Pin It
women refugees beauty donation help
Photography Aliya Mirza

Women for Refugee Women wants your unused beauty products this Christmas


TextAlice Gibbs

The charity’s director Natasha Walter shares the thinking behind its appeal for beauty products, which will be used as gifts at their Christmas party for women who have fled violence

As Christmas comes around, many of us will be thinking of gifting our favourite beauty products to loved ones. But Women for Refugee Women is working to widen our beauty giving this season by appealing for donations of unwanted or unused beauty products for refugee women. The organisation supports women who are seeking refuge from persecution to rebuild their lives and communicate their own stories.

While the beauty industry has repeatedly been under fire in recent years for its contribution to waste and lack of sustainability, there is a vast gap between this and the women struggling to afford basic toiletries. Women for Refugee Women saw an opportunity to bridge this gap. “It’s an industry that generates so much surplus,” says director Natasha Walter. “Like many women, I am sometimes given beauty stuff that I just don’t use. I thought it would be good for women in need to be able to benefit from this and properly enjoy what the rest of us take for granted.

“Every year we hold a Christmas party for over 100 refugee women. These are women who have fled violence in their home countries and, even when they get to the UK, they are living insecure lives in extreme poverty,” Walter explains. “It’s a real stretch for them to even be able to afford the basics like soap and sanitary towels.” The party is an opportunity for these women, who are often ground down by their situation, to have a nice time – chatting with friends, sharing food, dancing and singing. The cherry on the cake is the carefully created gift bags containing beauty products that they can take home and enjoy. 

Women for Refugee Women begins accepting donations in November, in time for their Christmas party in December, as lack of storage space makes taking them all year round difficult. The best products to donate include high-quality perfumes, and face and body moisturisers. “Refugee women are like all of us – we like putting good quality ingredients on our skin that smell fine,” says Walters. She also notes that when thinking about donating, it’s worth considering products that everyone can use. “For example, please don’t send us something like a foundation for fair skin as we won’t have many takers!”

“Every year we hold a Christmas party for over 100 refugee women. These are women who have fled violence in their home countries and, even when they get to the UK, they are living insecure lives in extreme poverty. It’s a real stretch for them to even be able to afford the basics like soap and sanitary towels” 

Pledging to always put anything sent to good use, the organisation also notes that if you don’t have unused products to send – don’t go out and buy anything specially. Instead, why not donate to the charity online. “We run a hardship fund here so that all year round, refugee women who are in urgent need can get support,” says Walter. “Recently we’ve helped a homeless woman buy sanitary towels and soap, we’ve given a woman some cash to top up her phone so she can call her family back home, and we’ve bought a train ticket for a woman so that she can go to Liverpool for her asylum interview.” 

The impact of beauty products in this situation must, of course, be put into context. “I’m not going to overstate the difference that they make – what the women we work with really want is safety and dignity all year round,” says Walter, “but there is nothing wrong with having a bit of enjoyment even in hard times.”

For more information about Women for Refugee Women, how to send unwanted products or a donation, visit their website.

Read Next
Uoma
Beauty brands should share their Black employee numbers, says Uoma founder Beauty news
Munroe Bergdorf
#IStandWithMunroe: L’Oréal Paris’s BLM statement criticised by industry Beauty news
Samantha Katie James
Ex-Miss Universe Malaysia causes anger with her racist protest remarks Beauty news
I can't breathe makeup nails George Floyd trend
‘I can’t breathe’ beauty looks are the last thing we need right now Beauty news
Terry Paul Rooted
An ongoing list of beauty brands who have donated to fight systemic racism Beauty Feature
Munroe Bergdorf
Munroe Bergdorf calls out L’Oréal Paris for Black solidarity hypocrisy Beauty news
Glossier
Glossier pledges $500,000 to support Black-owned beauty businesses Beauty news
Cancer_Stars
Your monthly horoscope: June 2020 Horoscopes
Erika Lust group masturbation session
Erika Lust is hosting the world’s largest group masturbation session Beauty Feature
sojinails sojin oh nails nail artist Los Angeles
Sojin Oh pushes nail art boundaries with her nature-inspired creations Beauty Feature
Jazmin Bean pictures gallery Dazed 100 2020
Meet Jazmin Bean, the paradoxical pop star with an otherworldly look Beauty Feature
Naomi Pat McGrath Labs
Naomi Campbell has been crowned the saintly first face of Pat McGrath Labs Beauty news
Morgane Martini
Morgane Martini’s high glam make-up will have you daydreaming of blush Spotlight
Jackie Kennedy Onassis
Jackie Kennedy Onassis’s skincare routine has been uncovered Beauty news
Justin and Hailey
Hailey and Justin Bieber are threatening to sue a TikTok plastic surgeon Beauty news
iomikoe johnson woods vitiligo tiktok social media
The Vitiligo Goddess is here to spread awareness on TikTok Beauty Feature