Soap for Society's fight against hygiene poverty is running as a national campaign for the first time this year.

The non-profit organisation is the brain child of Wellington blogger Lucy Revill. It addresses the need to reclaim dignity for those who can't afford things such as soap, moisturiser and sanitary items.

Soap for Society partnered with Wellington City Mission in 2018 resulting in thousands of dollars' worth of unused product donations.

This year toiletries drives are being run in Auckland and Christchurch too.

Advertisement

"When you've run out of deodorant, or you can't wash your hair, your self-esteem really takes a hit and it feels like a very unjust thing that Kiwis can't afford to buy certain things from the supermarket that we all take for granted.

"It felt like this was the unseen side of poverty in New Zealand that no one's really talking about", Revill said.

Auckland City Mission's Helen Robinson says food and basic hygiene products are discretionary items for some families. Photo / Dean Purcell
Auckland City Mission's Helen Robinson says food and basic hygiene products are discretionary items for some families. Photo / Dean Purcell

Hygiene poverty is a result of people's income not meeting their expenditure, forcing them to go without.

It affects a range of people whether they're on benefits, are homeless, housed or working, Auckland City Mission social services general manager Helen Robinson said.

"Food and basic hygiene products become a discretionary item in a family's income so that things like rent will be paid, or kids sent to school, or medical items, but having money to buy things like soap, toothpaste, tooth brushes or laundry powder is a luxury."

The donated products will be distributed by the three city missions through the likes of foodbanks and kits made to help people who are moving from temporary or transitional housing into a more permanent home.

Single use items will go towards shower services for those who are homeless and don't have access to shower facilities.

"Creating fullness of life starts from providing for and supporting people with the basics they need to live confidently each and every day. Whether it be in the form of a skill or product, we have to start somewhere", Wellington City Mission marketing and fundraising manager Bridget Child said.

The drive starts today and will run for the week.

What to donate

Advertisement

• Sanitary items
• Razors
• Shaving foam
• Deodorants
• Shampoo and conditioner
• Body wash
• Toothpaste
• Travel-sized products are important for people without permanent homes
• Anything else will be gratefully received, including combs, hair bands, face wipes, sunscreen, and make-up products.

Soap for Society is partnering with Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington City Missions this year. Image / Supplied
Soap for Society is partnering with Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington City Missions this year. Image / Supplied

Christchurch drop-off

Items can be dropped off Monday- Friday 8.30am-5pm at the Christchurch City Mission, 276-284 Hereford St, Christchurch 8140.

Wellington drop-off
Items can be dropped off at Wellington City Mission in Newtown between 9am-3.30pm Monday - Thursday and 10.30am-3.30pm Friday.

Auckland drop-off
Items can be dropped off Monday-Saturday, 9am-3pm at Auckland City Mission at 23 Union St, Auckland Central or the Distribution Centre, 15 Auburn St, Grafton, Auckland.