Friday, 9 August 2019

The Body Shop 'Return Recycle Repeat' Event - AD Gifted

*I was invited to The Body Shop for a Blogger Event and was gifted a product afterwards. All views are my own though

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you will probably be aware that I’m a big fan of The Body Shop. I’ve used their products since my pre-teens (does anyone else remember the bath pearls?! I used to absolutely love popping those!) and continue to enjoy their beauty items today. So when I saw that The Body Shop in Festival Place Basingstoke were having a blogger event a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t resist going along to check out their new products. 

It was one of the hottest days of the year so far when my Mum and I made our way over to Basingstoke to see the team, and unfortunately it turned out that the air conditioning in the store had broken, so we were all rather sweaty! But it didn’t stop us from having a lovely evening hearing all about what The Body Shop are doing at the moment. My evening started with a relaxing hand and arm massage to test the moisture levels of my skin after using either Body Butter or Body Yogurt (spoiler – both did an amazing job and there really wasn’t much between them when it came to improving my skin’s moisture levels). Although I like both products, I feel like I sway more towards ‘Team Yogurt’ in the summer, simply because it is so cooling and absorbs really quickly. I could quite happily have sat there enjoying a massage all evening, but there were other products to check out and projects to hear about.

The staff were really excited, as they had just received a delivery of a brand new product, which even they hadn’t had a chance to try out yet! So I got to have a sneak peek at what it was and how it works, and let me tell you – it looks like it’s going to be good fun to use! I don’t want to give too much away, as I know there are some spoilers going up on Instagram over the next couple of weeks. So I thought I would just share a few pictures with you, and let you guess what you think it might be!

Moving on to the main reason for the event – we were there to hear all about The Body Shop’s brand new ‘Return Recycle Repeat’ scheme. They have realised that plastic pollution is a global crisis and have come up with a project to protect our planet and empower people to do the same. So, in a large selection of Body Shop stores, you will now find a box like the one in the picture, in which you can put ANY plastic beauty packaging from ANY brand to be recycled (there are a few things that cannot be recycled, such as products that may contain flammable liquids e.g. perfume bottles). It doesn’t have to be products you’ve bought in The Body Shop, which is amazing because so many beauty products cannot be recycled in our kerbside recycling bins. However, if you are a member of the Love Your Body Club (it’s easy to join here) and you bring back five empty Body Shop products to recycle, you will receive a £5 voucher! 

The Body Shop have teamed up with a company called Terracycle®, who will be helping them to make this scheme a success. They are global market leaders within the recycling industry and are present in 21 markets, looking to enhance brands through finding sustainable solutions to 21st century issues with waste and packaging. They focus on the triple bottom line:

·     Planet – The Terracycle® primary objective is to recycle waste that is typically considered “non-recyclable”, diverting billions of pieces of waste from landfill and incineration since 2006
·     People –To date, Terracycle® has paid more than $10 million to schools and non-profit organisations in return for the waste collected through the programme
·     Profit –Terracycle® is structured as a for-profit social business, however maintains a small profit margin so that the rest can be reinvested to enhance the scheme and pursue further sustainability projects

If there is any packaging that cannot be recycled by Terracycle®, it is then made into post consumer goods such as benches and watering cans. One of my local schools even won a competition with Terracycle® recently, which will see the installation of a new playground made from recycled products! The Body Shop aims to collect 25% more packaging than they sell, and by 2030 they aim to have no single use products or packaging. 

As well as the Return Recycle Repeat scheme, The Body Shop are also committed to tackling the plastic crisis in a slightly different way. As well as plastic affecting marine and ocean life, it also affects people. In India, almost a third of waste is uncollected, which has given rise to 1.5 million people known as ‘waste pickers’ who collect this waste in the informal sector. The Body Shop have partnered up with an organisation in Bengaluru, India, who call themselves ‘Green Force.’ They work with ‘waste pickers’ who work tirelessly to clean up their city’s streets. 

These ‘waste pickers’ are mostly made up of what are known as ‘dalits,’ (formally known as ‘untouchables’) – the lowest social group in India’s caste system. This makes them extremely vulnerable to discrimination and poor working conditions. By working with Green Force, The Body Shop can help to provide access to more sanitary working conditions, a fair price and the respect and recognition they deserve. 

Not using plastic isn’t the only answer to dealing with the plastic crisis. If used responsibly, plastic can be sustainable, so The Body Shop are encouraging people to show love for the plastic we do use. This is why they have started using Community Trade recycled plastic from Bengaluru, India. It not only helps to tackle the existing problem, but it will also help to empower the ‘waste pickers’ that they support. Their Community Trade Partner, Plastics For Change, are a for-profit organisation that partners with local NGOs Hasiru Dala and Hasiru Dala Innovation (HDI) to provide Bengaluru’s waste pickers with a stable income and better opportunities, including boosting their skills and providing training for other areas such as urban gardening. 

So far, The Body Shop have started using their Community Trade recycled plastic in their 250ml Shampoo and Conditioner bottles. In the future, they want to buy even more Community Trade recycled plastics from their partners, so they can use it in more of their product packaging and strive to be even more sustainable, which definitely sounds like a step in the right direction.

After we’d heard all about what The Body Shop are doing to address the plastic crisis, we had a look at a few other new products that are currently out. They have a couple of new scents out for the summer, including Banana and Ginger. Both ranges are made from ‘Wonky Fruit and Veg,’ which is basically bananas and ginger that supermarkets won’t sell because they don’t look ‘perfect.’ So it’s great that these items aren’t going to waste and are instead making yummy smelling beauty products! The new products in the Banana range are also all now suitable for Vegans (and smell delicious – kind of like those foam banana sweets you can get!) I thought the Ginger range might smell a bit Christmassy, but it’s got citrus elements in it, which really gives it a summery vibe. 

They also have a few new biodegradable sheet masks for us to try out including Seaweed (for oily/combination skin), Vitamin C (for brightening sensitive skin), Aloe (for calming sensitive skin) and Vitamin E (for all skin types). At only £3.50 each and packed full of moisturising ingredients, these are perfect for some serious pampering. 

Also in the ‘Wonky Veg’ range are the Carrot Wash Energizing Face Cleanser and Carrot Cream Nature Rich Daily Moisturiser. Both are Vegan and made from 100% recyclable packaging, as well as being enriched with organic carrots and Community Trade organic Aloe Vera from Mexico. I’d never really thought of having carrot scented beauty products, but these are definitely worth a try!

The last thing I had a look at was some of the new make-up, as I always seem to forget about The Body Shop selling make-up! What really caught my eye were a couple of beautiful eyeshadow palettes – Paint in Colour and Own Your Naturals. The colours are perfect for the summer months, with a mixture of matte and shimmery shades. I particularly liked the range of colours in the Paint in Colour Palette, especially the glittery pink and gold! The other new make-up item that jumped out at me was the Happy Go Lash Mascara. It thickens and defines your lashes, and lasts all day without flaking, which is always a good thing! I particularly liked the pink packaging with green palm leaves on it – very summery!

Overall, we had a lovely time chatting to the staff from The Body Shop in Basingstoke, and I’m so pleased to hear the brand are making steps to start tackling the problems we have with plastic. I know I have watched and read a lot about the harm plastic is doing to our world and I do want to start making changes. But sometimes it feels so overwhelming when options to recycle, reuse and find more sustainable options are so hard to come by. So having a high street store offering this option to recycle plastic products and also supporting those who try to make plastic more sustainable is a brilliant thing to have. 

Are you a fan of The Body Shop? What do you think about their new schemes to help with the plastic crisis?

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