Band-Aid Announces New Colors to Match Different Skin Tones—but Tru-Colour Came First
The 100-year-old company will begin making bandages in Brown and Black skin tones to "embrace the beauty of diverse skin."
On Wednesday, Band-Aid Brand Adhesive Bandages announced the launch of a new range of bandages that ring truer to all skin colors—not just the light options the brand has been selling for about 100 years.
Band-Aid took to Instagram to announce the news: "We hear you. We see you. We're listening to you," the brand said in response to the antiracism movements taking place throughout the US and the world. "We stand in solidarity with our Black colleagues, collaborators, and community in the fight against racism, violence, and injustice. We are committed to taking actions to create tangible change for the Black community."
In addition to launching the new range of bandages—"in light, medium, and deep shades of Brown and Black skin tones that embrace the beauty of diverse skin"—the brand also pledged to make a donation of an unidentified amount to Black Lives Matter. "We promise that this is just the first among many steps together in the fight against systemic racism," the brand said. "We can, we must, and we will do better."
But some say it's a little late for a legacy brand that touts itself as "America's #1 Bandage Brand." "Here is the issue...what took so long?" asked one commenter. "A few lifetimes late. As if white was the only skin tone in existence until now," a second person added, while another said the company's actions were "so so so overdue."
This lack of representation in something as simple in bandages isn't new. It's why, in 2014, Tru-Colour Products co-founder Toby Meisenheimer created a more inclusive brand, offering a wider range of skin tones in bandages. In a previous interview with the Huffington Post, Meisenheimer, who is white, said he started the company when he realized typical bandages didn't match his Black son's skin tone. "I just want my kids, who are already [going to] struggle with the fact that they don’t have the same skin color as their dad, I want them to see they were made as just as authentic and just as beautiful and the bandage market needs to reflect that,” said Meisenheimer. Four years after its launch, Tru-Colour Products began selling skin tone bandages at Target stores nationwide, and they're currently available on Amazon in various colors, too:
Tru-Colour Skin Tone Bandages in Dark Brown
To buy: Tru-Colour Skin Tone Bandages in Dark Brown, 30-count ($6-$12; amazon.com)
Tru-Colour Skin Tone Assorted Bandages in Brown
Tru-Colour Skin Tone Assorted Bandages in Olive
Tru-Colour Skin Tone Assorted Bandages in Beige
Aside from Tru-Colour and Band-Aid's new skin tone collection, another family-owned brand named Browndages also sells bandages specifically for Black and Brown skin, though only through their website and at specific, smaller stores throughout the US.
Past that, there's only been one other widely-available brand of bandages made for the Black community: a short-lived brand named Ebon-Aide. According to a 2013 article in The Atlantic, Ebon-Aide, created by New York entrepreneur Michael Panayiotis, emerged in the late 1990s and came in colors like "black licorice, coffee brown, cinnamon, and honey beige." But just a few years later, in late 2002, Ebon-Aide folded, after selling only 20,000 boxes of the 1 million created.
It's unclear when Band-Aid will start rolling out those new inclusive bandages, but many people—like one commenter who commended the brand for the "awesome change"—still believe it's a step in the right direction.
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter