War in Ukraine: the cosmetics sector mobilizes for refugees

Like the textile sector, cosmetics companies are mobilizing to support associations working to receive Ukrainian refugees. More than 800,000 products have already been collected to help men, women and children fleeing their country. An unprecedented mobilization according to Emmanuel Guichard, General Delegate of the Federation of Beauty Companies (FEBEA), who looks back on this initiative of the Agence du Don en Nature (ADN).

Can you tell us about the action taken by the Agence du Don and Kind in favor of Ukraine?

The Agence du Don en Nature has organized itself to provide material assistance to the partner associations of its network, which will take care of Ukrainian refugees upon their arrival in France, following the example of the Salvation Army, the SOS group, Coallia, Forum Refugiés and France Horizon. The aim is to distribute to these associations large quantities of non-food items, essential in these emergency situations.

Why did the FEBEA mobilize?

The FEBEA has called for donations from its members in support of the initiative led by the Donation in Kind Agency for Ukrainian Refugees. This mobilization of cosmetics companies fits in with FEBEA’s mission, which has put solidarity at the heart of its raison d’être: “Take care of yourself, respect the beauty of the world”.

Did your members react en masse?

The FEBEA and the Agence du Don and Kind launched the call for donations on March 4, very soon after the outbreak of the war. In the ten days that followed, this call sparked a strong mobilization of cosmetics companies with more than 800,000 donated products or pledges. This mobilization is unprecedented, both in its speed and in its massive nature, clearly showing the emotion aroused in our members by this crisis.

What kind of products are collected for Ukrainian refugees?

These are mainly basic necessities, such as shower gels, shampoos, wipes and many baby care products. These products will be sent by ADN to refugee reception facilities, within the framework of partnerships with associations such as Groupe SOS or Forum Réfugiés. These products therefore remain in France, for the refugees, even though the ADN allocates a small part of them to international NGOs that have the capacity to provide aid on the ground.

Can individuals also donate?

This call for donations only concerns FEBEA members, so companies. As a professional federation, we are not intended to address individuals.

Has FEBEA participated in such collections in the past?

It should be remembered that in normal times the cosmetics sector is the main donor in the field of non-food donations. 40% of donations are health and beauty products, donated each year by cosmetics companies. The mobilization for the donation is therefore permanent. In addition, the FEBEA regularly launches calls for specific donations. For example, in 2019, the FEBEA launched a call for donations from its members, making it possible to collect more than 260,000 basic necessities for beneficiaries of charitable associations. In 2020, at the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, FEBEA and its members, together with the Dons Solidaires association, mobilized to provide hygiene products to the most vulnerable people. Nearly 200,000 laundry products were collected and redistributed to associations fighting uncertainty.

Do you now expect more mobilization from the cosmetics industry for this conflict which could be protracted?

It is likely that we will see an increase in the number of refugees, the needs are likely to spread over time. The message that the associations send us is that this mobilization must continue in the long term. We know that during this crisis we can count on the mobilization of cosmetics companies.

(ETX Daily Up)

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