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Hygiene Hustle
via Twitter/@deviantollam

Sex workers couldn’t get enough hand sanitiser so they’re making their own

TextAlex Peters

Now Hygiene Hustle need your help to stop Instagram shutting them down

As the pandemic hit and countries started going into lockdown there was a sudden rush on hand sanitiser. Demand was high, supply was short, and prices were skyrocketing. For sex workers this was critical. Portable sanitising products are essential for street-based sex workers who don’t always have access to soap and water between clients. 

Green Light Project, a non-profit organisation that provides cash and sanitation products to low-income sex workers, would, on a typical week hand out 500 packets of Purell. By mid-March the shortage meant they were down to their last 15. So, founder and director Sherae Lascelle decided they had to start making their own.

“Sex workers don’t stop needing hand sanitiser just because we can’t find it in stores,” Lascelles told Huffington Post. “As sex workers, losing the resources other people rely on is nothing new to us. So we just decided that if no one else was going to make it, it was up to us.”

Lascelles teamed up with John Jensen, a software engineer with experience in large scale chemical manufacturing, and together they created Hygiene Hustle. The hand sanitiser made by Hygiene Hustle was designed specifically with sex workers in mind. While most hand sanitisers contain around 63 per cent alcohol, they made it stronger at 70 per cent in case the workers needed to water it down to make it last longer.

In the months since founding, the growing team of Hygiene Hustle have secured a production facility and a national consumer base. As well as giving out the products free to sex workers in Seattle and shipping them to sex worker organisations around the country, the company have started selling them online to help fund their donations. Purchases of the sanitiser also go toward organisations including Surge Reproductive Justice, the online sex work mutual care collective Lysistrata, and the Maryland-based addiction treatment center Chrysalis House.

However, now they need our help. Yesterday, Instagram deleted the Hygiene Hustle account after a post they did went viral. They’ve said that since being deleted, sales have gone down by 75 per cent. To help out, you can report that the account (@hygiene.hustle) missing to Instagram. All you need to do is go to “Settings”, then click “Help”, then “Report a problem” and type “I can’t find hygiene.hustle”. You can also support by buying your hand sanitiser from them here

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