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ETHICAL RETAILING

Increasing demand for ethical beauty products in Kenyan market

By our News Team | 2023

Global chain The Body Shop opens first local store in the wake of changing consumer preferences for sustainably produced beauty products.

Growing demand among Kenyan consumers for ethically and sustainably produced beauty products has led to the international chain, The Body Shop, launching its first in-country outlet in Nairobi.

The soft launch of the store at the Village Market sees the global chain’s local operations being handled through an exclusive franchise agreement with The Mask Retailers.

Ethical Retailing

Photo credit: The Body Shop, via Facebook

There will also be an e-commerce option, with an online platform scheduled to be launched later this year to service consumers in East Africa with products from The Body Shop.

“Kenya is a fast-developing economy which is well positioned to attract global brands aiming to strategically have a share of this market,” said Sarah Jackson, The Body Shop’s Franchise Business Director for EMEA and Latin America.

“The Kenyan consumer deeply cares about how ethically and socially conscious a business is across its entire value chain, and also value for their money. The Body Shop is bringing the consumer over 800 products that meet their need for high-quality, naturally-inspired skincare, hair care and make-up, produced ethically and sustainably.”

Store is designed to minimise its environmental footprint

According to Jackson, the Nairobi store has been designed around the brand’s strategy to minimise its environmental footprint. It is built with reclaimed wood and recycled plastics destined for landfill.

The facade is made from zinc/aluminium-low energy metal that is infinitely recyclable and the worktops are 100% recycled wood. Customers can also purchase a refillable 300ml aluminium bottle to store The Body Shop products such as shower gels, shampoos, conditioners and hand washes.

You can watch a KBC TV news report on the Nairobi store opening here.

The brand already has an interesting connection with Kenya. In 2020, it began sourcing tea tree oil from the foothills of Mount Kenya and the east coast region, working with the Kutoka Ardhini (‘from the ground’ in Swahili) group which supplies the key ingredient from a network of over 1,000 farmers.

This is implemented through The Body Shop’s Community Fair Trade programme which helps producers gain market access and invest in social and environmental projects that benefit their communities.

According to research published in December 2021 by Newcastle University in the UK, the rise of the ethical consumer has led to the emergence of a market segment where consumers are increasingly making ethical choices when it comes to purchasing goods. They are also willing to boycott unethically manufactured goods and, if necessary, organise protests against the companies that make and sell them.

“They are more than just consumers, they are driving the economy in a new direction,” the researchers noted.

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