Hygiene poverty is not being able to afford many of the everyday hygiene and personal grooming products most of us take for granted. The reality of low income is that it restricts people’s options, leaving us caught between being able to heat our homes, pay the rent, eat or be clean.
It is not being able to purchase deodorant because money is needed for the bills.
It is not being able to replace a toothbrush when needed or one family sharing a single toothbrush because one each just isn't an option.
It is parents being unable to change a baby's nappy as often as is needed, or having to reuse dirty nappies.
It is washing hair, bodies, faces and clothes in the same washing up liquid used for the dishes.
It is not being able to leave the house because you can't afford period products.
It is having to choose between shaving foam and razors or transport fare.
It is going to school with matted hair because there is only one hairbrush in the household and there's no time for everyone to get a chance to use it.
It is not being able to wash clothes, uniforms and sports kit when needed.
It is being 'judged' for living in a dirty home, when you can't afford the cost of household cleaning products.
41% of people had to go without or cut back on the use of any personal hygiene and/or household cleaning products as a result of their financial situation. (Coyne Research & Aldi Omnibus Survey, 2022)
48% prioritised other spending ahead of purchasing hygiene items and/or household cleaning products as a result of their financial situation. (Coyne Research & Aldi Omnibus Survey, 2022)
12.8% of the population were at risk of poverty in 2019, that’s as many as 640,000 people. In many cases, people are at risk of poverty despite having a job. (2019, CSO)
17.8% of the Irish population experienced two or more types of deprivation; that is not replacing worn out furniture or being able to afford new clothes when necessary. And for those on a low income and at risk of poverty, this increases to 42.7%. (2019, CSO)
For people with disabilities who are unable to work 43% experience two or more types of deprivation. (2019, CSO)
10.5% of those over 65 are at risk of poverty and 11.2% are experiencing enforced deprivation (2019, CSO)
50% of lone parents experience multiple forms of deprivation (2018, SVP)
19.4% of students in 2019 were at risk of poverty and 17.3% experiencing enforced deprivation (2019, CSO)