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Unilever and In Kind Direct grow Tesco donations campaign


Average read time: 3 minutes

Persil and Comfort products on shelf at Tesco with the Hygiene poverty branding on them
  • The campaign brings together some of the UK’s biggest personal care and household brands, with a commitment to working together to donate essential hygiene products to communities across the UK.
  • The campaign will launch in 700 Tesco stores across the UK as well as on the Tesco website.
  • Unilever and In Kind Direct have a long-standing partnership and on-going donations campaign in Tesco. The addition of Kimberly-Clark, Essity and Haleon, all suppliers who have worked with In Kind Direct for many years, will enable donations across a much wider range of categories, including shampoo, deodorant, period products, toilet paper and toothpaste.
  • The campaign builds on the success of Unilever’s partnership with Tesco, which has resulted in over 1 million products donated [a]to In Kind Direct in the last 12 months.
Promotional end of aisle stand containing Unilever products with the partnership branding

The aim

From August 2023, Hygiene poverty remains a growing issue in the UK, with the number of people experiencing it now at 9 million[b], a number that has tripled over the last year[c]. Unilever and In Kind Direct are evolving their on-going donations campaign in Tesco by partnering with Kimberly-Clark, Essity and Haleon.

The inclusion of three new suppliers means an increase in the breadth of products that can be donated to people that are unable to afford basic hygiene essentials like shampoo, toilet paper, toothpaste, and period products.

The campaign’s aim is to distribute over 1 million personal care items from household brands including Radox, Sure, Persil, Andrex, Bodyform and Aquafresh, using the scale of the largest supermarket, Tesco, and In Kind Direct’s network of over 6,000 charitable organisations.

From 23rd August to 3rd October, all four manufacturers – Unilever, Kimberley Clark, Essity and Haleon – will donate one product to In Kind Direct for every two selected products purchased in-store or online by Tesco shoppers. In Kind Direct will then distribute the donated products to their network of over 6,000 charitable organisations that are the frontline support for people within their local communities and reach 365,000 people every week.

Many people cannot afford everyday products that help them feel clean. In the UK, 480,000 [d]women admit to having to make their own period products because they can’t afford to buy them. There is also a stigma associated with hygiene poverty, which can negatively impact people experiencing it. Despite this, research shows fewer than a third of people have heard of the term hygiene poverty[e].

To amplify awareness of the campaign, in-store activations are live in 700 Tesco stores across the UK. Aside from regionally bespoke store radio, eye-catching gondola ends will feature In Kind Direct’s teal and orange branding, displaying all products included in the campaign, encouraging shoppers to pick up the participating products in-store. As well as showing the campaign details, the displays will include additional information about the scale of the problem in the UK to help educate shoppers. Digital advertising will also raise awareness online and encourage shoppers to participate in the campaign whilst doing their online shopping.

Promotional product stand in Tesco with Unilever products on the shelves
Promotional product stand in Tesco with Unilever products on the shelves

Organisations looking to help reduce hygiene poverty can contact

Hear from those involved

We're really pleased to be welcoming new manufacturers to join our on-going donations campaign with In Kind Direct and Tesco.

Working together with our peers means we will be able to reach the next one million donations milestone faster and ensure a much wider variation of essential hygiene products reaches In Kind Direct and their network of charities.

Chris Barron, General Manager for Personal Care UK&I at Unilever

We recognise the importance of challenging the stigma of hygiene poverty, particularly when so many people are struggling to get the essential items they need.

We’re really pleased to be able to support this incredibly important campaign in our stores.

Tom Lye, Category Director Health, Beauty and Wellness at Tesco

Making tough choices every day between food, life essentials, rent is the reality for far too many people in the UK today. It is going to take the whole sector to come together to support change so that everyone has access to life’s essentials.

We are delighted that the leadership of Unilever has catalysed the launch of this cross-supplier campaign and we look forward to working with these new partners, so that together we can make a difference in communities across the UK.

Rosanne Gray, CEO at In Kind Direct


In the last 12 months


In Kind Direct, Hygiene Poverty Briefing, Spring 2023.


Hygiene Bank. (2022). Hygiene Poverty 2022.


In Kind Direct, Human Right to Hygiene: Understanding how we can change the systems that stop people living well, 2022. Population calculation done by In Kind Direct using from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2069 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19th - 22nd August 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).


In Kind Direct, Hygiene Poverty Briefing, Spring 2023.


All population calculations done by In Kind Direct, using data from YouGov and ONS population estimates for UK adults aged 18+.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2068 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 28th February - 1st March 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

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