Coronavirus: How the beauty industry is supporting the Covid-19 relief effort
From producing hand sanitiser to donating period products, here’s how the industry is tackling the crisis, and how you can help
As we continue to navigate the world of self-isolation, many of us are stuck at home wondering what we can do to help the most vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to make a difference.
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.
We are all yearning for some kindness and positivity during such unprecedented times, which is why we’ve compiled a roundup of the beauty brands and charities who are working to make a difference during the pandemic.
You can help support those in need through many of these initiatives, by purchasing products from brands who are donating profits to charities, or by donating money to the organisations, like Beauty Banks, who are delivering hygiene products to those in need.
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This all-natural skincare brand knows a thing or two about being kind to the planet, as all of its products are made from byproduct ingredients, like used coffee grounds and brewed chai tea spices, which not only have natural skin benefits but help avoid landfill waste. It’s put this feel-good ethos towards helping the coronavirus relief effort, offering NHS workers care packages full of treats to pamper themselves with. After launching today and being inundated with more than 2,000 requests, UpCircle has had to pause its campaign for now. But you can email the brand at email@example.com to be notified about the initiative reopening.
This period product brand designed the world’s first reusable tampon applicator and specialises in organic tampons that are better for your body and the planet. The branding and packaging is achingly cool, we wish all sanitary brands could follow suit. DAME is a BCorp certified company too, meaning its held to the highest environmental and ethical standards. Its latest campaign stays true to these credentials, as it announced this week it will be donating free tampons to NHS healthcare workers. All you have to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org from your NHS email to receive a tampon delivery order.
Another eco-friendly period product brand doing good, ohne is delivering free tampons to NHS wards around the UK, as well as offering a 50 per cent discount on a three month tampon subscription service for those who are self-isolating. If you work on an NHS ward, no matter what position or role, and you or your team are struggling to access period products, you can contact ohne via email (email@example.com) or direct message on Instagram (@im_ohne) to request supplies. The brand is also extending this offer to anyone else struggling to access period products, whether that’s because you’re self-quarantined to protect others, or are suffering financially due to the pandemic. If you’re self-isolating and want to access the three-month tampon subscription discount, you can use the code “STAYINGIN” on brand’s website, the products will be delivered straight to your door, while observing social distancing guidelines.
This brand’s raw coconut oil is a firm favourite for cooking, as it’s considered to be a healthier and more natural option than other oils. Aside from a range of food products, Lucy Bee has an organic skincare line too, featuring soap bars and moisturisers. It’s helping the coronavirus relief effort by partnering with Soapworks, the UK’s largest soap manufacturer, to donate 30,000 soaps to charities across the country, to help protect against the spread of the pandemic. From homeless shelters and food banks to care homes and emergency services, 35 charities will benefit from the soap bars, helping those in need access sanitary products. The soap is made using Lucy Bee’s organic coconut oil and comes in a recyclable plastic wrap.
The L’Oreal group, which owns brands including 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 chair 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.
Beauty Banks is a UK charity that supports people living in hygiene poverty by providing essential toiletries. It started a campaign called #helpinghands last week to give vulnerable people access to basic hygiene products during the pandemic. The charity, founded in 2018 by beauty experts Sali Hughes and Jo Jones, usually takes donations of toiletry products, but since this is no longer a safe option hygienically, Beauty Banks has started a Go Fund Me page where you can donate money which will go towards products such as hand wash, soap and hand sanitisers to help protect people who cannot afford to be clean.
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.
Bloody Good Period
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 further risk.
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 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 unused 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.
Luxury fashion and beauty conglomerate LVMH is using the production lines of its perfume and cosmetic brands to produce large quantities of hand sanitiser, in order to combat the shortage of anti-viral products in France. The company owns brands such as Louis Vuitton and Dior, and has dedicated three of its largest factories in France to the production of hand sanitiser. LVMH will distribute free supplies to hospitals and health services in the country. In response to the initiative, Guerlain, a brand owned by LVMH, wrote on its Instagram: “We are proud to do our part in the fight against COVID-19 and to help those whose mission is to protect and care for others. We are also extremely proud of our production teams who have shown great solidarity and engagement during these uncertain times.”
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