“I felt embarrassed and also ashamed, because I work full-time, yet still struggle to support myself and my son.”

Survey respondent living in hygiene poverty

Our latest report reveals that 4.2 million adults in the UK are unable to afford basic hygiene essentials, such as razors, laundry detergent or deodorant.

Since 2022, the cost of living and inflation crises have pushed an additional 1.1m people into hygiene poverty - the equivalent of the population of Birmingham.

Hygiene poverty is undermining the nation’s mental and physical health and limiting people’s social interactions, forcing parents to make the difficult decision between paying for essential needs like food and bills or purchasing basic toiletries.

Is this the kind of society we want to be?

Hygiene poverty is rising and disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable

In 2024 hygiene poverty affects 4.2m adults in the UK, that is 8% of the total population. Since 20222, the cost-of-living crisis and the inflation crisis has pushed over 1m more people into hygiene poverty. Hygiene Poverty affects 17% of those who are unemployed, compared with 13% of those working part-time and 7% working full-time. Hygiene poverty disproportionally affects people with disabilities or long-term conditions (21%), those on lower income households (18%) and those from ethnic minorities (12%).

Hygiene poverty is undermining the nation's health

50% of those affected by hygiene poverty say that it is causing them anxiety or depression. 92% of people affected report that it limits their social interactions with friends and family. 54% of those affected have not gone to the dentist in the last 12 months. A third report that it is causing skin rashes, fungal infections or dental problems. The need for The Hygiene Bank’s work is stark – but we cannot meet that need on our own.

Hygiene poverty puts people in impossible situations

A staggering 69% of adults experiencing hygiene poverty are having to make the difficult decision between paying for essential needs like food and bills or purchasing basic toiletries. 65% of parents affected by hygiene poverty have had to choose between buying hygiene products for themselves or their children. Nearly half of those affected are too embarrassed to ask for help. The Hygiene Bank is working day in, day out to alleviate this suffering – but we need you to join us in our fight to end hygiene poverty, once and for all.

How can you help?

Cash donations

Your gift will enable us to continue to provide basic hygiene essentials to those in your local community whohave been pulled into hygiene poverty and will help us end hygiene poverty, once and for all.

£150 could give one of our local projects access to a storage space for a month

£25 can pay for a monthly emergency care package for a mom and her two children living in a refuge

Brand Partnerships

Are you affiliated with a brand or corporate in the personal care or household cleaning product industry? The Hygiene Bank greatly values product donations from brands, as they play a significant role in supporting individuals affected by hygiene poverty. By contributing surplus products that would otherwise go to waste and integrating product donations into your strategy, we can assist you in achieving your ESG and sustainability objectives while positively impacting the lives of those in the UK facing hygiene poverty

Get in touch to discuss your bespoke partnership with us

Product Donations

It’s easy to donate your unused toiletries, cleaning products and samples to a family in need. Toothpaste, a pack of nappies, a deodorant or shower gel can make a huge difference - helping a child to go to school with clean teeth and uniform, or giving your neighbour the confidence to go out and see their family.

Volunteer with us

Your generous time can change the lives of people in your local community who have been pulled into hygiene poverty. From collecting donations from our public collection boxes, sorting and delivering products to local foodbanks, schools, refuges and shelter, to using your social media and fundraising skills – we need you and your skills to make our critical work happen.

You will be part of a community determined to ensure that people get the hygiene essentials they need today – and you will help us end hygiene poverty once and for all.

Thank you to our sponsor

The Hygiene Bank would like to thank Boots UK for funding 'Hygiene Poverty in 2024' report and for their support in ending hygiene poverty.

“Boots has proudly supported The Hygiene Bank’s important work throughout the UK for the last four years. Boots was founded 175 years ago on the belief that everyone should have access to healthcare and hygiene essentials, and it remains core to our ethos today. This report is a ground-breaking, independent, and timely study into hygiene poverty. We hope it will encourage more people and organisations to get involved and have a positive impact on individuals, families and our communities.” Lucy Reynolds, VP Communications and ESG, Boots