It may only be May, but it’s easy to say that 2020 hasn’t been the easiest year for all of us to get through. This year alone, Australia has been affected by a slew of life-threatening occurrences, such as the rural bushfires along the eastern seaboard, floods in southern Queensland, and not to mention, a global pandemic that has affected millions worldwide.
In such uncertain times charged with high amounts of stress and change (not to mention, a news-feed flooded with harrowing news on a daily basis), there is a glimmer of hope; one beauty company has created a campaign with the aim to look after those that look after us during times in need. To give back to the community during this period, L’Oréal Australia has just launched the #ActsOfKindness campaign which sees over 300,000 units of beauty products, divided in 40,000 packs, donated to health care workers starting in Victoria. These health care workers were found through a partnership with the Health Workers Union and hospitals operating with COVID-19 response centres, and represent all types of healthcare workers in Victoria, including nurses, Aboriginal health community workers, technicians, catering, cleaning, aged-care and security.
“This campaign [has] provided us with an opportunity to show our own act of kindness, by saying thank you to our frontline staff who without their hard work and expertise, we would be in a very different situation,” says Rodrigo Pizarro, L’Oreal Australia Managing Director. “We know that our gift is not changing the outcome of COVID-19, but we hope that by acknowledging the hard work of healthcare workers, that they will feel our immense gratitude.”
Incredibly, these products equate to over $9 million in retail revenue, and come from renowned brands such as L’Oréal Paris, L’Oréal Professionnel, Yves Saint Laurent, Lancôme, Kiehl’s and La-Roche Posay, Urban Decay and Kiehl’s. “We have spoken to many healthcare workers and know that they are suffering from irritated skin and hair conditions due to the amount of PPE they are required to wear,” explains Pizarro. “Often, nurses working in a COVID ICU get one mask, one hair cover, one [pair of] shoe covers [that need] to be used again and again. Therefore, we want to ensure each gift pack includes key products that will meet some of these specific COVID19 beauty needs such as hair and skincare.”
The operation will be rolled out over several weeks and delivered to hospitals and aged-care facilities across the state, and packed up by Waverley Industries, a social enterprise the company has worked with for a number years that provide people living with special needs employment opportunities. The packing will occur under strict self-isolation requirements, with all necessary protective equipment and hygiene products provided to keep our employees, partners and products safe.
However, this isn’t the first time the beauty company has done their bit for the community. “As a business, we always try to give back to the communities we operate in,” continues Pizarro. “With a strong affiliation with women, we support the important cause of ending domestic violence against women, so in 2018, we partnered with Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre to pack 40,000 care packs for women and children fleeing family or domestic violence. In 2019, we donated over $10M worth of products to Good360 who redistributed these to over 800 charities and causes, across Australia. Earlier this year, we provided essential products such as haircare, skin care and hygiene products to those affected by the devastating bushfires.”
In addition to products donated, L’Oréal Australia are also looking into producing 40 million units of hydroalcoholic gel by the end of May which will be distributed to healthcare workers on a global scale, starting from areas outside of Australia that are most affected.