The organisation is the brainchild of a fashion PR and a journalist, who between them have more than 40 years’ experience in the industry
The organisation is the brainchild of a fashion PR and a journalist, who between them have more than 40 years’ experience in the industry

Beauty banks are helping to fight hygiene poverty

When times get tough, it’s not just food that people struggle to afford. Sarah Young reports on a new non-profit that is determined to eradicate hygiene poverty in Britain for good

Sarah Young
Sunday 25 February 2018 15:04

Stocking up on everyday beauty essentials like shampoo, body wash and deodorant is something that many of us take for granted.

But for a large number of the people living below the poverty line in the UK, a trip to the toiletry aisle is considered an occasional luxury.

From girls missing out on days at school because they can’t afford sanitary protection to job loss fears due to poor personal hygiene, it’s not right that countless low-income families should be forced to go without.

Enter, Beauty Banks – a non-profit organisation looking to help fight hygiene poverty.

Set up by beauty PR Jo Jones and journalist Sali Hughes – who between them have 40 years experience working in the industry – Beauty Banks aims to encourage people, and those within the beauty community, to donate toiletries to those living in serious need.

The idea to build the organisation stemmed from a number of places including Hughes’s own brush with homelessness and the fact that both knew teachers who brought sanitary product into school for pupils who couldn’t afford them.

But, when they read a report by charity In Kind Direct and found that 37 per cent of the nation had to go without or cut down on hygiene or grooming essentials due to lack of funds, they knew it was time for change.

“It isn’t right, fair or good enough. Clean hair, skin and teeth are a right, not a privilege. Personal hygiene – while not a matter of life and death – is crucial for our dignity, self-respect, personal pride and mental health,” Hughes wrote for The Pool website.

“To feel clean is to feel better; to look good often makes us feel more able to face the day and the world.”

As such, Beauty Banks is calling on anyone able to provide donations that it will then distribute to a number of homeless shelters and food banks.

This could be anything from sanitary products and disposable razors, to combs, hairbands, face wipes, sunscreen and even lipsticks.

So, how can you help?

If you would like to donate to Beauty Banks it’s important to be aware that all products should be unopened and comply with health and safety rules. Also nail polish, nail polish remover and perfume are restricted solvents, so these cannot be accepted.

Once you’ve got your stash ready to go, you can post it to the following address:

Beauty Banks, c/o Jo Jones, The Communications Store, 2 Kensington Square, London, W8 5EP

Or, if you’d rather cut out the middleman, you can buy products online and get them sent directly.

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