When beauty PR Jo Jones and writer Sali Hughes read a report that revealed 37% of Britons go without hygiene or grooming essentials due to a lack of funds, they knew they had to help. And so Beauty Banks was founded – read on to discover why this is the initiative to know about...
What is it?
Set up by beauty journalist Sali Hughes and Jo Jones, Senior Group Account Director at The Communications Store, Beauty Banks is a non-profit initiative to encourage the beauty community to donate the hoard of unused toiletries many of us accumulate to people living in serious need. Alarmingly, more than half of British families reliant on food banks say they can’t afford to buy simple toiletries such as toothpaste and shower gel, and girls across the country are skipping school because they can’t afford sanitary products. Cuts to working benefits, rising inflation and reductions in free school-meal provision suggest the problem is unlikely to improve soon.
How does it work?
All unopened toiletries and cosmetics are welcome – Beauty Banks are looking for donations that cover all corners of your bathroom cabinet. Yes, they need essentials like tampons and soap, but as Hughes explains, they also believe “items like moisturiser, spot cream and a sharp razor can support those in crisis who are looking for work, returning to education, suffering from poverty-associated mental health difficulties or who are simply in need of the same sense of cleanliness and dignity that are taken for granted by the rest of us.” Donations can be sent directly to the organisation who will distribute them to homeless shelters, food banks and women’s refuges across four London locations. All are supported by the Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest network of food banks that delivered over 1.1 million food packages last year alone. As Hughes emphasises, “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”.
How can you donate?
As a non-profit organisation, Beauty Banks can’t accept money but do want your unopened toiletries. Think deodorant, shampoo, body wash, wipes, shaving foam, razors, tampons and sanitary towels, toothpaste, toothbrushes and soap. You can either pack your products into a box (they must be unopened and don’t include solvents such as nail varnish and perfume) and send to the following address or purchase toiletries direct from their Amazon wish list.
You can also buy products from Boots.com or Superdrug.com to be sent directly to the Beauty Banks office. If you’re sending your own box, remember to write ‘Beauty Banks’ on every side of the box before posting to:
C/O JO JONES
THE COMMUNICATIONS STORE
2 KENSINGTON SQUARE
LONDON W8 5EP
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