How we all deal with the unprecedented and highly anxious current climate will set the tone for the coming months, and never has their been a greater need for kindness, compassion and community spirit as now. Being stuck inside, unable to spend time with the people we love, isn’t fun but it is a necessary small price to pay to keep us safe. Often a person’s true colours are seen during a time of crisis; how willing their are to help and support others shows us all their true intentions and priorities – and the same can undoubtedly be said of brands.
Now is the time to be giving more than you receive, to be looking out for those putting their lives at risk to keep us safe and well, and I’m truly delighted to see so many beauty brands doing such things in their attempt to make a difference. Many are doing so with little fanfare or announcement, and many more are taking a serious financial loss in order to help; social responsibility has long been of increasing importance as consumers look to shop as much with their heart as with their head, but now more than ever it has the power to build brand loyalty.
For we will remember those brands doing great things for a long time to come, and we will support them in the same way that they supported us.
The beauty industry has long had a reputation for being vacuous, self-righteous and vain, but it’s actually a global power for good that helps men and women feel better about themselves every single day. As we stay at home and wait this all out, it’s our dressing tables and bathroom mirrors that are getting the most attention; we’re enjoying long soaks in the bath, an extensive pre-bedtime skincare regime, at-home mani pedi sessions and everything in between – and it’s helping to bring a sense of normality and calm to an otherwise uncertain time.
As we all enjoy those home beauty sessions, you may be interested to know some of the amazing things that beauty brands are doing right now to help during the Coronavirus crisis; it really does make me proud to work in this industry.
MAC Cosmetics is donating $10million to charities working with Coronavirus, Estée Lauder is donating $79m globally to those in need, while The Hut Group (who own brands including HQ Hair, Beauty Expert, Illamasqua, Look Fantastic, Espa and Glossybox) is donating £10 million to support vulnerable communities and workers affected.
Boots are donating over 200,000 toiletries (including toothpaste, shampoo and shower gel) as well as hand creams and body lotions to front line NHS workers, as well as vulnerable people, schools and food banks. Elizabeth Arden have donated 4000 Eight Hour Creams to NHS frontline workers to help soothe their raw hands and painful faces that have been damaged by wearing essential PPE. Deciem have also pledged to donate a minimum of 20,000 of Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA from The Ordinary to hospital wards nationwide.
The Body Shop has given away over 255,000 products to frontline NHS workers, including soap, shower gel, body wash and shampoo, after they realised staff were having to shower on-site between shifts. A further 100,000 bars of soap and 1000,000 hand creams are also being sent to the temporary hospitals currently being created, including the NHS Nightingale.
L’Oreal has founded the European Solidarity Plan to support European countries with products where they’re needed (including hospitals, pharmacies and care homes) as well as donating £1 million to charities helping with the crisis.
Avon have started to manufacture a moisturising hand gel, with the plan being to create 600,000 units that can be given to NHS staff and domestic abuse charities before making them available for sale to the general public. When they do go on sale, £150k will be donated to Refuge.
Skincare brands Pai and Oskia have created their own hand hygiene gel and donated the first batch to local schools, nurseries and charities before putting it on sale. Jo Malone London, Tan-Luxe, Medik8, Ormond Jayne and 111 Skin have also created their own hand hygiene gel that’s being donated to NHS staff, care homes, supermarket staff and other frontline services.
LVMH (who own many luxe beauty brands and perfume names) and Coty have transformed their production lines to produce hand hygiene gel so they can distribute it to where it’s needed. Clarins are also following suit, producing 200,000 bottles of hand hygiene gel, while providing an additional 50,000 kids of pampering and hydrating skincare to British healthcare workers.
L’Occitane have donated 10,000 of their hand creams to NHS hospitals across the UK. Molton Brown have donated 25,000 soaps to beauty banks to help keep hands clean, as well as 3,000 bottles of hand lotion to NHS staff. Codex has pledged to donate over 40,000 units of its multipurpose Bia Skin Superfood cream to medical staff – helping soothe dry hands, sore faces and tired feet.
Brands including Monat, Right Guard, Philosophy, Ojai, Schwarzkopf and Burt’s Bees have supported the charity We C U 2020 with thousands of products – all of which are being packed up and distributed to hospital staff in London and the surrounding areas. Additionally, ARK Skincare are (although a relatively small British brand) sending out hand creams to key workers and those in need in order to support where they can.
Nursem were already doing amazing things, donating one of their hand creams to a nurse every time one was sold, but during this period they’re donating an additional 10,000 units to help soothe away overwashed hands.
Period brands Ohne and DAME are also providing NHS workers with free sanitary wear – which is one less thing they have to worry about during this troubling time.
But it’s not just about product. Treatwell, the beauty booking destination, have encouraged all their partner salons and spas to donate their PPE to local hospitals and produced a dedicated page on their website to allow them to get it to where it will make a difference. Nouveau Lashes are also donating 100,000 PPE items (including hygiene gel, masks, aprons and wipes) to frontline NHS workers.
Not forgetting the elderly, Miller Harris have donated 11,000 units of hand wash, lotion and soap to Age UK to keep the self-isolating clean and healthy.
Understanding this is a tricky time, This Works have opened up their customer service line to support those who are feeling lonely or anxious; providing someone just to talk to, this is such a simple but powerful gesture.
I’m sure there are many others also doing amazing things during this time, so please do let me know in the comments below if you’ve come across any great effort by any brand – big or small.
Here’s hoping these gestures collectively make a big difference, show our key workers how much they’re valued and keep everyone as safe as possible. I know I’ll remember the brands who went out of their way to help, and hope you will too.