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Dame Joanna Lumley Unveils The Body Shop’s First Ever Garden At Chelsea Flower Show 2022

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Dame Joanna Lumley Unveils The Body Shop’s First Ever Garden At Chelsea Flower Show 2022

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Dame Joanna Lumley opened The Body Shop's climate change garden at Chelsea Flower Show.

Romally Coverdale

Thu 26 May 2022

The Body Shop is known for their social and environmental activism long before activism was a buzzword.

Yet, this year was The Body Shop’s first ever garden at the Chelsea Flower Show, and it was unveiled by no other than Dame Joanna Lumley.

This is no ordinary garden: it aims to send a powerful message about the destructive impact of climate change on the planet, as well as its oppressive hold over the minds of young people.

In fact, the climate crisis is the number one issue young people care about globally, as revealed by the UN and The Body Shop.

Dame Joanna Lumley admiring The Body Shop's Re:generation garden.

Dame Joanna Lumley admiring The Body Shop's Re:generation garden.

The garden and climate change

Aptly named 'Re:generation', the garden captures young people’s resilience in response to the climate crisis, and reflects The Body Shop’s campaign to raise youth voices in public life.

The Body Shop have recently partnered with The British Youth Council to give young people full voting rights in 2024 - showing that young people should have a say in their future.

The garden itself, brought to life by Jennifer Hirsch, reflects the emotional burnout caused by climate anxiety and public systems.

The garden also represents the shared commitment to protecting the planet, that transcends age and other barriers.

The coming together of Dame Joanna, the Chelsea Pensioners, youth climate activist Daze Aghaji and fashion sustainability campaigner Venetia La Manna reflects the intergenerational unity when tackling the climate crisis.

Dame Joanna Lumley and others at the garden
“Despite its sheer beauty, the garden is a visceral reminder of the perils of climate change and the responsibility on all of us to halt its devastating impact.”

This is also apparent in the garden itself, as it embodies and celebrates the regenerative act of connecting with nature.

The garden, then, presents itself as a sanctuary but one with a grand message: we need to act now.

How the design came about

Hirsch was inspired by Gen Z’s unwavering determination to change the world for the better, so she felt it was vital to explore stories of environmental and social regeneration.

As Dame Joanna Lumley said: “Despite its sheer beauty, the garden is a visceral reminder of the perils of climate change and the responsibility on all of us to halt its devastating impact.”

two youths hold up signs on climate activism
“The climate crisis is the number one issue young people care about globally.”

The Body Shop’s presence at the Chelsea Flower Show comes after their partnership with The British Youth Council, and their involvement in the Be Seen Be Heard campaign.

The campaign itself encourages young people to speak out about issues they care about, and pushes all political parties to back votes for 16 and 17 year olds across the UK.

As Managing Director of The Body Shop UK, Maddie Smith, states, ““Despite being largely shut out of the political process, young people have a vital part to play in the decisions that will directly affect them.”

And what a beautiful way to celebrate such activism and a way to remind us all what it is we are fighting for when tackling climate change.

The ‘Re:generation’ garden was revealed on May 23rd 2022, and has its official opening to the public 25 - 28 May.

Find out more on the RHS website.

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