‘Go above and beyond’: Why recycling is beauty’s biggest misinformation problem – Emma Lewisham CEO

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By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Indie Pioneers Podcast: Why recycling is beauty’s biggest misinformation problem – Emma Lewisham CEO

Related tags indie pioneers podcast circular beauty Sustainability circular economy Sustainable packaging

The overreliance on recycling is the chief piece of green misinformation in the beauty industry, which has to move faster towards a circular model, says the founder and CEO of Emma Lewisham.

Emma established the eponymous brand in 2019 with the mission to develop a circular beauty brand that kept its resources in circulation to eliminate waste and reduce its carbon footprint in an industry that generates 120 billion units of waste every year.

Since the company launched just two and a half years ago, it has made remarkable achievements. Last October, it announced that it had achieved its goal of becoming carbon positive. Lewisham said then that the firm is aiming to cut product carbon footprint ‘close to zero’ by 2030.

Speaking on the Indie Pioneers​ podcast, Emma emphasised that the industry was not moving fast enough towards closing the loop. One of the major issues she has observed is the overreliance on recycling programmes.

“Recycling can’t be the solution – we can’t recycle ourselves out of this mess. By recycling, we are still extracting materials from this earth and taking more. We’ve already got all the material that we need, that already exists… We have to be thinking above and beyond recycling and not it being the solution to this waste problem and carbon problem that we have in the industry,”​ she said.

She acknowledges that it can be very hard for brands to implement such practices and processes, highlighting that it took the brand nearly three years to figure out.

It is clear to Emma that the planet does not have the luxury to wait for every beauty brand to move toward a circular model, which is why she published the Beauty Blueprint.

The plans detail exactly how beauty brands can accelerate the shift towards the circular model on a global scale. The blueprint also includes the intellectual property for its circular designed product packaging.

“We're strong believers that to play our part in meeting global climate targets, we must place collaboration over competition. And that's why we shared our IP on our circular and climate-positive practices industry-wide. And that is about helping others fast-track your transition. With the state of the world at the moment and what is needed to meet global climate goals, we have to put collaboration first,”​ said Emma.

To find out more about Emma and Emma Lewisham, check out our podcast above, or on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and more.

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