Date started: December 2017
Location: Distributing to London, Brighton, Cardiff, South Wales, Essex, Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham, Glasgow and more.
Research by In Kind Direct last year shone a light on the issue of ‘hygiene poverty’ in the UK; people struggling to afford essential toiletries, with some families reporting they’d had to choose between eating and keeping clean.
Drawing on their extensive experience in the beauty industry, Sali Hughes (writer and resident beauty columnist for Guardian Weekend magazine) and Jo Jones (Senior Director of Beauty for global PR and comms agency The Communications Store) are working to change this. Conscious of the level of excess product within the community of journalists, bloggers, PRs and brands, they wanted to help redirect some of this surplus into the hands of those who desperately needed it.
Together, they launched Beauty Banks in February 2018, with a call for donations. They’ve received a steady influx since, both from brands such as Neal’s Yard and Soaper Duper, and individuals sending in shoe boxes of unused items.
Supporters can now purchase items via a wishlist at online cash-and-carry Easho too, including cost-effective multi-packs of essentials like toothpaste, tampons and shampoo. Volunteers then sort and deliver all items to a growing band of charity partners, including Trussell Trust food banks, homeless shelters, refuges and schools.
Future plans include lobbying to end period poverty in UK schools, as well as working on a ‘grassroots structure’, creating downloadable packs to help people set up their own local Beauty Banks.