The high street retailer is leading the diversity charge by demanding all make-up brands stocked offer at least 20 shades of foundation.
Shopping for foundation can be tough for people of colour, and for years, many brands didn’t cater to the masses. Instead, there were only ever a small variation on different shades of beige available.
However, it’s thanks to brands like Charlotte Tilbury and Fenty that times are slowly changing and the availability of more inclusive foundation shades is starting to increase, but there are some brands who are still lagging behind.
In 2016, Superdrug launched #ShadesofBeauty, an initiative which promised to tackle the lack of diversity on the high street when it comes to make-up choices. Alongside the campaign, the retailer surveyed black and Asian women and found that 70% didn’t feel represented (a number that has now decreased by 25%) and that one in four women feel the choice they have when shopping for beauty isn’t good enough.
In response, Superdrug decided to take action. In April this year, it wrote to all of its suppliers underlining how important diversity is to the business and demanded that all foundation or base products must cater to all customers. Any brand that isn’t inclusive and doesn’t offer at least 20 different shades will not be given space in stores.
Revolution and Barry M were the first brands to respond to the letter, stating that they are both as committed to diversity as Superdrug are.
The brands have also been asked to offer both warm and cool tones and ensure that any powders, concealers and other similar things take the wide variety of skin tones into consideration when creating and launching new products.
Talking about the move, Superdrug’s commercial director Simon Comins said, “Diversity has become a buzzword in the beauty industry over the last few years, but at Superdrug we don’t see inclusivity as a trend, it is a fact of life. In 2019 it is unacceptable that some brands aren’t catering to our diverse and beautiful customer base.
“We want all our customers, no matter what gender, shade or skin type to be able to get their correct foundation in store and online. This is why we challenged our suppliers to be truly inclusive and offer a minimum of 20 shades ranging from pale to dark.
“We currently have over 650 foundations and are working really hard to increase this number. In the next few months we are launching a number of new brands including EX1 which caters to olive skintones.
“We’re also taking time to broaden the shades available in our B. by Superdrug collection of vegan makeup to offer more options for all customers.”
Bravo, Superdrug – let’s hope more brands and stockists take note and help create the change we all want and need to see.
Main image: Getty