Superdrug challenges brands on behalf of women of colour

In Superdrug's latest campaign, make-up brands have been asked to broaden their ranges to tackle product inequality on the high street


Superdrug’s #ShadesOfBeauty campaign was launched to tackle the lack of diversity on the high street when it comes to make-up choices. Since the launch of campaign in 2016, Superdrug has actively been taking steps to offer an extensive range of products for people of colour. When the campaign launched, under 300 were available for purchase and now there are around 650, and specialist haircare is now available in all stores.

Historically it has been hard for people of colour to find the right foundation due to there being a lack of products available on the high street, make-up brands may have offered seven shades for pale skin, and three for olive tones, but people with darker skin colour had to shop at more expensive designer brands. Three years ago when Superdrug surveyed black and Asian women, 70% told us that they didn’t feel represented on the high street when it came to beauty. Last year, the original figure decreased to 25%.

However one in four women do not feel they have a choice when they shop for beauty is not good enough. In April, Superdrug wrote to all its suppliers underlining how important diversity is to the business and letting them know that going forward all foundation or base products must cater to all customers. Any which are not inclusive and do not offer at least 20 foundation shades will not gain space in Superdrug. Revolution and Barry M were the first brands to respond stating that they are as committed to diversity as Superdrug.

Make-up brands have also been asked to offer warm and cool tones to help people create their perfect base, and ensure that powders, concealers and other make-up products take into skin tone.

Simon Comins, Superdrug Commercial Director 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 make-up to offer more options for all customers.”

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