Beauty & Style

Big win for woman who campaigned for change in Coles and Woolies

Big win for woman who campaigned for change in Coles and Woolies

A Melbourne mum who led a campaign calling on Australia's supermarkets to sell makeup for all skin tones has had a win with both Coles and Woolworths, who have agreed to stock a broader range of foundation colours online from next month.

Rebecca Willink, who is of Indian descent, created an online petition back in April demanding action from the supermarket giants to end "makeup discrimination" after being unable to find any foundation suitable for her.

The petition gathered over 4000 signatures, with many women of colour speaking out against major supermarkets, saying they were frustrated at the lack of shades available both in-store and online.

In a statement to nine.com.au, Coles confirmed it would soon be tripling the current colour range available on two of its most popular Maybelline products.

"We have listened to our customers' feedback seeking a more diverse range of foundation shades and we will be undertaking a three-month trial both online and in-store, starting in late August with our supplier Maybelline," Coles Australia's General Manager of Non Food, Health and Home, Jonathan Torr, said.

"During this time, we will be offering the full range of Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Foundation, tripling the current range available to Coles customers including 40 shades in total."

Coles will also be selling the full makeup range at 10 stores across the country, which had been handpicked because they service a large number of postcodes and diverse customer base.

"Subject to customer feedback, we would then look to roll this out more broadly across our stores."

The chosen stores include three in New South Wales, four in Victoria, and one in Queensland, South Australia and the ACT, he said.

Woolworths' trial, to begin on August 23, will cover the same Maybelline products as its rival Coles, but is only being offered to online customers in the NSW and Victoria metro areas.

"From the end of August, customers in more than 500 suburbs across Sydney and Melbourne will have access to a wider range of foundation tones through an online trial," a Woolworths spokesperson said.

"We understand the trial won't reach every customer, but we hope to learn from it and continue to work on increasing access to a more inclusive makeup range."

Ms Willink said she was delighted that the supermarket giants had listened to the demands of their customers.

"I am delighted that both Coles and Woolworths have acknowledged the need to be more inclusive and are both taking steps to address this issue.

"For too long, Australians with skin colours deemed too dark or too light to be worth catering for have been excluded and neglected.

These trials may seem like a minor step, but the impact will be significant for individuals who have been ostracised for decades.

"I don't want my daughter to experience the same disappointment and shame I felt as a young woman denied the right of accessing basic products. I want my daughter to grow up seeing herself represented in the world around her, and this could be part of the change that makes that happen."

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