The Body Shop appoints retained global comms agency for purpose-driven work

The Body Shop has hired One Green Bean as its retained global communications agency with a remit to drive global PR strategy and creative delivery across more than 60 markets, PRWeek can reveal.

The appointment follows a three-month competitive pitch process between December and February. The Body Shop previously worked with Another Word Communications globally.

One Green Bean is retained by the global team based in London UK, while The Body Shop’s markets around the world will retain their own local agencies of record.

One Green Bean has already begun work with the retailer, helping it launch a social purpose initiative to help raise awareness of the devastating impact plastic waste has on waste-pickers in India (see further details below).

The account is a major win for One Green Bean and becomes its second client, alongside Sky Ocean Rescue, that is entirely focussed on social purpose work, rather than sales-led marcomms activity.

The Body Shop’s global director of activism and comms Kate Levine told PRWeek that One Green Bean "simply blew us away during the pitch process" with "stunningly creative ideas, an excellent grasp of strategy, a great understanding of the heritage of our brand and of the pertinent issues facing the world today".

Levine added: "Our first big project together, launching our Community Trade recycled plastic, gave them the opportunity to demonstrate how they could bring everything to life and we’re really thrilled with the results and the way we work together so far.

"Michael Murphy’s artwork was such a beautiful and different way to shine a light on the story of India’s waste-pickers and our work with them and our partners."

One Green Bean founder and executive creative director Kat Thomas told PRWeek: "The Body Shop couldn’t be more One Green Bean – we love brands that are provocative when it comes to purpose, that actively campaign for social change. Delivering work with humanity is part of our DNA and we are excited to rally the world behind The Body Shop cause once again."

A giant artwork of a waste picker has been unveiled at Borough Market

Fighting for waste-picker rights 

The Community Trade Recycled Plastic project aims to raise awareness of the lesser-known human side of the plastic crisis.

The Body Shop is purchasing 250 tonnes of community trade recycled plastic to support the waste-pickers in Bengaluru, India, and is launching a new in-store recycling scheme.

To mark the launch, it has unveiled giant artwork of a female Indian waste-picker in London’s Borough Market that was created by renowned artist Michael Murphy (pictured below) using recycled plastic collected by waste-pickers in Bengaluru.

The campaign aims to tackle the devastating effects of plastic waste and the toll it takes on human life.

More than three billion people live without formal waste management – nearly half of the planet’s population – which has given rise to an informal waste-picking economy.

Some of the world’s most marginalised people pick untreated waste to try to make a living. These waste-pickers, many of them women, often live below the poverty line, work in appalling conditions and are shunned by society.

In India alone there are an estimated 1.5 million waste pickers who collect and sort over 6,000 tonnes of plastic every day.

There are more than 1.5 million waste pickers in India alone. (Photo by NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Body Shop and Plastics for Change will work alongside local partners such as Hasiru Dala, a non-governmental organisation that fights for waste-picker rights, and Hasiru Dala Innovations, a social enterprise dedicated to creating essential employment opportunities for waste-pickers.

"As a company, we’ve always had the conviction to stand up for our principles when it comes to helping empower people, especially women, while protecting our planet. Our new partnership with Plastics for Change and our other partners will not only help support waste-pickers but also champion plastic as a valuable, renewable resource when used responsibly," said Lee Mann, global community trade manager for The Body Shop.

In its first year, The Body Shop will purchase 250 tonnes of Community Trade recycled plastic to use in nearly three million, 250ml haircare bottles by the end of 2019. This marks the start of a wider ambition to introduce Community Trade Recycled plastic across all PET plastic used by The Body Shop within three years.

The Body Shop is also rolling out an in-store recycling programme with TerraCycle to make it easy for customers to recycle empty bottles, jars, tubs, tubes and pots. The initiative will initially roll out in the UK, Australia, Canada, France and Germany.

Artist Michael Murphy creates a giant waste picker artwork using recycled plastic for The Body Shop

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