that many suppliers may have already been through this process for other customers and we do not want to add any unnecessary duplication.  We therefore accept existing audits carried out using the following methodologies: BSCI, SMETA, WCA, or SA8000. 

If you have had a previous visit, we will require access to the report and corrective action plan, either through Sedex or emailed to us.  Those reports must be from a visit within the previous 12 months and, depending on the results of the visit, there may be no need to commission an additional audit.

Validity of L'Oréal audits:

Since the separation of The Body Shop from L'Oréal in September 2017, for legal reasons, we can no longer accept any new L'Oréal audits that have taken place since this time nor receive copies of L'Oréal audits that were not in our possession before that date. Any audits due to renew after September 2017 will need to be carried out as per this policy.


At the end of your assessment visit, a corrective action plan will be agreed with the decision makers in your facility, including timescales and verification methods and we expect all corrective action to be completed in the agreed timescales. 

Verification of the completed corrective action must be carried out by the original auditing body via a follow up visit or a desk top analysis.

The Body Shop Frequency of Assessment

The frequency of ethical audits for manufacturing sites will depend on the rating given to the result of the audit.  The Body Shop audit result ratings and the requirements for re-visit is as per the below:


Transparency and Positive Engagement

The Body Shop understand the challenges of producing goods for the fast moving retail environment and do not expect condition to be perfect all the time.  We understand that there will be improvements to be made and that is why we commit to giving factories the time and space to make changes to their facilities and processes.  

However, we must be confident that the information we are gaining from regular assessment is giving us a true reflection of the working conditions, so transparency is of paramount importance.  We will not pull out of factories who are transparent about issues they are working on to improve, however if we are not confident of the transparency, we may decide to end the trading relationship.