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Beautiful intentions; Lily Cole, model, actress, co-owner of ethical clothing line The North Circular, has teamed up with The Body Shop on a range of cruelty-free make-up. She speaks to WM about how when it comes to activism, nobody's perfect.

Why did you decide to become a global advocate for The Body Shop? I've long been an advocate of the potential of using business and consumer power to cause positive change.

The fact that The Body Shop was selling henna when I was growing up definitely suggested that red hair was cool - before I was wise enough to recognise that myself!

There's a natural quality to their approach which places its emphasis on enhancing - rather than masking people's faces. I love the brand - my favourite fragrance has to be White Musk Libertine. It brings back nostalgic childhood '90s memories.

What do you like about the brand? The products empower those involved in the production process.

Anita Roddick travelled the globe to source the most incredible (and often then unknown) ingredients. The Body Shop then set up clever trading systems that empowered the communities they sourced these ingredients from.

Often the extraction processes continue techniques and traditions that are hundreds, if not thousands, of years old. For example you would never imagine that the Shea butter, found in products in stores and on busy city high streets, was made by hand by a group of women in a village in Northern Ghana, using a manual process that has been passed down through generations for centuries.

What has been your favourite campaign? I was impressed by the bold stand The Body Shop took in its campaign to Stop Sex Trafficking and the success it had in demonstrating the power of the voice of the people. I was also seriously impressed with how many people signed up to their petition and the impact it has had on governments worldwide.

It was a very powerful message.

Why was the Cruelty-Free Make-Up collection created? Cruelty-Free Make-Up was created to celebrate the Against Animal Testing stance of The Body Shop and show that you don't have to harm animals to create great products, looks and colours.

Cruelty-Free Make-Up is made without harming animals - this means no bug shells, no animal hair and no fish scales.

How do you personally approach activism? For me, being an activist is summed up in the following quote: "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." - Reinhold Niebuhr.

I used to have the quote "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" by Edmund Burke on my bedroom door growing up.

I'm not saying I'm a good man, but I think as soon as you are aware of injustices you have a responsibility to try and address them - so I guess some of it is inspired by some sort of guilt complex!

How can other people get involved? I'm still constantly trying to find and know my own truth, to be fearless. I'm not sure there is ever an end to this. Being strong enough to stand within that position of difference and honouring your voice is the first step towards activism. I believe it's the small steps that matter. My personal values boil down to my intention: The intention to be aware, to be kind, to be honest, to make informed choices.

The intention is everything, though the reality will inevitably sometimes fall short. No one is perfect.

How do you feel that the current generation's views of beauty are changing? I feel like people are questioning superficial values and looking for real values instead.

True beauty comes from within and I feel that more and more people are beginning to realise that.

Are there any women in business whom you particularly admire? Vivienne Westwood is a hero of mine.

I think she is a force of nature - challenging norms and pushing boundaries along the way.

Katherine Poulton, Livia Firth and Franca Sozzani are also doing brilliant work looking at fashion's responsibilities in production chains.

And Grace Coddington (Conwy-born fashion director at US Vogue) is marvellous!

What would you do if you were mayor for a day? I'd put water fountains everywhere to encourage people to refill their water bottles instead of throwing them away and I'd plant more spectacular trees in absurd surprising places.

I'd also throw huge street parties. Regularly!

* The Lily Cole Cruelty-Free Make-Up collection is now at The Body Shop.

Priced from pounds 4, the range includes Puff On Radiance, pounds 16, a pink-toned luminescent powder with a soft puff, for face and cheeks, and Shimmer Cubes, also pounds 16, in Think Pink, Live Lilac, Go Violet and Tint It Pink.

* Lily stars in Snow White & The Huntsman with Kirsten Stewart and Charlize Theron. *, 01903 844554.


* The Lily Cole Cruelty-free make-up collection * Model and actress Lily Cole
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 12, 2012
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