We’re just eight months into 2020 and Grey Lynn-based skincare creator Emma Lewisham has already successfully launched New Zealand’s first facial beauty sustainability initiative, as well as a new Supernatural range to complement her eponymously named, 100 per cent natural, high-performance, luxury skincare range.
Currently, the global cosmetic industry produces 120 billion units of packaging every year. The main source of emissions in the industry comes from packaging, with only a small percentage of packaging accepted by local kerbside recycling programmes; the majority of this enormous figure is destined for landfill every year. If this level of consumption continues there will be 12 billion tonnes of plastic in landfills or scattered through our ecosystems by 2050 – that’s the equivalent of 35,000 Empire State Buildings.
The United Nations has declared the current environmental trajectory as a ‘planetary crisis’, and the cosmetic industry is a gargantuan contributor. None of this information is new or unheard of, so it’s now imperative that leaders within the economy start driving positive environmental change.
Emma Lewisham has offered refills from day one on all of its glass bottles, which include its cult-favourite Skin Reset Serum and its Supernatural products (Triple Vitamin A+ Face Oil and Anti-Ageing Peptide 72-Hour Crème). The Beauty Circle Refill Programme is an enhanced streamlined process to encourage customers to participate in the initiative.
The brand has also said that it will phase out non-refillable packaging by March 2021. Currently, it has just two non-refillable products, both are created with 100 per cent recycled plastic tubes.
Refills really are the best sustainable beauty option as you’re using materials that have already been produced – there’s no recycling process required and it saves the energy that comes with recycling, dismantling and re-manufacturing products. Emma and her team believe that the solution to the sustainability crisis in the beauty industry is a collective effort, and that all brands need to step up move away from a take-make-dispose linear model of beauty towards a zero-waste, closed-loop model. Hallelujah to that we say, and we can’t wait to see what she does next. (HELENE RAVLICH)