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Tesco (Allegedly) Stole Their Diverse Bandaids from a Black Creative and Thought We Wouldn’t Notice

Tesco’s actions are part of a pattern of disenfranchisement of Black entrepreneurs who are trying to build their business to serve communities of color.

One thing you can count on people of no color to have…is the audacity. Or rather…the caucasity.

And this episode of The Audacity of Caucasity stars British supermarket chain Tesco and the fact that they allegedly stole their diverse plaster (re: bandaid) idea from the UK-based company Nünude and their Nuditone line.

As caucasians do, Tesco rolled out the announcement of “their” new diverse bandages a week ago, but author and activist Lovette Jallow caught wind of it and decided to put them on blast for their alleged theft from Nünude:

You may be wondering how Jallow knows so much about this and perhaps, even, what receipts she possesses that prove that supermarket giant Tesco may have engaged in blatant theft from Nünude. Well, aside from the fact that the aforementioned author did a review video on these quality bandaids nearly a year ago, Jallow also posted a copy of a transaction showing that Tesco bought products from Nünude only to (allegedly) turn around and steal them:

See? I told you. Audacity.

I followed up with Jallow after her initial thread went viral and she stated, “My initial reaction was shock,” Jallow told me via Twitter. “As I know Vivian [Murad], who is the founder of Skin Bandages and she created this in 2015 I believe. She shared detail on retailers and her wishes to have her products available to the greater public. She is very passionate about equality and good business practices. So knowing [she was] reaching out to retailers, this [alleged theft] shocked me as the Tesco is [now] claiming to be a leader in a field that I know they have been lacking severely in in my 7 years as an activist in Sweden and England.” 

Jallow added that she had recently spoken to Vivian, “She thinks its good that the product is out there. [But], I could tell there was disappointment as well there that she didn’t wish to show. As she is an utterly rational and kindhearted entrepreneur. However, once we found out that the retailer had also placed orders for the products, [did not] diversify nor change the names, [and], in my opinion, made small amendments and passed it off as theirs, I decided to speak on it.”

“I have seen dozens of Black and Brown small companies in beauty and haircare have the same things done by larger [corporations]. And judging by the millions that have interacted with my tweet as well as sharing their own stories, it’s apparent [that] we have an issue that even runs deeper than just Tesco.”

Nünude founder Joanne Morales also expressed disappointment that Tesco’s initial inquiry and subsequent order turned out to be nefarious in nature, “Our initial reaction was simply disappointed and disheartening as when they purchased the orders we believed it was for a positive outcome,” Morales explained in an email. “We genuinely believed they suddenly changed their mind and became interested. We were naively waiting for them to contact us with the hope they wanted to work with us.”

Recommended: THE COMMODIFICATION OF HENNA HAIR DYE BY WHITE-OWNED COMPANIES

Angering right? I agree. And the people who initially viewed Jallow’s thread shared a similar sentiment—also commenting (in-thread) on the issue and inquiring about Murad or Morales plan on pursuing any sort of legal action. While that remains to be seen, I would definitely encourage anyone who still wants to purchase these new plasters—but also avoid putting money in colonizer pockets—to simply purchase it straight from Nünude and follow them on Instagram.

This is a developing story. 

Clarkisha Kent is a Nigerian-American writer, culture critic, former columnist, and up and coming author. Committed to telling inclusive stories via unique viewpoints from nigh-infancy, she is fascinated with using storytelling and cultural criticism not as a way to “overcome” or “transcend” her unique identities (as a fat and queer Black African woman), but as a way to explore them, celebrate them, affirm them, and most importantly, normalize them and make the world safe enough for people who share them to exist. As a University of Chicago graduate with a B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and English, she brings with her over five years of pop culture analysis experience, four years of film theory training, and a healthy appetite for change. Her writing has been featured in outlets like Entertainment Weekly, Essence, The Root, BET, HuffPost, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and more. She is also the creator of #TheKentTest, a media litmus test designed to evaluate the quality of representation that exists for women of color in film and other media. Currently, Kent is working on finishing a novel about a Black female outlaw and a TV comedy pilot about an immortal familiar.

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