To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
In 1976, two UC Davis graduate students bought 20 acres of land in the highly arable Capay Valley. One of the students, Kathleen Barsotti, was working toward her master's degree in ecology and was determined to grow vegetables and fruits in an eco-friendly way: organically. The organic-food movement hadn't yet entered the public consciousness, and Kathleen worked overtime to convince restaurants, stores, and consumers of the taste-able merits of her process. Over time, given the possible health and environmental benefits of certified organic food, she succeeded. The farm sprouted to 300 acres to accommodate the increased demand. Today, a second generation runs the farm as well as a shop inside San Francisco's Ferry Building. Dubbed Farm Fresh To You, the store furnishes customers' bags or portable cornucopia horns with all sorts of soil-sprouted goods, including heirloom tomatoes, sweet peas, and fresh asparagus. The farm also teams up with fellow Yolo County and Pacific Northwest farms to deliver boxes of seasonal produce to area homes.
A referee stands guard over the designated trampoline dodge-ball court as teams soar through the air in graceful arcs and rebound off the walls. The fast-paced game reflects Great Jump Sports' mission to refresh workout routines. In doing so, the staff keeps upbeat music pouring out of the sound system and welcomes fitness clubs to hold classes in the arena.
Though the arena fosters a jovial environment, safety is paramount. Padding covers all hard surfaces, and vertical walls and netting prevent spills. Staffers keep the vast arena well ventilated and air-conditioned, and use all-natural, scent-free disinfectants. They also supply all jumpers with skid-free socks for safe landings.
Once patrons have expended energy reserves and perfected their meteor impersonations, they can head to the arcade or settle in at Great Jump Sports' caf?, where chefs bake pizzas in a brick oven and arrange fruit and veggie platters.
The Green Creation's founder, Smitha Prasad, fashions soft, comfy clothes for kids using GOTS-certified organic cotton tinged with colorful, nontoxic dyes free of azo compounds and other irritants. Each hoodie, onesie, bib, and dress cloaks little ones in hip, stylish cuts of cloth sourced from fair-trade farms and grown without the aid of harmful pesticides, an eco-friendly recipe that makes the wearer more likely to attract lots of hip, stylish flora and fauna. Retro floral prints and other exclusive designs decorate the apparel, whose soft fabric and mostly tagless construction reduce discomfort. Husks of paddy rice generate electricity for each garment's manufacture; all excess materials are recycled.
Named one of Parents magazine's Top 10 Birthday Chains in 2010, Color Me Mine's international franchise of DIY ceramics studios cater to an older crowd as well. Hundreds of unadorned ceramic pieces?including vases, flatware, and busts of Elvis?await the attentions of muses of kids and their keepers alike, as do glazes in earthy tones and bright crimsons to frighten bulls away from china cabinets. Guests follow simple step-by-step instructions that leave plenty of room for creative expression. When painters are satisfied with their work, the professional kiln-workers help glaze and fire it for them before customers retrieve the finished piece a few days later.