Forrist’s free essentials raise awareness for hygiene poverty

15th September 2021 |  Download Images  |  Download PDF

Waste-free supermarket offer customers free menstrual cups and shaving oil

Sustainability-centred supermarket Forrist takes their mission to promote conscious shopping to a new level by offering anyone who shops with them the option to add a free menstrual cup or jar of shaving oil to their order. This is being done in order to raise awareness for hygiene poverty – the inability to afford or access cleanliness products. Forrist’s zero-waste ethos is centred around the conservation of the planet and looking after those who we share it with. Efforts against food waste through their buy by weight approach and TooGoodToGo magic bags already show how their anti-waste culture approach encourages the equitable distribution of resources, and this ‘free essentials’ scheme kicks this up another notch, by drawing attention to an often overlooked example of inequity.

 “We’re all about conscious shopping, and through these efforts, we aim to raise consciousness while customers shop, making them consider how these necessities, which may be an afterthought to some, are inaccessible to many others.” So even if you don’t need these free products, you could consider picking them up for someone else who may need them, or donating them to a local homeless shelter. In doing so, customers might see the value in small acts of aid themselves, and be inspired to take further independent action.

The most important thing is that, through this initiative, you are considering this option to access hygiene products, and thereby considering how, for many, the options to access hygiene products are more limited for others. “No one deserves to feel degraded or ashamed over their natural body, nor should they have to choose between cleaning or feeding themselves. Unfortunately though, this is still a sad reality for many, and one which skips a lot of people’s attention, which is something we are aiming to change with this initiative.”

These particular products are offered as ‘free essentials’ – because they are essential for so many to feel comfortable in their own skin, and Forrist want to shed light on some of the harmful and unfair attitudes which surround the use/non-use of these products. Much of the issues that hygiene poverty encompasses are propagated by the idea that certain personal hygiene topics are taboo, and make it more difficult for people to seek support. By offering these products freely and openly, Forrist seeks to break this stigma, and open up the discussion about hygiene poverty.

  • Period poverty effects people who menstruate worldwide, including the UK. Without the sufficient period products, people struggle to succeed in school and at work, and their periods become all the more uncomfortable, painful and difficult to deal with.
  • Many who cannot access the correct period products end up opting for uncomfortable, degrading and even dangerous alternatives
  • Forrist’s reusable menstrual cups also make for a more sustainable alternative to single use plastic tampons or pads, thereby encouraging waste-free sustainable living as well as raising awareness and providing aid for period poverty.
  • On the other hand, Forrist also addresses double standards and stigmas surrounding bodily hair. They want to dispel the notion that bodily hair is unprofessional or shabby looking – and make customers consider how those who cannot afford shaving products and therefore cannot groom themselves in such a way are disadvantaged by this notion, such as in job opportunities or important meetings.
  • However, for many, shaving is still an essential, as they may find body hair uncomfortable, unappealing or a pain to maintain. Forrist wants to offer a healthier and more sustainable option for those who would use harsh foams packed with chemicals, or cannot access shaving products at all.
  • By offering their free organic coconut shaving oil, Forrist send the message that anyone who wants to shave should be able to. Forrist wants people to feel and present themselves in the way that makes them feel their best, as well as urging people to consider how many others may not have the means to feel or look the way they want to.

About Forrist: Forrist is the UK’s first ever plastic-free online supermarket, located in Holloway, North London. Established in 2019, Forrist stock organic, plant-based produce and sustainable housekeeping, kitchenware, toiletries and health & beauty products with the promise of 100% compostable or reusable packaging. Their ethos is to make a conscious and sustainable lifestyle accessible to all by implementing innovative zero-waste practices centred around convenience and transparency.



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