Soap for Society




What is hygiene poverty?

"Clean hair, skin and teeth are a right, not a privilege. Personal hygiene – while not a matter of life and death – is crucial for our dignity, self-respect, personal pride and mental health...To feel clean is to feel better; to look good often makes us feel more able to face the day and the world" - Sali Hughes, UK Beauty Writer.

“For the families and individuals who come to us for help, donated toiletries and sanitary products can mean so much. When people who are experiencing homelessness come in and use our shower service, we’re able to provide them with products like soap and shampoo, and sanitary items for women. You can see how this restores a sense of dignity and helps them take pride in themselves again. ” - Olivia Lange, Community Programmes Manager and Social Worker, Wellington City Mission.

Life's little luxuries are always welcome after a long hard day, whether that be a shower, a face mask or just some good bog roll. However, for many Kiwis, it isn't possible to get their hands on some of life's basic toiletaries. Soap For Society aims to encourage people, and those within the beauty community, to donate toiletries to those living in serious need in New Zealand.

Inspired by the 2018 movement started by UK beauty writer Sali Hughes and PR specialist Jo Jones, Wellington blogger and author of The Residents Lucy Revill was inspired to begin a drive to help New Zealand families in need.  You can read more about the UK movement here.

What is Soap For Society?

Soap For Society has partnered with Wellington City Mission (for the second year) and now also Auckland City Mission and Christchurch City Mission. This will take our work nationwide.

For a week between 23 - 30 September 2019, we will be collecting beauty and toiletries products from the Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch communities to help men, women and children in need. Find out how to donate products.

What will Our City Missions Do?

These products will be distributed by the Auckland City Mission, Wellington City Mission and Christchurch City Mission in a variety of ways to help people in need, including:

  • Single use and travel size items will be given to people to use in the City Mission’s shower service, where people who are homeless or don’t have access to shower facilities and hygiene products can come to take a shower and regain a sense of dignity.

  • Through their Foodbanks, gifted to families and individuals in need along with food support.

  • Through their ‘Pantry Starter Kits’ service. These kits are made for people who are moving from temporary or transitional housing into a more permanent home, helping lower the cost of setting up their home. Along with essential pantry items, the family/individual can also request hygiene products they’ll need like toothpaste and soap. The team tailors each kit for the family/individual who will be receiving it, making sure it’s filled with items that will mean the most to them. They gifts these kits through their programmes and through other social service agencies in the region.

  • Students in their Mission for Youth programme and their families. Mission for Youth is an alternative education and life-skills programme for young people who have disengaged from mainstream school.

  • In the past the our Missions have given donated hygiene and sanitary items to other social services in the region such as Pregnancy Help, Women’s Refuge, Maori Women’s Refuge, House of Grace, Birthright, and social workers in local schools. They will offer items to places such as these once again, so they can distribute them to the people they work with.

Thank you for your support! Everyone had a right to dignity through Hygiene and to feel beautiful, regardless of their circumstances.