by MPD
Categories: Causes, People
Tags: .

minnie_use.jpgSometimes it sucks to be me (see also: Saturday night alone-half way through a pint of soy ice cream). But sometimes being me is incredible (see also: last night). Yes friends, your very own beloved Parrish, spent last evening celebrating 21 Years of The Body Shop Community Trade Program while downing delicious pear-ginger cocktails and hob-knobbing with Minnie Driver.

First off, let me say that before this event I wasn’t a fan or foe of The Body Shop. Quite honestly, it was only about a year ago (with my ex-gf’s relentless persistence) that I started washing my face with anything more than a plain old bar of soap. Today, I am gushing…practically falling on the floor with excitement over The Body Shop’s incredible line of products and even more incredible commitment to establishing global fair trade. These guys are the real deal!!

Not only can The Body Shop be proud to celebrate 21 years of paying their suppliers fair wages, but also for taking it a step further by helping to set up schools, health care and various other public programs in the indigent communities that support them. Graham Clewer, Head of Ethical Trade for The Body Shop told me, “It’s all about letting these people make choices in life. We’re gonna pay them what their due, but we’re also gonna help them develop in their community as well. It’s little small things about how you can do business differently. Anita Roddick (the late founder) used to call it, ‘doing business as unusual’ and 21 years later we’re still doing it, it’s bigger than ever, and it’s just the most fabulous thing to be involved with.”

Later in the evening we were treated to a short program with speakers like Cecilia Appianim (a Chanaian Community Trade supplier), a guest speaker from the UN, and last but not least, actress and Oxfam representative, Minnie Driver.

It’s important to note that I have a thing for British chicks, and even more of a thing for famous British chicks, and even more of a thing for famous British chicks that want to save the world. Well, Minnie is all three. Before I left the party, I had the opportunity to sit down with the star for a little one on one. What Minnie doesn’t know (well she does now…hi Minnie) is that this was my very first celebrity interview EVER and I was a total nervous wreck. Whether she could tell or not, Minnie was warm, gracious and intelligent and made me feel uber comfortable.

Click more below to continue reading the interview

Regarding her long relationship with Oxfam she said, “I just love them. I know this charity. I know they are consciences people who are intent on getting rid of poverty. And the people that I’ve met and worked with over the years are just exceptional human beings and they really do affect change.”

I asked her what in the world made her so darn charitable and she said, “ I like really seeing what you can do on a local level, which is why programs like the Body Shop Community Trade are so important. For me it isn’t just about being a celebrity-it’s about how do you directly affect change? How do you actually go and get your hands dirty? It doesn’t matter how small, if one person benefits then it was well worth it.”

Minnie is quite “green” and admitted, “I’ve off-set my car, because I was stuck in a lease I couldn’t get out of, so I’ve offset it by buying trees…which anyone can do.” She then recommended we all go to Global Green and buy trees that can offset “well just about everything.” With that, her “people” ushered us out and we made small talk in the elevator as my great evening came to a close.

As Ecorazzi readers, I know that you all care about the future of our world and the development of our society. And hopefully, apart from my occasional misspellings and lackluster understanding of English grammar, you believe me enough when I tell you to walk, run or bike to The Body Shop and buy your skin products from a company that you can really feel proud to support. To learn more about everything The Body Shop does, check out their website. Also, because Minnie was a gem I want to promote her new album, Seastories, which I will be buying right after this post.

My personal thanks to The Body Shop, Minnie Driver, and David Abrams from Cohn and Wolfe for making this whole evening possible. YOU GUYS FRIGIN ROCK!!!!

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  • Annie Kull

    Hey Parrish,

    Thanks for the great write up. Nice to meet you last night. Happy to hear you enjoyed yourself. Keep The Body Shop coverage coming, because we are a great company whose values extend further than our Community Trade program. Here’s our values website if you are interested: http://www.thebodyshopinternational.com/Values+and+Campaigns/Our+Values/Home.htm

    Let me know if you need anything else.

    Take care,
    Annie

    Annie Kull
    Category Product Manager
    The Body Shop

  • parrish

    Hey Annie,

    Thanks again to The Body Shop for being such great hosts! If nothing else, you have a new fan in me. Good luck with all your endeavours!

  • Robin

    I would use The Body Shop’s products, but they’re not paraben free (I love their body butters).

  • Brianne

    I think it’s great that the Body Shop is all about fair trade and I wish more companies would explore the idea, however I also think it’s a bit irresponsible for a green-minded blog to ignore the ingredients in the products carried by the Body Shop. I used to be a huge fan of the Body Shop until I started reading the ingredients in their products and discovered parabens to be present in nearly all their products. I realize you are a man and therefore probably not as into cosmetics as I am, being female–which is why I don’t mind clueing you in. Parabens are a dangerous synthetic preservative included in most conventional cosmetics and are believed to disrupt the natural hormones in the body and should be avoided at any cost by any eco-minded cosmetics user. I am unaware if the Body Shop products contain any other dangerous ingredients besides parabens because once I see that one chemical listed in a product I turn and run the other way.

  • parrish

    Robin/Brianne- Hey guys! Thanks for the info! You’re right, I have no idea what parabens are or really anything about makeout (I’ll go do a little research). The thing is: I know as a company it’s hard to do everything right, and while perhaps they may or may not still use certain chemicals in their products, the fact that they are soooo socially aware, animal friendly and community based kind of makes me go…well you take the good with the bad.

    I get it though, I do. Thanks for your imput. Perhaps your comments will help convince TBS to go paraben free.

  • Ellie

    Another thing to consider is that The Body Shop is actually owned by L’Oreal now- not so famous for their pro animal stance- in fact they’re on PETA’s list of companies that still test on animals.

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  • http://mitzieskill.com Donna

    its true paraben sucks, so lets all email anne kull at the body shop and tell her they are half way there. and as soon as their products are fairly traded and all natural, we will buy them faithfully. and parrish for men’s skin care at a similar price point that is actually good for your skin try bert’s bees. it roks! and you can get it at drug stores, though it would be better to support a local business who carries it. but you know that!

  • http://mitzieskill.com Donna

    p.s. on the make up front aveda and origins are also owned by a larger company…estee lauder..however according to peta they are on the nice list! yeah! lets go shopping.

  • Louise

    I work as a manager for The Body Shop in England and I’m disappointed that a few of you are grumbling about us! Go on Anita’s web site and you will all see what an amazing woman she was and the impact she has made in the world. She has changed the cosmetics industry in a way that no other company has and probably ever will. Business changes constantly and so will The Body Shop still, even though we are now owned by L’Oreal we are still an independent company and still have all the same values at heart. They do promote self esteem which is one of our values. L’Oreal are making changes to their own business due to The Body Shop and are actually investing millions in a synthetic skin so the world doesn’t need to test on animals anymore!

  • parrish

    Louise-I’m totally on your side here. I was so impressed with the folks I met at The Body Shop and the stories I heard that night! I know it’s not a perfect company, but they do make responsible choices for world change and I belive they will continue to. Go BODY SHOP!

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