Hygiene Poverty Causing Sleepless Nights, as Millions Go without Family Essentials over School Holidays
Jul 14, 2022

LONDON, July 14, 2022 – According to new research from Andrex in partnership with charity In Kind Direct, hygiene poverty has become the UK’s second greatest concern after food poverty, amidst the rising cost of living crisis this summer*.

As children spend more time at home these school holidays, millions of parents across the UK worry over being able to buy enough essentials such as hygiene products or food, with two in five (36.8%) stating that they now have sleepless nights over whether they can provide for their children.

In fact, in order to provide essentials such as food or hygiene products for their children, a quarter of parents (23.1%) have had to sacrifice their own hygiene essentials – indicating how widespread the hygiene poverty crisis is in the UK.

The five hygiene products that Brits are most likely to forego include:

  1. Wet wipes (such as baby wipes or moist toilet tissue wipes) (17.4%)
  2. Face wash (13.7%)
  3. Hand wash (12.1%)
  4. Deodorant (11.9%)
  5. Toilet roll (8.8%)

These challenging decisions facing families up and down the country are having a detrimental impact on people’s self-esteem. 37% of Brits agreed that this would be the most negatively impacted personal attribute (even above mental health 34.2%, confidence 30.3% and morale 17.3%) if they could not afford these hygiene essentials.

Andrex and In Kind Direct know that an everyday hygiene essential like toilet tissue should be accessible to all, which is why they are raising awareness of the current hygiene poverty crisis and how it is impacting people’s mental health.

In the immediate, Andrex has donated one million toilet tissue rolls to In Kind Direct for distribution across the UK. In the long-term, and working towards fundamental change, the partnership will release a report later this year delivering better education on the impact of hygiene poverty in the UK.

Rosanne Gray, CEO of In Kind Direct, said: “We support thousands of UK charitable organisations with donated hygiene products everyday. Many of these organisations support families on a low-income where budgets are incredibly tight, and people are having to make really tough decisions whether to buy food or soap. We hear of families sharing toothbrushes, making their own period products and taking loo roll from local schools or cafes. Struggling to afford the basics creates added stress for parents and really impacts confidence and self-esteem. We continue to work in partnership with Andrex, who share our belief that everyone deserves the right to feel clean and well: we want everyone to have access to the essential hygiene products they need for themselves and their families, enabling them to thrive.”

Dan Howell, VP and Managing Director for the UK & Ireland at Kimberly-Clark, said: “The issue of hygiene poverty is incredibly important to us and that’s why we are continuing our Andrex partnership with In Kind Direct to raise awareness of how having to sacrifice basic hygiene essentials like toilet roll is impacting self-esteem – both across our country, and wider.”

For those who want to show a little love and do their bit for those in need, Andrex and In Kind Direct are advising people to find their local food bank through which they will be able to donate hygiene and food products directly to help others. For more information about the research, please visit www.andrex.co.uk/socialimpact.


*About the research:
The research was carried out by Censuswide Research which conducted an online survey among 2,011 respondents across the UK. The sample was randomly selected from a survey panel and representative of the UK population for age, gender, and region. The research was conducted between 6th June and 8th June 2022, with a second round between 6th July and 7th July. 

About Kimberly-Clark
Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB) and its trusted brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries. Fueled by ingenuity, creativity, and an understanding of people's most essential needs, we create products that help individuals experience more of what's important to them. Our portfolio of brands, including Huggies, Kleenex, Scott, Kotex, Cottonelle, Poise, Depend, Andrex, Pull-Ups, GoodNites, Intimus, Neve, Plenitud, Sweety, Softex, Viva and WypAll, hold the No. 1 or No. 2 share position in 80 countries. We use sustainable practices that support a healthy planet, build stronger communities, and ensure our business thrives for decades to come. To keep up with the latest news and to learn more about the company's 150-year history of innovation, visit kimberly-clark.com.

About In Kind Direct
We believe everyone deserves access to life's essentials and that no useable product should go to waste – we exist to enable more people to thrive with confidence and dignity. We offer a simple solution to product giving. We receive donated consumer products, which we then sort, store and distribute directly to charitable organisations in our network across the UK, helping their services to go further. In the past 25 years, over 1,000 companies have donated products, we have distribured nearly £300m worth of products, supported 12,000 charitable organisations and diverted 32,000 tonnes of products from waste.

Donating products to us enables companies to reach not just one, but thousands of charitable organisations. We are proud to work with charities, community groups, foodbanks and schools who support a wide range of social issues, from hygiene poverty and domestic abuse, to unemployment, homelessness and mental health issues. 

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For further information: For further information: Brenna Clairr Moore, Kimberly-Clark, media.relations@kcc.com
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