Emma Lewisham Will Be a Circular Beauty Brand by July, With All Products Able to Be Refilled
New Zealand beauty founder Emma Lewisham had two firm visions when she created her namesake brand. One was to create a line of products that were natural *and* effective — something that is often lacking with products of this nature — while also addressing some of the environmental concerns in the beauty industry.
“When I went looking for it in the marketplace, for natural products with science and evidence that they perform and rival anything on the market, I found they didn’t exist,” Lewisham told POPSUGAR Australia. “It was certainly something that I really wanted and I was really interested that that wasn’t there.”
Just over a year after launching Emma Lewisham, the brand has definitely achieved the first goal, with a range of skincare products that are natural, don’t interfere with your health and do what they say on the bottle. In fact, the efficacy of Emma Lewisham products is why the brand has gained traction in a relatively short amount of time.
The second goal, which was addressing the environmental concerns, is something Lewisham says will be achieved by July 2021, which is when all of the products will have a refill option, making it a world-first for any beauty brand.
“We are very focused on our sustainability endeavours and really want to create a movement towards a circular beauty model, which would see us divert billions and billions of units of packaging to our landfill and oceans,” Lewisham said.
POPSUGAR Australia was lucky enough to chat with Emma Lewisham about her game-changing brand, which is kicking serious goals in skincare.
POPSUGAR: Hi Emma! Thank you for chatting with us today. Could you tell us about the inspiration for the creation of your brand, Emma Lewisham?
Emma Lewisham: Emma Lewisham launched only about a year and three months ago but previous to that it was a three-year brand development. The catalyst was me speaking to my doctor at a time when I was trying to get pregnant. I was struggling, and we were looking at things that I was doing in my day-to-day life that included stress and lifestyle and he asked me what I was using on my skin. I was using hydroquinone for a problem that I had, which was hyperpigmentation. I really struggled with it, and never really found anything on the market that was that effective.
He explained that you can’t use this product when you’re pregnant and I went looking into that product server and found that it was banned in multiple countries; that it is pretty heavy-hitting and toxic and linked to health concerns. And so I thought, ‘Well, I don’t want to be using this and I’m going to try and find something that is natural, but I really want something that’s going to work and I want it to prove to me it works and that there’s evidence’.
When I went looking for it in the marketplace, for natural products with science and evidence that they perform and rival anything on the market, I found they didn’t exist. It was something that I really wanted and I was really interested that products like this weren’t there.
My path to beauty wasn’t an obvious one. Previously to that, I’d been working for eight years for a multinational Japanese technology company, but my role lent itself to what I was about to do. In my role, I would look at trends and themes for the marketplace and gaps in the market. And take from those gaps and opportunities the ability to fill it with a product or service. I love problem-solving and overcoming hurdles and proving that the impossible is possible and so it was my first trigger.
The other thing that made me really want to get into beauty was seeing just how unsustainable beauty was and how the model of beauty did need to change to being a circular one. I was seeing billions of units of packaging go to landfills or oceans every year, and I wasn’t seeing how it was going to stop anytime soon.
But I thought that I could offer real value and a change and something different to the market. And so it’s been three years to solve those problems, you know, natural products that work and have evidence and now our products rival the most iconic luxury products in the world, backed by science, and also a truly sustainable path forward for the industry, which is, in my view, and it would be agreed by experts in the space, a circular one.
PS: Let’s talk about the packaging! It’s so lovely and instantly recognisable. What was the thought process behind the packaging?
EL: I chose the colours, they’re my favourite colours. I feel like they beautifully contrast. I think our brand is one that represents joy and beauty and fun and warmth and bringing to women’s lives something that isn’t too serious as we do take the way we look way too seriously.
A designer that I really love is Diane Von Furstenberg and I loved the contrast and colours that she bought through to her design so that was a bit of an inspiration to me.
PS: We know it’s like asking to pick your favourite child, but do you have a favourite product from the range?
EL: I would say my original product which is Skin Reset because I had really bad hyperpigmentation and, hand on heart, I’ve used everything on the market and it’s been the only product that’s worked. I never used to go makeup-free on my face, I felt so self-conscious about my uneven skin tone and I even remember my husband said, you know when he first met me, I would never let him see me without makeup and now I often don’t wear makeup.
It’s been dramatic, the impact it’s had, and not just the evening of the skin but the clarity and textural change that it brings to your skin. I just think it’s because, with our products, we pack so many ingredients at such high concentrations in and make every inch of a product work for you versus putting any fillers or anything that’s not going to be effective and make all of those ingredients work really, really hard to deliver results.
PS: What’s on the cards for Emma Lewisham for the rest of 2021?
EL: We are very focused on our sustainability endeavours and really want to create a movement towards a circular beauty model, which would see us divert billions and billions of units of packaging to our landfill and oceans. The single biggest thing we can do to reduce carbon emissions in the industry is if we reused packaging more and refilled, and that’s exactly what you’ll see more of us doing this year. All of our products will have a refill option by July, and we’ll be 100 percent circular which means that everything we create can be kept in circulation. It’ll be a world first.