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 our planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in 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 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 a UK-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 Blue Corn 3-in-1 deep-cleansing scrub mask often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, and other national publications.
Auto electronics have changed a lot since 1989. Tape decks gave way to iPods, LCD screens brought movies to the back seat, and the Internet expanded from college campuses to car interiors. Frank Rodriquez and his crew at Exotic Auto Boutique have worked on the frontlines of this technological evolution, wielding a half century of collective expertise while tailoring vehicles' aesthetics and equipment. Specializing in seamless audio updates using Soundstream equipment, the team also sells listening gear for DIY installation from other brands including Pyle and Kenwood. With an enthusiasm for unusual projects, they invite big dreamers in for complimentary consultations for projects to make over school buses as limos, trick out children's bikes, or transform pumpkins into horse-drawn teleportation devices.
A native of Park Slope, Parkside Auto Care owner Charlie has spent four decades indulging his mechanical curiosity in the automotive industry. It all began with a simple thirst for the knowledge of how things work—as a child, Charlie's toys were his father's tools, and his hobby was to dismantle and reassemble anything he could find, including his father's transistor radio. Today, Charlie and his 20-year collaborator, Darwin, specialize in exotic and European cars, their minds encyclopedias of automotive knowledge that guide them through such tasks as repairing engines, servicing transmissions, and breaking in wild Lamborghinis.
ZP Auto Repair keeps wheels on the road and minds off the wheels with comprehensive care packages for any type of vehicle. A quick 30-minute oil change keeps cars hydrated and lubricated with a replacement of the oil and oil filter for standard vehicles (an extra fee applies for luxury and nonstandard vehicles, which will receive a $42 credit toward any oil change). Knowledgeable technicians also inspect and top off fluids as needed, and rotate and inspect tires to preserve the treads on automotive sneakers.
The ASE-certified technicians at NYC Tire and Auto Care have made it their mission to keep cars running with reliable service since 1986. They've earned several awards for their effort. In addition to performing routine maintenance, the team investigates misbehaving vehicles with thorough diagnostics and makes repairs to engines, transmissions, and electrical equipment.