TESCO HAS become the first UK supermarket to launch a range of plasters for dark skin tones in a bid to better represent the racial diversity of the UK.
A black American man’s tweet, which charted his emotive response to using a plaster that matched his skin tone, inspired the supermarket’s new product.
Dominique Apollon, the vice-president of research at Race Forward, a US-based non-profit organisation focused on advancing racial justice, said the experience had him “holding back tears”.
His tweet went viral, clocking up almost 540,000 likes and more than 100,000 retweets. Other black Twitter users shared their experiences in the comments, which amounted to more than 100,000.
Tesco said the tweet highlighted “how significant the issue of representative plaster tones is for those in black, Asian and minority ethnic communities”.
The development of the fabric plasters, which are available in three shades – light, medium and dark – were supported by the BAME at Tesco, which works to raise awareness of diversity and inclusion.
Transparent plasters are available to buy in various stores around the country, but no major supermarket stocks plasters to match darker skin tones.
Tesco hopes other retailers will follow its lead.
A genuine difference
Paulette Balson, chair of the BAME at Tesco network said: “One of the main objectives of our network is to help Tesco better serve our customers from all backgrounds and communities. No UK supermarket had ever stocked plasters in a range of skin tones before and we saw this as an opportunity for Tesco to lead the charge and make a genuine difference.”
She added: “Through our research within the network, we know how emotive a product like this can be. For example, one colleague reported that their child had felt self-conscious wearing a plaster on their face to school recently, because it didn’t match their skin tone and stood out.”
The own-brand fabric plasters are on sale in all of Tesco’s 741 stores from today. They are priced at £1.
Nicola Robinson, health, beauty and wellness director at Tesco said: “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do and we continually review our products and services to best meet their needs.”
Black consumers have often lamented the lack of skin tone specific products. These frustrations have sparked a backlash against the use of the term nude in fashion and beauty, and inspired racially inclusive businesses.
Underwear and hosiery brand Nubian Skin is one British brand that has developed products to match melanin-rich skin.
Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty set a new bar for the beauty industry when it launched in 2017. The brand’s commitment to inclusion came in the form of 50 diverse foundation shades and made Time magazine’s list of best inventions.