by Lesley Ricketts - Director
My name is Lesley Ricketts I started the Bodyline brand from my kitchen sink in 1976. I wanted to make products using the power of fruit, flowers, vegetables, herbs, spices and essential oils.
Chemicals and synthetics are in all products but I wanted to replace the chemical that cleansed, moisturised and conditioned with a vegetable based alternative. When I began my business, widely used ingredients by cosmetic companies included Spermaceti, an oil taken from whales, extracts from unborn animal placentas taken from cows 3-4 months pregnant and various slaughterhouse ingredients such as Stearic Acid and Glycerine. These were the type of ingredients I was regularly offered by suppliers.
I thought the cosmetics industry was a grizzly place to be, and much to the amusement of suppliers I was determined to find alternative methods that did not involve animal testing or the use of animal ingredients. Initially I found Palm Oil derived alternatives for Stearic Acid and Glycerine and synthetics also played an important part in removing some of the best-known perfume ingredients. Civet was collected from cats; the dreadfully painful process involved scraping the secretion from the sex glands of civet cats. The scent of musk was obtained from the musk deer; thousands of these creatures were killed each year to provide the top notes for some expensive perfumes. Castoreum comes from beaver and ambergris from the sperm whale.
From the day I started my business it has been my policy not to purchase any raw material from a company which tests on animals. Our company does not operate a fixed cut off date criteria, because I do not believe they work. It simply focuses attention on the ingredient and not the company that produces it. This policy allows cosmetic companies to purchase ingredients from suppliers that are still using animal testing. Over the years I have come across many instances of suppliers offering a raw material say factor x, which it is claimed, has not been tested since a certain date. It then comes to light that the company also produce factor y, which is exactly the same item as factor x, but with a different name. Factor y is tested on animals and the dossier of animal testing safety material is used to support sales of factor x, for the cosmetic companies who insist on this form of testing. Cosmetic companies who claim to produce cruelty free products and purchase their fixed cut off date raw materials from suppliers who use animal testing on other ingredients are not in my opinion working in the spirit of what I set out to achieve in 1976. That however is my opinion and how other companies choose to operate is a matter for them, although I am pleased to see more companies are now choosing to adopt my policy.
Over the years the Bodyline product range has only ever been made in small fresh batches, however I have also designed and produced products for most of the UK major high street retailers under their own label. I have kept to the same philosophy whether producing product in 1-litre beakers or in 10-ton batches for large stores.
Large volume production made us attractive to suppliers, and gave us the opportunity to stop some suppliers from animal testing completely. This is something we would not have been able to achieve if we had adopted an alternative policy.
All Bodyline products are suitable for vegetarians and most are suitable for Vegans. I hope you will get as much pleasure in using my products as I get from making them.