I often talk about brands not catering for women of colour in terms of complexion products. I have contacted brands and retailers about issue and observed the excuses made on both sides. From production issues, to lack of consumer demand and the ‘difficulty’ in making the product I’ve heard it all. None of it is founded in fact and all the excuses just serve to further frustrate me. Now Superdrug through their #ShadesofBeauty campaign are tackling this issue head on.
Superdrug has been on the UK high street for over fifty years, In 2016 they are taking a two pronged approach to the lack of diversity on their shelves. Firstly, they are asking consumer and influencers to let them know which brands they think should be on their shelves. This is important because the decision makers at Superdrug know that they don’t have all the answers so are seeking information from the people that do know.
It seems like a small step and of course it does not guarantee that your favourite brand will be stocked in stores. Through the #ShadesofBeauty campaign the dialogue is opened up. Let Superdrug know your favourite brands that cater for your complexion and hair care needs. Cake Cosmetics are a new brand – barely retailing for a year. From August this brand will be available online at Superdrug. This is a real opportunity for small British Businesses with great product to get into stores and access a wider audience. Don’t waste the opportunity.
Secondly, Superdrug are taking the challenge to the brands. I have family in the states who tell me about the products they can pick up at the drugstore. I watch YouTube and see women with complexions deeper than mine pick up products from the drugstore. Sadly, in over 25 years of buying cosmetics I’m still struggling.
The situation in Superdrug is not perfect yet. Brands are coming on board slowly. Each month you will see an improvement in the offer in stores and online. Superdrug promise this wont be a London-centric campaign. Products will be rolled out to stores in major cities over the coming months. Keep Superdrug accountable – let them know how your local store is doing.
Media personality June Sarpong is the face of the #ShadesofBeauty campaign. At the launch event she spoke about her experiences when she first started at MTV and the grey foundation that makeup professionals used. We can all relate to the a dodgy foundation moment. now we have an opportunity to make a change on the high street supported by retailer. I’ve already let Superdrug know the ten brands that I would love to see in their stores. Make sure you make your voice heard.