The Beginnings of a Clean Beauty Brand: Meet Emma Lewisham


Having written about clear magnificence before and likewise understanding the inexperienced washing that comes with the business, it’s typically onerous for customers to get it proper when buying merchandise. There are loopholes that magnificence manufacturers can bounce by and buzzwords that may greenwash and sometimes pure skincare merchandise are something however. 

Which is why a magnificence model founder doing the proper factor needs to be celebrated. Kiwi magnificence innovator Emma Lewisham is one such entrepreneur making waves in the intervening time; her eponymous model is popping up in all places and for good motive – her integrity, transparency and real dedication to scrub magnificence is connecting with the high-end aware magnificence shopper.

Emma Lewisham eco beauty brands in New Zealand

The enterprise lady just lately launched the Emma Lewisham Magnificence Circle with Terracycle in New Zealand, a free incentive-based recycling program permitting her prospects to recycle any model of facial magnificence packaging in return for credit score to make use of in her retailer; a option to create a closed loop system. The Emma Lewisham Magnificence Circle can be obtainable in Australia with the exception that every one packaging should be from Emma Lewisham, for now.

Since launching this system in June, roughly 1,000 magnificence merchandise have been diverted from New Zealand landfills.

“Our model is continually striving to do higher, with the aim that, by the tip of 2021, 100% of merchandise will likely be round, that means they’ll all be refilled (at the moment, 80% are refillable).” – Emma Lewisham 

On this unique interview, Emma Lewisham opens up concerning the model’s origin story how she’s contributing to cleansing up the sweetness business.

EWP: What was the driving power behind beginning the Emma Lewisham model?

Emma Lewisham: The seeds of Emma Lewisham have been sown after I discovered a product I had been making use of for a private pores and skin problem (hyperpigmentation) contained a recognized carcinogen. One of many components was truly used to scrub sewer pipes – and I used to be placing this on my face! Additional analysis into this product led me to uncover how unregulated the sweetness business is in New Zealand and Australia and that the final main adjustments have been near 100 years in the past, regardless of credible analysis proving the impacts skincare can have on our well being.

I discovered that a few of the components in skincare embody tyre lubricants and simethicone. They aren’t components that ship advantages to our pores and skin. They’re used to lengthen the product’s lifespan or improve texture. Even in sunscreen merchandise, many chemical screens corresponding to oxybenzone or avobenzone that defend us from the solar, truly even have destructive well being results corresponding to hormone disruption (to not point out the impression on the atmosphere, corresponding to coral bleaching), so there’s a huge trade-off right here.

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I went trying to change my skincare with really pure and secure alternate options, with efficacious and evidence-backed outcomes – solely to seek out this didn’t exist. I used to be used to investing in high-performance, premium lotions and serums. Immediately I discovered myself at natural well being retailers looking for a pure equal, and I had the realisation that these merchandise weren’t going to ship the outcomes I used to be used to. It grew to become clear to me that pure, non-harmful components got here at a compromise to efficacy and evidenced-based outcomes. This was a compromise we [as consumers] have been compelled to make.

I made a decision to be the change I wished to see within the magnificence business. I wished to show it was potential to supply 100% clear merchandise that might be as efficient, if no more so, than something on the planet. I wished to show to girls they didn’t need to compromise their well being for magnificence. Briefly – I based Emma Lewisham with a single goal, which was to make a significant distinction within the magnificence business. For me, reaching a significant distinction means setting a brand new normal in skincare; proving that luxurious, excessive performing skincare doesn’t have to come back at a trade-off to girls’s well being or the atmosphere. The latter can be actually essential to me. Looking for clear and efficacious skincare was onerous in itself, but additionally discovering manufacturers that have been really targeted on shifting in direction of a round mannequin was additionally difficult.

EWP: How lengthy was the method of discovering clear magnificence components in your vary?

EL: Clear, for us, is sort of rigorous; it means a product that’s ethically made with none components linked to dangerous well being results, whether or not that’s hormone disruption, most cancers, or plain-old pores and skin irritation. To call only a few: parabens, phthalates, phenoxyethanol (utilized in pure skincare as a preservative) PEGs, ethanolamines, chemical sunscreens, artificial perfume, BHT, BHA are all excluded from Emma Lewisham formulations. Our definition of fresh is aligned with the Environmental Working Group (EWG), who’re a number one authority on skincare and private care components. We get rid of 1400 suspicious and probably dangerous components for human well being. All of our components have “low hazard” scores on the EWG’s Pores and skin Deep Database.

The method of discovering components is substantial. We work with NZ ingredient importers in addition to immediately with worldwide farms and supply components from 22 nations. When deciding on components for our formulation, we don’t simply choose them for his or her wealth of pores and skin advantages, however based mostly on a strict standards that we use to evaluation each ingredient that’s in our merchandise.

These are:

1) animal welfare – we don’t take a look at on animals and likewise be sure that not one of the components we supply have been examined on animals, so we’re sincere in our assertion of getting no animal testing in any respect

2) environmental administration – preservation and promotion of biodiversity

3) organically licensed (no chemical use)

4) accountable water use

5) working situations – certifications that give us certainty our provide chain is moral and

6) waste administration.

EWP: In your sustainability framework which of your 2020 targets have you ever met to this point?

EL: From the start we got down to redefine magnificence. Our mission is to be a 100% round model, that’s clear and takes possession for the choices we make – to folks and the planet. My focus with Emma Lewisham is making a distinction to folks’s lives and the planets. And this goes for the folks in our provide chain. I care about realizing everybody in our provide chain are working in situations the place they’re handled with kindness and respect – these are the values which are personally so essential to me, and are utilized to my enterprise. I need to know that the folks on the farm who’re concerned in rising our components are handled with equity and respect. It’s not at all times straightforward to get with how the business works, and at occasions we’ll forgo actually excessive performing actives as a result of us not being snug with the place the ingredient got here from.

Right here’s what we’ve got achieved to this point:

  • We disclose each ingredient we put into our merchandise ( manufacturers that use perfume don’t need to disclose what may be as much as 1000 components that make up that perfume), each element of their packaging, the place we supply our components from, and even the place we have to enhance and discover options as a model
  • We launched NZ’s first sustainable magnificence initiative – Emma Lewisham Magnificence Circle –which diverts magnificence packaging destined for landfill, and provides them one other life.
  • 100% of our vessel packaging may be recycled by the Emma Lewisham Magnificence Circle (kerbside recycling can not recycle magnificence pumps, squeezy tubes and colored or frosted glass).
  • We challenged our packaging suppliers to provide you with extra sustainable options, which led to us having a post-consumer recycled (PCR) sunscreen tube which takes plastic that’s in circulation and diverts this from landfill – it’s a world first and we’ve saved 30,000 virgin plastic tubes from having to be created.
  • E-commerce packaging comprised of 100% recycled paper.
  • 98% compostable packaging. The delivery label utilized by our delivery accomplice NZ Put up at the moment makes use of a plastic layer over the delivery label. After working with them, they’ve agreed to maneuver to a compostable label by early 2021. That means zero of our packaging has any plastic.
  • We’re always striving to do higher, with the aim that, by the tip of 2021, 100 % of our merchandise are round, that means they are often refilled. Three out of 5 of our merchandise may be refilled
  • It’s a by no means ending, relentless seek for suppliers that meet our requirements. We’ve 80% full traceability throughout our provide chain – what we name Farm to Face – that means that we will hint the provision chain proper again to the farms the components have been
  • produced. You may examine the entire certifications every of our components maintain and their provenance on our web site. Our aim is to be 100% traceable by 1 October this yr!
  • All Emma Lewisham merchandise, notably sunscreens, are ocean-friendly and reef secure.

EWP: What future targets within the Sustainability Framework are you most enthusiastic about reaching?

EL: We’re actually enthusiastic about our carbon neutrality aim. In the meanwhile we’re working by measuring our carbon footprint as a enterprise, proper down to each product we produce. As soon as we perceive this, we will likely be working to cut back our emissions in each approach we will – earlier than we offset the remaining to develop into carbon impartial. We’ve already engaged an unbiased organisation on sustainability and their carbon consultants are serving to to determine our baseline carbon footprint and the way we will create efficiencies throughout our enterprise to enhance this.

EWP: Inform us what it means to you to have began the Emma Lewisham Magnificence Circle?

EL: Presently, the worldwide cosmetics business produces 120 billion items of packaging yearly, and few are accepted by kerbside recycling applications. Lots of the design parts that allow magnificence merchandise to be so useable and marketable, corresponding to push pumps and colored plastics, make them troublesome to recycle. Subsequently, solely 9 % of plastics produced are recycled and 12% are burned into our ambiance. All remaining plastic waste leads to landfill or scattered by the atmosphere. Many of the merchandise that line toilet cabinets are comprised of plastic, and simply because the packaging states it’s recyclable, doesn’t imply it is going to be recycled. Advanced, branded packaging is more durable to gather, separate and in consequence, recycle. It’s extra economically viable to easily ship branded packaging to landfill, than to place ahead the assets to get well it.

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I used to be extraordinarily stunned after I learnt this – like everybody else, I’d been dutifully rinsing out my skincare vessels and inserting them in my recycling, little realising that a lot of it in all probability ended up in landfill. I believed this wasn’t adequate and that manufacturers should do higher to take possession of what occurs to our merchandise at their end-of-life, and supply customers choices round this. All Emma Lewisham merchandise are designed to be both recyclable, refillable, or compostable our product packaging is manufactured from absolutely biodegradable 100% recycled paper packing containers, so no dangerous substances leech into the soil and they’re diverted from landfill).

The Emma Lewisham Magnificence Circle is our response to this problem of magnificence waste. It’s about rethinking the whole strategy of a magnificence product’s lifespan. It strikes us away from a linear mannequin, to a round magnificence mannequin.

EWP: In your opinion what are the highest Three sustainability points inside the magnificence business?

EL: The primary could be packaging waste and recyclability. As I’ve talked about, that is what motivated us to launch the Emma Lewisham Magnificence Circle.

The second could be the accountable and sustainable use of water. Water is the sweetness business’s most used ingredient and there are considerations that demand for water may outstrip provide. There’s a shortage problem round water globally. By 2025, it’s anticipated that 1.8 billion people will expertise absolute water shortage, and two-thirds of the world will likely be dwelling underneath water-stressed situations. We all know that in comparison with different manufacturers, we use quite a bit much less water in our merchandise. We use aloe vera the place potential – a moisture-rich different, as a substitute of relying closely on water. It creates larger efficiency formulations that aren’t padded and diluted with water, which can be inactive. In 2020 we’re working to grasp our water utilization throughout our full provide chain, to get higher visibility on this and to place a plan in place to minimise water utilization.

One other problem I’d like to focus on, which many individuals nonetheless aren’t conscious of, is the impression of skincare on our oceans and marine life. Solar safety is an important protecting step in your each day skincare routine – a sunscreen helps to minimise the results of dangerous UV rays, which trigger sunburn and untimely pores and skin ageing. Nonetheless, an more and more regarding environmental problem is the adversarial results of chemical sunscreens that seep into the ocean and are ingested by corals.

Chemical-based sunscreens (with actives corresponding to oxybenzone and octinoxate) have been shown to cause genetic damage to coral and other marine organisms. Consultants estimate that 90% of all reefs will likely be useless by 2050 and sunscreen is taking part in a big half in that, compounding different points corresponding to local weather change. The nice factor is that locations corresponding to Hawaii are main the way in which and banning sunscreens which include these pernicious components. Emma Lewisham’s SPF merchandise are all 100% naturally derived and use a zinc oxide lively which don’t hurt marine life.

You may learn extra about Emma Lewisham’s values and sustainability framework here, and store her product providing here.

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All photos by way of Emma Lewisham.

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