The child of an Italian immigrant couple, Anita Roddick opened the first Body Shop in 1976 in the English seaside town of Littlehampton with the aim of making an income for herself and her two daughters while her husband was away in South America.
The company was one of the first to prohibit the use of ingredients tested on animals and one of the first to promote fair trade with developing countries. By 2004, the Body Shop had 1,980 stores, serving over 77 million customers throughout the world. It was voted the second most trusted brand in the UK.
Dame Roddick contracted Hepatitis C from a large blood transfusion after the birth of her younger daughter which later developed into cirrhosis of the liver. She died in 2007 and as promised, left her estate to charities rather than to her friends and family – donating all of her £51 million fortune.