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As well as charitable acts from other sectors, such as Pret A Manager offering free hot
drinks to all NHS workers and a London nightclub turning into a food distribution centre for
essential items, the beauty world has stepped up to help those in need, whether that’s
smaller independent brands donating products or profits to hygiene banks, or huge beauty
conglomerates producing hand sanitiser products to help to combat shortages.
The L’Oreal group, which owns brands like La Roche-Posay and Garnier, announced a
Europe-wide programme this week to help combat the anti-viral product shortage. The
cosmetic conglomerate is using its factories to produce hand sanitiser and hydroalcoholic
gel, distributing it to French and European authorities.
Jean-Paul Agon, the chairman and CEO of L’Oréal, said: “In this unprecedented crisis,
it is our responsibility to contribute to the collective effort in every way possible. Through
these actions, L’Oréal expresses our recognition, our support and our solidarity towards
those who are demonstrating extraordinary courage and selflessness in their efforts to
combat this pandemic.”
French brand La-Roche Posay is also supplying its partnering French pharmacies with
free hand sanitiser, as well as hospitals and care homes. Garnier is offering a similar
initiative, supplying several million units of free hand sanitiser to its European food
distribution stakeholders. L’Oreal is also donating €1m to its partner non-profit
organisations, who are helping the most vulnerable during the pandemic.
The Body Shop
A brand known and loved across the world for its skincare and bath products is providing
hygiene supplies to those in need. The brand’s North American team will be donating
30,000 units of its cleansing products to shelters and senior communities across the US
and Canada, to ensure the most vulnerable can stay clean during the pandemic. As well
as these donations, the North American team has provided all of its employees with hand
washing products to take home, in order to keep their families safe.
This charity is working to tackle period poverty in the UK by providing sanitary products to
refugees, asylum seekers and others who cannot afford them. As the organisation
rightfully states on its website, “periods don’t stop during a pandemic”, which is why it is
campaigning for donations to its “pad fund”, to help those without access to sanitary
products, especially during a time when others are bulk-buying. The charity usually
encourages people to donate period products, but given it is currently not hygienically
safe to do so, and it cannot continue with its usual fundraisers or hosting stalls, Bloody
Good Period is asking people to buy supplies or “sponsor a period” via its website, which
will help it to continue supporting the people who need it most, without putting anyone at
Soap & Glory
In a bid to ensure everyone has access to hygiene products, bath and body brand
Soap & Glory has partnered with The Hygiene Bank, a charity that provides personal care
essentials to those who can’t afford them, with the belief that everyone has the right to
feel clean. For every Soap & Glory purchase made online or in Boots stores until the 5
May, the brand will donate a product percentage to The Hygiene Bank. It expects to
donate 15,000 full full-size bottles of its cult-favourite “clean on me” shower gel to the
charity during the initiative.
Lizzy Hall, founder of The Hygiene Bank, says: “Today, a fifth of our population are locked
in poverty with more and more people relying on foodbanks. Hygiene poverty is not being
able to afford many of the everyday hygiene and personal grooming basics that most of us
take for granted.” Boots is also hosting donation bins for The Hygiene bank in 25 stores
across the UK, where customers can contribute through purchasing products in-store or
bringing in un-used products to donate.
Lady Gaga’s beauty brand announced this week that it will be donating 20 per cent of last
week’s profits to Los Angeles and New York food banks, in order to help those affected by
school closures, office shut downs, and other cuts to resources. In the announcement on
Instagram, the brand said: “We believe this is a time to choose compassion over fear.
Just like our fearless leader, Lady Gaga, we know we will get through this together if we
remember to continue to lead with kindness.” The brand launched in September last year,
inspired by Gaga’s early days as an aspiring singer, as it was during this time when she
formed her signature make-up looks through experimenting with products.