Unilever and Boots team up to tackle growing hygiene poverty crisis

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 5-Jul-2022

The current cost of living crisis is putting added pressure on families affected by hygiene poverty

Unilever has partnered with Boots for the second year in a row to tackle the growing issue of hygiene poverty in the UK.

Working with the Hygiene Bank, a British charity which distributes donated hygiene products to communities in need, the brands will run a You Buy, We Donate campaign.

This campaign will run for eight weeks from 29 June, and sees one hygiene product donated to the charity for every two selected Unilever products bought at Boots stores or online.

The health and cosmetics retailer’s partnership comes amid the current cost of living crisis, which is putting added pressure on families affected by hygiene poverty.

One in five of the UK population currently lives in poverty, with as much as 4.3 million being children, The Hygiene Bank said.

The charity added that it has a current waiting list of over 420 community groups requiring its services to access basic hygiene products such as soap, shampoo and deodorant.

The growing cost of living

The cost of living crisis has become a global issue, with consumers throughout the world grappling with rising living costs across everything from food to fuel.

Toluna’s recent Global Consumer Barometer Study found that the rising cost of living and energy crisis is impacting the spending plans of 69% of consumers globally.

It also found that beauty and skin care products are one of the top ten areas most impacted by price changes – 35% of consumers ranked beauty as an area that had seen a moderate or large impact.

In May, Superdrug partnered with Jack Monroe, a poverty campaigner and activist, to support customers in making better decisions when it comes to the amount of money they spend on beauty and personal care shopping.

The AS Watson-owned retailer’s Shop Smart campaign was made in response to the cost of living crisis, which it said has seen 80% of Superdrug customers switching to cheaper brands.

“There’s been a lot of discussion recently around soaring energy costs and rising food bills, and the cost of toiletries and personal care essentials are also rising steeply, which leaves many people unable to afford the basics needed for personal health hygiene and dignity,” said Monroe.

“It’s embarrassing to not be able to afford things that others might take for granted, like soap, tampons, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, and hygiene poverty is fast becoming a hidden impact of the cost of living crisis.”

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