In the midst of the current pandemic and mounting bad news from around the world, it can be all too easy to feel hopeless and helpless in such uncertain, unprecedented and ever-evolving times. But difficult times have a way of bringing out the best in us, as we collectively rally around the concepts of community, support and togetherness, proving that hope is far from lost.
We've seen these concepts manifest themselves abundantly across the beauty world over the past few weeks. From established beauty giants like LVMH to the smaller, indie businesses up and down the country, the beauty market has joined forces to launch various initiatives, campaigns and funds to help combat the adverse effects of covid-19.
In playing their part to prevent the spread of the virus and provide assistance to those in need, such brands have also enabled consumers to do their part too. In many cases, investing in certain products and businesses has a direct impact on the coronavirus relief effort. These are the beauty brands making a difference right now...
Home to some of our most loved brands, such as Christian Dior and Fenty Beauty, the LVMH conglomerate was one of the first to announce swift action in assisting the relief effort. On Monday 16th March, the group began mass producing hand sanitiser in its perfume factories outside Orléans, a mere 72 hours after the French government issued a call to industry to help fill the gaps of key medical supplies.
An issued statement read: "Given the risk of a shortage of hydroalcoholic gel in France, Bernard Arnault has instructed the LVMH Perfumes & Cosmetics business to prepare its production sites to manufacture substantial quantities of hydroalcoholic gel to be provided to public authorities."
It added, "LVMH will use the production lines of its perfume and cosmetic brands to produce large quantities of the gel from Monday. It will be delivered free of charge to the health authorities and as a priority from this Monday to the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris. LVMH will continue to honour this commitment for as long as necessary, in connection with the French health authorities."
Acqua di Parma
Helping to support the fight against covid-19, Acqua di Parma are launching the #StayHome solidarity charity campaign this week to aid the crisis in its own home country, Italy. Throughout the month of April, the brand has pledged that 100 per cent of e-commerce revenues generated by sales of the Home Collection, Barbiere and Personal Care products will be donated to support initiatives against the coronavirus.
Laura Burdese, CEO of Acqua di Parma said, "‘In these difficult times of suffering and strife that grip Italy so severely, it is natural and right for Acqua di Parma to make a strong gesture of solidarity. With the #StayHome campaign, we can do our part and demonstrate the love that the Maison has for our mother country."
She added, "Our solidarity campaign is a way to provide tangible support, be it emotional or economic, to Italy in this time of need so that in dealing with this emergency, we can preserve what we love most about our country: Italian art, nature and culture will continue to be given and shared across the globe."
Avon has responded to the coronavirus crisis by putting into place measures that will support some of the most vulnerable groups across the UK. Last week, the brand announced it will be switching some of its manufacturing lines to create new moisturising hand gels and anticipates 600,000 units to become available across April. Of these, a proportion will be ring-fenced for NHS workers and domestic abuse service users and staff.
With its long-standing commitment to help end violence against women and girls, Avon will also be donating £150k from the sales of its hand gels to national domestic abuse charity Refuge, which will help to keep front line services open.
"Community is and always has been at the very heart of Avon. At a time of crisis, we must come together and do all that we can to support those that need it most. From the fantastic staff within the NHS to our charity partner Refuge, we are determined to do all that we can to help keep our community safe and well," says Matthieu Comard, General Manager Avon UK.
Best known as a brand which expertly blends organic ingredients for sensitive skin types, Pai recognised the global shortage of hand sanitiser and managed to create its own in two weeks. The first batch of the Acton Spirit Hand Sanitiser, £9, was donated to neighbouring schools, nurseries and charities in West London.
Since then, Pai has moved on to a one-for-one social enterprise model. Sarah Brown, founder of Pai Skincare, says, "for every hand sanitiser purchased, we donate one. The idea here is that it will be not-for-profit but a self-funding system, so that we can keep producing and keep giving."
Sarah adds, "when we became aware of the national shortage of hand sanitisers we wanted to do our bit. We have our own lab, factory, and three on-site chemists - all in London. While we've never made a sanitising gel before, it made sense to put these resources to good use. We hope to give away at least 50,000 units over the next few months."
Last Wednesday, Dr.PAWPAW launched an initiative for NHS front-line staff who are now able to claim up to two tubes of their cult favourite multi-use balms, free of charge. Prior to the launch, the brand had received many messages from NHS workers who wrote of their sore, cracked hands from hand washing and chapped lips from wearing mouth masks on their long shifts. In an effort to aid their discomforts, Dr. PAWPAW hopes their soothing and nourishing balms helps those who need it most.
With so many of us living in self isolation currently, Ormonde Jayne have put together 'Thinking of you' packages which can be sent to loved ones to keep spirits up. All sets are discounted by 20 per cent, include a complimentary hand sanitiser and the brand has also pledged to donate £5 to the NHS Royal Free for each gift set sold.
Dr Galyna Selezneva
Renowned for her body contouring sessions at the Dr Rita Rakus clinic in Knightsbridge, Dr Galyna Seleznev - an aesthetics doctor with a Masters degree in Psychiatry - is working to help psychological well-being during the crisis to ease the angst and worry of patients or anyone in need of support. To help the cause, she is offering complimentary consultations for psychological support via her Instagram page.
"I am happy to offer general medical advice and support via Online Consultation to ease off the pressure on the NHS and GP surgeries. To stay home is the strongest and most effective form of defence that we have against the pandemic and if I can help in any way I’m here," says Dr Galyna Selezneva.
With more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 living alone, luxury British perfumer Miller Harris has joined forces with leading charity for older people, Age UK, to donate their entire stock of 11,000 hand washes, hand lotions and hard soaps to those most vulnerable across the country.
Sarah Rotheram, CEO of Miller Harris, commented: “We are seeing huge acts of kindness amongst the gloom of the news, and it is these acts of kindness that bring us hope. As a brand, we feel compelled to help in any way we possibly can, and it would be a sin to see our stocks of soap sat in warehouses rather than reaching the most vulnerable in our society. The best advice is to wash your hands regularly, so we need to donate what we can and get soap to those in need."
For those who do not have loved ones able to visit them over the coming weeks and months, Miller Harris will be distributing soaps and hand washes to Age UK centres nationwide. Support workers will then deliver packages to those who need it within their local areas.
Soap & Glory
As part of the bathing brand’s Better Bathtime Initiative, Soap & Glory has launched a new partnership with The Hygiene Bank, a charity which provides hygiene and personal care essentials to those that can’t afford them. The two-year collaboration, which began this month, will see the brand donate to the charity with every Soap & Glory purchase made at Boots. Soap & Glory will also be giving away at least 15,000 full size bottles of their Clean On Me Creamy Clarifying Shower Gels, £6.50, to the charity for distribution.
Lizzy Hall, founder of The Hygiene Bank, notes, "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. We are extremely grateful for all products that are generously donated, but thanks to this partnership we will now be able to offer families and individuals some luxury self-care with a bottle of Clean On Me."
With its new 'Neighbours in Need' campaign, Sister&Co have relaunched their Charcoal Soap Bar and will be including a free bar with every order for the next 2 months. The campaign aims to help those who may be finding soap difficult to come by and encourages customers to pass it on to a neighbour in need.