Meet the 13-year-old telling Primark and Asos she won't 'make do'

Last updated at 13:37
To enjoy the CBBC Newsround website at its best you will need to have JavaScript turned on.
Tamia say she wants to inspire big brands to make a wider range of skin coloured clothing to reflect the different skin tones of customers

There are lots of different skin tones but while some companies are offering a wider range of products some shops still don't offer a broad enough range to suit some darker skin tones.

Tamia, 13, has started a petition online to encourage shops to improve the range of skin coloured products they sell.

She said it knocks her confidence when she can't find skin coloured clothing to match her skin tone, and makes her feel like she wants to stop shopping and go home.

She doesn't want to have to 'make do' with products that don't cater for her and thinks that shops need to do more to make sure all skin tones feel represented, at affordable prices.

Calling for change

Tamia hopes her petition can inspire big brands to make a change.

She says in her petition: "I have recently noticed the lack of options and choice there is for undergarments of a 'nude' colour for skin tones of mixed heritage.

"I just want retailers aware of the difference and what is missing. Why shouldn't we have a variety?"

She names nine companies which she thinks should be doing more, so Newsround got in touch with them to see what they say about the subject.

PrimarkANDY RAIN

Primark

Primark currently offer five different shades of skin tone in their 'nudes' t-shirt bra and matching briefs range. The company says it recognises "there is always more to be done so it continues to keep this under review to ensure it is meeting the needs of customers."

A spokesperson said: "Primark takes diversity, equality and inclusion very seriously and we recognise how important it is that our products reflect the diversity of our customers and their needs."

Pretty Little Thing

There are currently three shades of skin tone underwear available on the website but the company says it has plans to launch a further nine in the next month.

"We are proud to have a wonderfully diverse range of ambassadors, models and influencers who represent the diversity of our millions of customers around the world. We each have our part to play and at PLT we take this very seriously which is why we celebrate the beauty of women no matter what their shape, ethnicity, size or age and ensure they are represented across all of our campaigns and e-commerce."

Marks and Spencer

Laura Charles, a clothing Director at M&S said, "Last month at M&S we shared our commitments to being a truly inclusive place to shop and work. We know we have more to do and we're already in the process of reviewing our ranges, supported by our BAME network.

"For underwear this means offering a wider range of sizes, shapes and colours and marketing them with a diverse group of models. Within our underwear and tights ranges we don't aim to completely match skin tones (as everyone is unique) and our offer will vary depending on the product but we want to offer items that are flattering and suitable for all our customers."

Asda

Asda offers four shades of 'nude' bra online.

A spokesperson for George at Asda said: "We offer a wide range of nude/skin tone under garments to suit a variety of our customers. There are a variety of skin tones available for our customers and we will always listen to their feedback on what products they would like to see on our shelves."

Asos

In a statement Asos said: "Right now we do not have a varied skin tone underwear range available but from August our Asos DESIGN range will include 5 varied skin tone colours. We will continue to get customer feedback in both the underwear category and all other categories from a position of inclusivity."

Boux Avenue

The online retailer said: "We offer a wide range of colours and designs. We are constantly reviewing our designs to continue to - and further cater to - a diverse spectrum of skin tones."

Missguided

Missguided sent this statement: "We do offer tonal underwear currently, however we are proud to announce that we will be extensively extending the range into a plethora of new skin tones which will launch September this year. The range will include shape wear, lingerie, beauty, hosiery and clothing and will be activated using a diverse and exclusive model selection showcasing each new colour-way in a natural way."

Tesco and Next were also asked for a statement but have not commented.

Different skin tonesGetty Images

Looking forward

Tamia says she was really pleased to hear that Pretty Little Thing, Missguided and Asos are expanding their ranges and hopes other shops will do the same.

She said: "I am pleased to hear that some of the companies are trying to bring out a wider range and I'm excited to see how this is going to change and bring more confidence to their customers.

"In the future I want there to be more variety of skin tone options for different ethnicities to suit not just the majority but everyone."

Your Comments

Join the conversation

134 comments