Access to basic hygiene products such as sanitary products and soap is a right that’s still out of reach for many in the UK. Sali Hughes and Jo Jones are addressing that with their new organisation

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Those hotel shower gels you’ve been holding onto? The soaps you received from your grandma for Christmas a couple of years ago that you’ve never opened? They can now finally be put to good use thanks to the launch of Beauty Banks, a new non-profit organisation created to help those living in hygiene poverty.

Set up by beauty journalist Sali Hughes  and Jo Jones, Senior Group Account Director at The Communications Store, (who between them have 40 years’ experience working in the industry), the organisation aims to encourage the beauty community to donate toiletries to people living in serious need and give the hoard of unused products many of us accumulate over time a much more worthwhile purpose.

“We love and value our industry, admire and respect a great number of the good people in it and the very many charitable organisations they support,” Sali writes in an article for The Pool . “But, increasingly, we felt frustrated, bored and cross at the amount of waste, expense and needless fuss that has gradually become the norm in launching, promoting and marketing beauty products (a courier delivering me a large box containing heaps of tissue and a single piece of card telling me to ‘watch this space’ for a new make-up product proved to be a watershed moment).”

The motivation to create the organisation was also fuelled by a report that the two had read last summer by In Kind Direct  that highlighted hygiene poverty as a hidden crisis in the UK. With the growing reliance of low income families on food banks (more than half say they can't afford toiletries) and the shocking number of girls skipping school because they’re too poor to buy sanitary products , the need to donate is more pressing than ever.

All unopened toiletries and cosmetics are welcome, from essentials to more specialist products - sanitary products, disposable razors, soap, shampoo, shaving gel, deodorant...each has its place for helping those in need meet their basic daily hygiene needs and provide them with a greater sense and confidence before a job or school interview.

How to donate

Want to get involved? Simply pack your products into a box, write “Beauty Banks” on every side of it, and post it to the address below. Sali, Jo and their team of volunteers will then sort through it and send it on to their five (soon more) trusted charity food banks and homeless shelter partners for distribution.


Alternatively, you can also send donations directly to Beauty Banks from ,  and  (their wish list is here ), or via their list on Easho  - just click 'Donate to Beauty Banks' at checkout. A great cause.

Follow Beauty Banks  @thebeautybanks .