HomeINDUSTRY INSIGHTWe chat retail with luxury & sustainable beauty founder Emma Lewisham

We chat retail with luxury & sustainable beauty founder Emma Lewisham

Emma Lewisham founded her namesake brand in 2020 for a purpose: to make a meaningful difference in the beauty industry. For Emma, this means “setting a new standard in skincare: proving that luxurious, high performing skincare doesn’t have to come at a trade-off to women’s health or the planet.”

With this in mind, Emma Lewisham products are clean and natural, and, as the reviews suggest, they also deliver outstanding results. “To us, achieving a product that is 100% clean and highly efficacious is the absolute pinnacle in skincare and rarely have both been achieved at the same time”.

And to achieve these results, the brand invests in highly innovative and high-tech ingredients such as stem cell and neuropeptide technology from plants. “Where most mega-brands look to pull back manufacturing costs, we focus on quality and efficacy first, and cost last”, says Emma.

This strategy has paid off for Emma, who spent three years formulating her brand. Now sold in 33 countries globally via emmalewisham.com, as well as via a network of New Zealand retailers, the products are set to launch in David Jones later this month. This is Emma Lewisham’s first Australian retailer, and the first of many as the brand embarks on its expansion globally.

Turning to Emma Lewisham’s retail growth in New Zealand, Emma says “we’ve been very selective in the retailers we work with, ensuring they align with our core values and will support us in our sustainability journey. Within our team we have a depth of experience working in the retail channel, so that has really helped to quickly establish ourselves in each new retailer we’ve brought on.”

Across the ditch, David Jones is a smart fit for the Emma Lewisham brand. “They recognise our innovation when it comes to scientifically-validated, 100% clean skincare and our global leadership in pushing the beauty industry towards sustainability and circularity, and are aligned in this sustainability journey with us”.

Emma goes on to say of the pairing that both Emma Lewisham and David Jones share mutual values for “fresh and innovative products paired with high quality and luxury.”

We ask Emma how she navigates both online sales (direct to consumer) and wholesale. She notes that while her online channel gives the brand a wide reach globally, wholesale helps Emma Lewisham to be on-the-ground for its customers, allowing them to sample products and access in-person advice.

To further the brand’s commitment to sustainability, this year the Emma Lewisham Beauty Circle Free Recycling Programme, New Zealand’s first sustainable beauty initiative for all brands of facial skincare products, was launched. The initiative is not just limited to Emma Lewisham products, making the brand a stand-out industry leader.

A refill programme has also been implemented, reducing the need for new product packaging, which means 70% less CO2 emissions, 60% less energy, and 45% less water used. The brand’s latest sunscreen range is also packaged in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, which so far, has stopped the creation of 20,000 new plastic tubes.

Customer feedback was influential in developing the refillable options. 80% of the Emma Lewisham range is available for refill at present, and this will change to 100% in 2021. Feedback from customers is a crucial part of the brand’s decision making processes overall, and the Emma Lewisham website devotes a section to Transparent Beauty which sets out clear goals that are transparent to customers. In the realm of social media, Instagram and Facebook are the key channels the brand’s audience uses to interact with the Emma Lewisham brand, and its team monitors these channels to understand what topics customers want to hear about the most, tailoring their content accordingly.

We ask Emma what her advice is for other retailers, and she says “focus on delivering a great customer experience, making it as seamless and hassle-free as possible for them. Keep an open line of communication with your customers so you are getting unfiltered feedback and insights directly.”

Turning to the future of Emma Lewisham, it’s clear that Emma will continue to deliver innovative products in the beauty space and expand the brand’s global presence as it partners with even more brick-and-mortar and online retailers. And it’s a good time to do this: consumers are significantly invested in clean beauty as a result of the covid-19 pandemic inspiring a renewed emphasis on wellbeing.

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