The Emma Lewisham Clean Standard ™
The beauty industry contributes to significant environmental and social issues globally. From people's health, disrupting ecosystems and depleting non-renewable natural resources, to excessive water consumption and pollution, to greenhouse gas emissions from supply chains, to the billions of units of packaging sent to landfill each year.
From the beginning we set out to redefine beauty, to lead beauty into a new age: one that prioritises product efficacy without compromising people or the planet for it.
It is our mission to move beauty towards a transparent, clean, circular and regenerative model.
What this means is putting people and the planet at the heart of all our decisions. Our products are sustainably produced, we use 100% natural, traceable, biodegradable, consciously sourced, cruelty free ingredients. We are transparent with our customers on the decisions we make and the reasons for them.
When customers buy Emma Lewisham we want them to know that they're getting products that deliver proven, visible results for their skin, but not at the compromise to their health or the planet's.
There's a huge and very complex supply chain in beauty, and we review and take ownership for every aspect of it. To this end, we have developed a Sustainability Framework which provides transparency on what Emma Lewisham is doing to address the six drivers of our supply chain: raw materials, suppliers, manufacturing, distribution, retail outlets and customers. These are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Read the Emma Lewisham Sustainability Framework.
The United Nations describes its Sustainable Development Goals as
“a plan of action for people, planet, and prosperity.” Here’s a bit about
how we’re helping to deliver their vision.
The Emma Lewisham Clean Standard ™
Emma Lewisham discloses every ingredient we put into our products, every component of our packaging, where we source our ingredients from, and even where we need to improve and find solutions as a company.
We only use ingredients that are verified as safe by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). In fact, we ban over 2,700 ingredients that are used in mainstream beauty products due to safety and sustainability reasons.
We are unique in the natural skincare industry, as we refuse to use the standard preservative, phenoxyethanol, spending 6 months cracking the natural preservative code.
Every Emma Lewisham ingredient is not only chosen for its results but whether the farm it is grown on is respectful of people and the planet - this process is incredibly time consuming, and one that is ongoing for us as a company, but we are absolutely committed to asking the hard questions of our suppliers and walking away from even the most efficacious ingredients if they don't align with our values.
Not only do we not test on animals, we review every ingredient in our products, to ensure they are not tested on animals.
For years, the beauty industry has operated as a take-make-dispose, linear model. Each year there are 120 billion units of packaging produced, with most of it non-recyclable. If this level of consumption continues, by 2050 there will be 12 billion tonnes of plastic in landfills, the equivalent to 35,000 Empire State Buildings.
This is a broken model Emma Lewisham couldn't turn a blind eye to, and participate in.
We believe all beauty brands need to move to a circular and regenerative model. We are walking the talk by taking ownership for our material at the end of its life (to keep it in circulation), using 100% recycled plastic, and offering refills (refills are currently available for New Zealand and Australian customers).
Our goal is to be a 100% circular brand by 2021 - meaning all of our products are offered in a refillable option. We are currently investing in refillable luxury moulds for our products that will start rolling out from November 2020.
When customers purchase a refillable product over a new bottle there is a quantifiable impact, with 70% less CO2 emissions, 60% less energy, and 45% less water used. We are determined to shift beauty to this model for the sake of our planet.
We’ve made sure all box packaging is plastic-free and compostable with no chemical coatings or inks (we print with vegetable-based inks) so each box will biodegrade. For those products where we have no choice but to use plastic packaging for practical and safety reasons, we’ve challenged our suppliers for sustainable solutions, resulting in a world first 100% PCR plastic sunscreen tube. This is plastic that’s already in circulation, it has been used and discarded in the market. By reusing it over and over again, we are actively diverting waste from landfill.
The Emma Lewisham Beauty Circle
We’ve proudly partnered with TerraCycle® to launch the Emma Lewisham Beauty Circle – it’s about rethinking the entire process of a beauty product’s lifespan. Return, Recycle, Reward.
We believe one of the biggest changes that we can make to have the most drastic and positive impact on our planet is to lower carbon emissions. We believe the circular beauty model is core to drastically lowering our carbon emissions as an industry. The holy grail in carbon neutral beauty is that you avoid releasing carbon dioxide emissions in the first place – and this is why we believe strongly in the circular beauty movement. The other areas are understanding the carbon emission in respect to producing and manufacturing ingredients. When determining an ingredient, material for our packaging (such as carbon neutral recycled plastic for our tubes), or how we produce our products, we ask "what is our carbon emissions here". Currently, in addition to moving our packaging to refillable options, we are working through measuring our carbon emissions at a product level. This entails looking at the ingredients sourced, understanding the manufacturing process of each ingredient, our bottles and boxes and the transportation to the customer. Once we understand this, we will be working to significantly reducing what we're emitting as a company – before we offset the rest to become carbon neutral.
We aspire to have an ethical supply chain. We work with suppliers who are committed to continuous improvement in their environmental impact and who share our vision of clean skincare and a healthier, fairer, kinder world. We take ownership for understanding if all our suppliers align with our values.
All of our suppliers are required to agree to our Supplier Principles.
New Zealand Made
We manufacture our products in New Zealand. Our laboratory is ten minutes from Emma Lewisham’s headquarters in Auckland.
We manufacture in New Zealand as we are leading the way globally with 80% renewable electricity, the fair treatment of people, and the respect our country has for the planet. Our laboratory has recycling, water usage and waste management policies at the core of their manufacturing.
Causes we support
We want to make a meaningful difference in the work we do. Emma Lewisham is passionate about all women having equal rights and opportunities, having been an advocate for over a decade in her work with Zonta International (an organisation that advocates for women’s empowerment globally). Through her platform, Emma wants to champion equality and fairness for all women. Learn more about the Causes We Support.
We have goals that are yet to be achieved and many challenges we need to find solutions for – but this is what also drives and inspires us every day. We promise to always challenge the status quo, be determined in understanding every aspect of our supply chain and it’s impact on people and the planet, and do the hard work necessary to forge a path towards a truly beautiful beauty industry.
“I have a real drive and passion to build a brand that makes a difference to people’s lives. Success to me, is measured by the positive difference we can make to people and the planet." – Emma Lewisham