All hail the return of avocado body butter
Whenever we were sad or celebratory in the early- to mid-1990s, my friend Julia and I would treat one another to an Avocado Body Butter from The Body Shop. The big, fat pot of rich, decadent, melty green cream was hugely expensive at close to a fiver, but just about affordable when one sought urgently to demonstrate love and restore cheer. Smeared over clean skin, or even dolloped under hot running water to make a softening cream bath, Avocado Body Butter moisturised our very different skins like no other, banishing ashiness and comforting limbs while leaving no greasy stains on our black Lycra bodysuits.
An immediate success, the body butter franchise grew swiftly to incorporate sweeter, more crowd-pleasing fruits and, very much ahead of its time, our beloved avocado was axed. Some of the late Anita Roddick’s other iconic creations survived, but it’s fair to say that in years since, The Body Shop has sometimes seemed unmoored from the founder’s ideology. To bring back her Avocado Body Butter now – when the Instagram-venerated pear is so marketable to millennials – seems like a no-brainer.
But I’m glad The Body Shop, under the relatively new ownership of Brazilian beauty company Natura (much to the delight of employees, I hear), have considered some meaningful updates. The Avocado Body Butter reboot (£18 for 200ml), launched last month, is made from avocado oil sourced sustainably in South Africa. Along with the rest of the lineup – butters in Coconut, Shea, Olive, Argan, Almond Milk & Honey, Moringa, Pink Grapefruit, Satsuma, British Rose, Strawberry, Hemp and its original sister, Mango – it’s certified vegan, contains Ghanaian community fair trade shea butter, and is packaged in new recyclable tubs made entirely from plastic waste bought at a fair price from marginalised waste workers in Bengaluru, India, via the charity Plastics For Change. The lids are made from infinitely recyclable aluminium.
For every Avocado Body Butter sold before 30 September, the brand will donate 10 pence to UK charity End Youth Homelessness, which is expected to raise about £220,000 for a new health fund. It’s rare to be able to tell you about a product with such unimpeachable ethics, from farm to factory to face and beyond. And even rarer to be able to say that it’s still as brilliant as it is laudable. Julia’s pot is already in the post.