Tesco becomes first UK supermarket to launch plasters in a range of skin tones

Sarah Young

Tesco has become the first UK supermarket to launch plasters in a range of different skin tones.

On Monday, the retailer announced that the new own-brand fabric plasters – which are available in light, medium and dark shades – are now available to buy in all 741 Tesco stores nationwide and online.

The plasters were developed after a member of staff noticed a now-viral tweet in April 2019 from a black American man describing his emotional response to using a plaster that matched his skin tone for the first time.

In the tweet, which has since been liked more than half a million times and received 100,000 retweets, Dominique Apollon wrote: “It's taken me 45 trips around the sun, but for the first time in my life I know what it feels like to have a ‘band-aid’ in my own skin tone.

“You can barely even spot it in the first image. For real I'm holding back tears.”

The touching message prompted a flurry of responses from social media users all over the globe, including Star Wars actor John Boyega, who highlighted how important the issue of diverse plasters is for those in black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.

In light of the overwhelming reaction to Apollon's tweet, bosses at Tesco “accelerated” the launch of its own range of plasters, which were developed in collaboration with the BAME at Tesco network, who helped with testing, gathering feedback and also had a say in the product’s final design.

Paulette Balson, chair of the BAME at Tesco network – an employee group that aims to make a difference by raising awareness of diversity and inclusion within the supermarket – said in a statement: “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.

“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.”

Nicola Robinson, health, beauty and wellness director at Tesco, added that, as one of the largest retailers in the UK, Tesco understands it has a “responsibility to ensure our products reflect the diversity of our customers and colleagues”.

“We believe the launch of our new skin tone plaster range is an important step and a move that we hope will be replicated by other retailers and supermarkets across the country.”

The new diverse range of plasters are available to buy in Tesco stores and online, costing £1.

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