Disturbed by the fact that even the most basic household items could not cater for majority of the population, Lize Hartley established Plasta, a company based in Cape Town, South Africa to produce first-aid plasters for three different skin types.
Her business idea sprung from her discovery that a black woman could not get a matching skin type for her underwear. This made her wonder about other products which her nation’s majority is lacking.
According to her, ‘The black woman was struggling to explain to the white assistant that she needed something that was nude for her. There was a lot of confusion between the two women because in fashion terms ‘nude’ is referred to as a colour, but actually ‘nude’ is a spectrum of skin colour tones.
‘I began to think about what other basic products weren’t available in a range of skin tones.’
This led to her discovery that plasters available to South Africans were only in beige and most South Africans hated this. With this knowledge she went ahead to find the most suitable tones for black, Asian, mixed race and white South Africans.
And in 2013, Plasta was founded to make first-aid plasters for three different skin tones –light, medium and dark.
‘Plasters aren’t just for medical use, they’re also cosmetic. When women need a plaster while wearing a high heeled shoe, they would rather have one that is closer to their own skin tone.
‘We have had this unique situation in South Africa where the majority of the population has been marginalised in a very basic way,’ she explained.
Now her plaster is stocked in stores in South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana and Netherlands.