Sustainable luxury: Emma Lewisham aims to ‘take ownership’ by becoming a 100% circular beauty brand

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Emma Lewisham has its sights set on becoming a leader of circular beauty movement. ©Emma Lewisham
Emma Lewisham has its sights set on becoming a leader of circular beauty movement. ©Emma Lewisham

Related tags New zealand clean & ethical beauty natural beauty circular beauty

New Zealand-based beauty brand Emma Lewisham has its sights set on becoming a leader of circular beauty movement with luxury refillable packaging options.

The brand was founded by Emma Lewisham, who launched the eponymous line in 2019 after spending three years in development.

Lewisham told CosmeticsDesign-Asia ​that she saw a gap in the market for a luxury brand that was natural yet effective.

“We spent a year just researching before we even started to develop our products from scratch. We searched the globe for the most innovative and potent natural ingredients. We’ve had our products tested alongside [the big brands] through independent in-vitro and in-vivo testing and a number of our products outperformed them.”

Aside from efficacy, Lewisham is passionate about sustainability and believes there is an urgent need for beauty and personal care brands to take a more proactive approach to protect the environment.

“I believe that beauty needs to move towards a circular model. Every year the beauty industry produces 120 billion units of packaging and 95% goes to the landfills and into the oceans. That doesn’t make sense to me.”

According to Lewisham, a circular beauty model can help the industry reduce carbon emissions by 70% and reduce electricity and water usage by 40% each.

Lewisham expects her brand to become 100% circular by next year.

“We already offer refillables on our glass bottles. Our sunscreen tubes are made out of 100% recycled plastic and we are going to move that product into a refillable option soon. We are really investing our money to create luxury refillable packaging options.”

Expanding to Singapore

Emma Lewisham is currently available in 33 markets worldwide.

Most recently it has expanded its business into Singapore, its fourth-largest market following New Zealand, Australia and the US.

“The feedback that we've had from our Singaporean customers is that they love that our products are 100% natural and they are still seeing results. Also, Singaporeans have a respect for sustainability that aligns with our values.”

For the next six to 12 months, the company plans to build up the brand in Singapore and aims to enter brick-and-mortar retail.

While the industry has observed a decline in luxury beauty, Lewisham said the brand has been bucking the trend.

“Luxury beauty may be declining but the trend in the market during this pandemic is that customers want to replace their products with a natural, clean and safe alternative.”

Lewisham said that if the brand is successful in the Singapore market it would look to expand to other markets in Asia, including Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Expanding, she added, would not affect her vision of having a circular brand.

“I believe in taking ownership of what you bring into this world. So, with our Singaporean customers, we will take an Emma Lewisham product back for free and make sure it is recycled through a program with Terracycle. If you bring something into the world you need to take it right to the end of its life.”

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