Revlon Files for Bankruptcy

The cosmetics giant is attempting to get out from under its heavy debt load amid soaring prices and a snarled supply chain.

Revlon has filed for bankruptcy protection as the cosmetic giant attempts to get out from under its heavy debt load amid soaring prices and supply chain disruptions.

The company said in a news release that it expects $575 million in financing if the plan wins court approval. The additional funds will support the company’s daily operations. Under the Chapter 11 filing, the company is able to continue operating while reorganizing its outstanding debt.

The 90-year-old multinational is known for an array of cosmetics and skin-care brands, including drugstore favorite Almay and premium label Elizabeth Arden, which Revlon acquired in 2016 after selling more than $2 billion of loans and bonds. It is controlled by billionaire Ronald Perelman’s MacAndrews & Forbes.

Before the coronavirus crisis, Revlon faced growing competition from start-ups backed by celebrities including Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, which siphoned many of its younger consumers through its social media marketing.

But the pandemic only exacerbated those problems as sales of lipsticks — Revlon’s iconic product — curtailed when people masked up. Worldwide net sales fell 20 percent, from $2.4 billion in 2019 to $1.9 billion a year later. In March 2020, Revlon cut 1,000 positions to improve profitability. In November of the same year, Revlon avoided a bankruptcy filing after receiving enough bondholder support.

Debra Perelman, Revlon’s chief executive and daughter of Ronald Perelman, said the company’s “challenging capital structure” has limited its ability to meet consumer demand while navigating “macroeconomic issues.”

By addressing these complex legacy debt constraints, we expect to be able to simplify our capital structure and significantly reduce our debt, enabling us to unlock the full potential of our globally recognized brands,” Perelman said.

Revlon estimated liabilities of between $1 billion to $10 billion in a court filing. In its most recent earnings report, the company reported $3.3 billion in long-term debt.

Revlon said it’s unable to keep a regular supply of raw materials, putting production at risk, according to the court filing. Nearly one-third of customer demand cannot be timely fulfilled due to the lack of raw materials, it added.

While Perelman said during the March earnings call that the supply chain head winds are “temporary” and that Revlon had sourced additional vendors for key materials, the war in Ukraine and the covid lockdown in China presented new challenges to the global supply chain. Shipping from China to the United States doubled in time and quadrupled in cost compared with 2019, the company said.

Experts said Revlon could take advantage of Chapter 11 provisions to reorganize its portfolio of brands, where some older ones showed unsatisfying performance and lost customers. “If executed effectively, Revlon could emerge from bankruptcy with a cleaner balance sheet and a better operating profile, improving longer term business prospects,” David Silverman, retail senior director at Fitch Ratings, told RetailDive in email comments.

Corporate bankruptcy filings have reached the lowest levels in early 2022, according to S&P Market Intelligence data, which excludes the smallest business filings. As of the end of May, 143 bankruptcies have been filed this year, compared with 203 in 2021 and 263 in 2020 during the same period. Among the 143 bankruptcies, only three are retail filings.

However, Revlon’s filing — the first from a major consumer-facing business in years — could signal a downturn in the consumer discretionary sector, which encompasses largely companies selling nonessential products and are sensitive to the business cycle.

In May, inflation reached 8.6 percent over the last year, which led to financial pressure felt by many households. According to Census Bureau data, retail sales are down 0.3 percent from the previous month in May, as consumers shift to cheaper alternatives amid rising prices.

WASHINGTON POST

Haus Labs By Lady Gaga Is Finally Available to Shop at Sephora

Here’s some great news for Beauty Insiders and Little Monsters everywhere: You can now shop singer, actress, and entrepreneur Lady Gaga’s makeup brand, Haus Labs, at Sephora. The star has teamed up with the retailer to release new and improved versions of her brand’s coveted products.

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #81 series on my blog.

I always wanted to partner with Sephora,” Gaga tells BAZAAR.com. “I used to go to Sephora all the time as a young girl around 13 or 14 years old, I would go in and explore. I didn’t really have the money to buy a lot, so I would buy the Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzer.” So to have her very own line there is a full-circle moment. “I also love Sephora as a company—the people who work there are really nice, and they really believe in what we do, which means a lot to me—they’re our number one fan,” she says.

Although Gaga has seen much brand success since Haus Labs’ initial launch in 2019, she says there’s still more work to be done when it comes to mastering the ins and outs of the beauty industry. “I’d say the first thing I’ve absolutely learned as a beauty founder and creator was that I had a lot to learn,” Gaga says. “When I first began this company, I had a sense of my own artistry and love of artistry, but my knowledge of the beauty industry was much more limited. It took me a couple of years to really hone in on what I wanted this company to be.” 

The line is evolving, without losing the original vision. “From the beginning, I always wanted to create a brand that was about empowering people to their makeup and helping people feel uplifted by makeup, but now, I’m looking to take it a step further,” she says.

The new Haus Labs by Lady Gaga line consists of 90 different Clean at Sephora–certified products across seven key categories, including all-over paints for eyes, lips, cheeks, gel-powder bronzers and highlighters, hydrating lip oils, gel pencil eyeliners, and more. The brand will also continue its expansion with a planned rollout into 500 Sephora stores by the end of this year and additional product launches planned in three new categories.

In a crowded landscape, the star insists that Haus Labs by Lady Gaga is not just another celebrity-driven beauty line, or line with a few fringe skin care benefits. “There are definitely brands that have skin-benefiting ingredients added to their makeup—we are unique in that we’re also clean,” Gaga says. “But what I will say—and I say this kindly—is what I’ve noticed with a lot of products is that people will say, ‘Hey, we’ve added hyaluronic acid to this tinted moisturizer,’ but they won’t have put enough of the ingredient in for it to be skin optimizing or functional. So it’s sort of like putting a few sprinkles on the top of a cupcake but you can’t really taste them.” 

The revamped Haus Labs by Lady Gaga products, she says, focus on skin care—and then some. “We have now put super-charged ingredients into our makeup, so it’s infused with skin care. And we use futuristic clean formulas that go beyond industry standards, with a huge color assortment. These are artistry products without compromising performance and value.

As someone who suffers from fibromyalgia, a condition that is often accompanied by chronic pain, it was important to the star to feature medicinal ingredients, like fermented arnica, in the newest iteration of Haus Labs by Lady Gaga. “Both our Power Sculpt Velvet Bronzer and Bio-Radiant Gel-Powder Highlighter are infused with our proprietary complex of fermented arnica, which is 860 percent more potent than conventional arnica,” the star explains. “We did this because I have fibromyalgia and chronic pain, so I’ve always used arnica as a way to combat inflammation in my body. I thought, I wonder if this could also calm down the skin—turns out that it does. And I also have a lot of pattern redness in my face, so we put the ingredient in our bronzer and highlighter.”

The added ingredients are intentional but don’t take away from the payoff of the product itself. “While I’m wearing this makeup, my face is getting treated for inflammation all day long with very high efficacy,” she says. “So that’s the difference: It’s not just about the formula, but about the intensity and efficacy of the formula. How truly good it is for the skin as opposed to being a gimmick or just an idea.

Aside from updating ingredients and formulas across the entire Haus Labs collection, Gaga says her intention behind the new launch is to ultimately create makeup that matters while making a larger difference. “Even our packaging is sustainable,” the star says. “When you see it in stores at Sephora, you’re going to be able to see exactly the color that you’re buying—you’re not going to buy something, get home, and realize you bought the wrong shade.”

As far as her favorite Haus Labs by Lady Gaga product to wear for major events? “I would definitely say that on red carpets, I always wear our The Edge Precision Brow Pencil. It’s my favorite brow pencil, because you can get that perfect edge across the bottom, which gives you that sharp look with your brows while making those featherlike strokes,” she says. And she reveals another trick that helps give her that bright-eyed look: “Something else I always do on the red carpet is wear white liner in my waterline—it’s a trick to make the eyes look bigger, and one of the inspirations behind why we wanted this [version of Haus Labs] to be so clean. Our Optic Intensity Eco Gel Eyeliner Pencil has argan oil and vitamin E as well, so it’s safe for my waterline.” 

Haus Labs by Lady Gaga is available now online at hauslabs.com and sephora.com.

HARPERS BAZAAR

Kim Kardashian Is Launching Skincare – Here’s What To Know

If the year’s midpoint has you craving a beauty overhaul, you’re in luck: Kim Kardashian’s new skincare collection, SKKN BY KIM, releases later this month. Kardashian’s new venture comes less than a year after the announcement that KKW Beauty was no more, a move which devotees speculated was simply a step toward a rebrand. 

But in KKW Beauty’s place, it seems, is something entirely new. Rather than market-minded make-up, SKKN is a (characteristically sleek) assemblage of high-end skin care, and a natural, elevated step in Kardashian’s minimalist-yet-aspirational offerings. 

The brand’s line-up of nine sustainably minded (read: refillable, vegan, and cruelty-free) products each centre on innovative formulas designed to revitalise skin. Housed in seriously gorgeous architecturally-inspired packaging that demands shelfie space, SKKN’s offerings are all available for under $100 (£80), a boon in the world of luxury skin care.

The line was born of a desire to understand her own complexion: Kardashian struggles with psoriasis, an immune-mediated skin condition that affects more than 7.5 million adults in the U.S. alone, and results in dry red patches on the face and body. SKKN is the tangible result of years of working with and learning from dermatologists and aestheticians (including the likes of celebrity facialist Joanna Czech) and provides a top-to-bottom routine including a gentle foaming cleanser, a hyaluronic acid serum, and a nourishing night oil. SKKN BY KIM comes from Kardashian and Coty, and is set to drop on 21 June — mark your calendars.

VOGUE

Bite Beauty Is Closing Later This Year

After ten years, the brand is shutting down soon after an unsuccessful relaunch.

Bite Beauty, a portfolio brand of LVMH-owned beauty incubator, Kendo, has announced that it will close later this year.
 
The brand shared the news in a post on Instagram:
 
We are sad to share that Bite Beauty will be closing later this year. Thank you for the past 10 years of love, growth and fun. You have always been our ultimate inspiration.”

While Bite Beauty is exiting the market, associated Lip Lab locations, where shoppers can obtain custom makeup products, will remain open and expand. There are currently nine Lip Lab locations.

About Bite Beauty

Bite Beauty was founded by Susanne Langmuir in 2011 with a focus on lip products and food-grade ingredients. Highly pigmented lipstick Amuse Bouche was the hero product out of the gate when the brand launched in 2012.

Kendo took over Bite Beauty 2014. Four years later in 2018, Langmuir departed the brand, and went on to spearhead the beauty incubator SL&Co. and waterless skincare brand An-hydra. Many fans felt the brand lost its way after Langmuir’s departure.

In 2019, Bite Beauty discontinued Amuse Bouche and announced a rebrand was in the works. A year later, the rebrand was implemented with a vegan reformulation and extensions into the complexion category, but it wasn’t until 2021 that a replacement for Amuse Bouche (Power Move Hydrating Soft Matte Lipstick) was introduced. Reviews for the rebrand were mixed at best.

In a way, I already said goodbye to Bite Beauty,” writes Christine of Temptalia. “The rebrand did not strike me as promising (I loathe ‘clean beauty’ and never liked that they were leaning into it), and when products came out, nothing made me fall in love with the brand again, only more and more disappointed over time. I’m still sad over the loss of the products from before the rebrand, LOL!

BEAUTY PACKAGING

Founders Jerrod Blandino and Jeremy Johnson Depart Too Faced Cosmetics

Tara Simon will step into the role of global brand president of Too Faced starting July 1.

Jerrod Blandino and Jeremy Johnson are leaving their brand, Too Faced Cosmetics to pursue new entrepreneurial endeavors as of June 30, Estée Lauder Companies announced on May 6. Effective July 1, Tara Simon will be promoted to global brand president of Too Faced and will still report to Fabrizio Freda, president and chief executive officer of Estée Lauder Companies.

Blandino and Johnson founded Too Faced 24 years ago in 1998, creating many noteworthy products throughout their time such as Better Than Sex Mascara, Born This Way Natural Finish Foundation, and Lip Injection Extreme Lip Plumper.

Jerrod and Jeremy started the brand with a simple yet compelling creative concept and transformed it into something that is truly extraordinary,” William P. Lauder, executive chairman of ELC said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing where the next phase of their journey takes them and wish them all the best as they set out on new adventures.”

Before becoming Too Faced and Estée Lauder Companies’ senior vice president and general manager of Too Faced, Simon was the senior vice president of merchandising of prestige beauty at Ulta Beauty. Since joining Too Faced two years ago, she has “inspired products and unique experiences” and led the teams through her brand-building expertise, Freda said in a statement

She also helped to increase the brand’s sales growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the brand. In her new role, Simon hopes to further improve the company’s category strategy for makeup.

I am confident that under Tara’s leadership, Too Faced is well-positioned for its next phase of growth,” Freda said. “And we are so grateful for Jerrod and Jeremy’s outstanding work over the last six incredible years spent as part of the ELC family.”

ALLURE

Schick Hydro Silk Introduces First-Of-Its-Kind Live Streaming Mirror To Dismantle Toxic Beauty Culture

To launch the new Hydro Silk Dermaplaning Wand, Edgewell Personal Care (NYSE: EPC) announced that Schick Hydro Silk is encouraging all women to ditch filters on social media by introducing The Hydro Silk Unfiltered Beauty Mirror, a first-of-its-kind prototype that livestreams unedited content. Unlike other beauty mirrors, the prototype is uniquely designed to build emotional awareness and self-compassion, encouraging women to face and embrace their up-close reflection by generating authentic, unfiltered beauty content. Featuring a built-in smartphone slot that allows users to stream live content from the mirror’s reflection on Instagram and TikTok, it eliminates distracting likes, comments, shares from followers in real-time, removing the ability to filter content before sharing with the world.

The Hydro Silk Unfiltered Beauty Mirror and The Hydro Silk® Dermaplaning Wand

As a brand that’s committed to helping women look and feel their best from head to toe, Hydro Silk is on a mission to make all women feel confident and embrace their unfiltered beauty. According to the SeekHer Shift 2022 Report on the State of Women’s Mental Health, social media has a strong impact on beauty standards. In fact, 31.8% of women say their body image and self-esteem are negatively impacted by social media, while 42.3% say they have difficulty showing themselves forgiveness and self-love because their imperfections make them feel less worthy or valuable as a person. As part of the Hydro Silk’s “You, Unfiltered” campaign, beauty influencers will use the innovative mirror to produce live, unfiltered beauty content across Instagram and TikTok during the month of May, to align with Mental Health Awareness Month.

Our journey to launch was challenging, as we spent months trying to secure a prominent woman who would get up-close, ditch the filters and dermaplane live, but everyone we asked was uncomfortable with the idea,” said Melissa Murphy, Senior Brand Manager for Schick Hydro Silk. “We realized that while the conversation about going unfiltered isn’t necessarily ‘new’, many well-known influencers, whom millions of women look up to, still don’t feel comfortable being completely vulnerable and unfiltered. That told us how important this message was, so we pivoted our strategy and challenged a group of authentic and diverse social media influencers to share their stories and kick-start a new conversation about beauty.” 

To showcase the mirror prototype, several beauty influencers will live-demo the new Hydro Silk Dermaplaning Wand while speaking to the mental benefits of being unfiltered, and share how it boosts their confidence inside and out. The brand hopes that these authentic experiences about the unrealistic beauty standards that permeate our society will spark an open dialogue during Mental Health Awareness Month and beyond.

Consumers are encouraged to tune into the live sessions then get up-close, embrace their natural authentic selves, and share their unfiltered content using the Hydro Silk Dermaplaning Wand with the hashtag #HydroSilkUnfiltered. To tune into the live sessions, consumers can follow Hydro Silk on Instagram @schickhydrosilk to learn more about upcoming livestreams.

The Hydro Silk Dermaplaning Wand is a new refillable, premium, full-face dermaplaning tool. The product features a professionally inspired ergonomic handle, exfoliating edge with unique micro guards to protect delicate facial skin, and offers seven skin benefits, including:

  • Removes fine hairs
  • Radiant skin
  • Smooths
  • Softens
  • Improves skin texture
  • Helps absorption of lotions and serums
  • Smooth make-up application

This multi-purpose tool is dermatologist-tested and clinically proven to create a flawless base for makeup or skincare product application and makes it easy to skip the salon and dermaplane from home. The Hydro Silk Dermaplaning Wand is currently available for purchase in stores, on retailer websites and at Schick.com.

To further the conversation, Hydro Silk worked with its beauty influencer partners to identify SeekHer Foundation, an organization that amplifies advocacy for women’s mental health. Their advocacy projects spotlight the unique challenges disproportionately impacting women to find sustainable solutions that better support their well-being. Hydro Silk will support the organization with a one-time donation this Mental Health Awareness Month.

PR NEWSWIRE

Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin to Expand Across Africa

Fenty will launch in eight African countries on May 27.

This May, Rihanna is launching Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin across Africa, including South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Namibia, Botswana, Ghana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

When Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty in 2017 in 17 countries with a vision of inclusivity and global reach at its core, she sought to help “everyone feel beautiful and recognized, no matter their race, ethnicity, culture or personal style.” It is this brand ethos of “Beauty for All” that makes Rihanna’s decision to expand her Fenty brands to Africa a momentous milestone and natural next step.

Every launch is exciting— we’ re all about being reachable to everyone, everywhere. But launching across Africa in eight countries not only feels really significant to me on a personal level , but is also a big step towards our goal of bringing Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin to the whole world,” said Rihanna.

Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin will be available for purchase across Africa starting May 27, including cult-favorite complexion essentials, best-selling lip products, and skincare starters. Additionally, customers in Africa will be able to immediately pick up the newest launches from the brands.

BEAUTY PACKAGING

Lady Gaga’s Haus Labs Signs Exclusive Retail Partnership with Sephora

Lady Gaga’s Haus Labs (formerly known as Haus Laboratories) is getting a facelift. On June 9, the beauty brand will launch a new revamped product line exclusively with Sephora.

Haus Labs originally launched in 2018 as the first exclusive beauty brand to partner with Amazon—but the new Haus Labs products will not be sold on the e-tailer’s site.
 
In addition to overhauled distribution, every consumer touchpoint with Haus Labs has been rethought. Packaging, formulas, logos and advertisements have all been given an update.
 
Featuring cruelty-free and vegan formulas and sustainable packaging, Haus Labs by Lady Gaga will introduce a new line of products across eye, lip and cheek. Furthermore, the brand promises these stress-tested formulas are science-backed and biocompatible, but “still pack the same punch of vibrant shades and longwear that Haus Labs is known for.”
 
Lady Gaga welcomes you to join this new chapter of Haus Labs, with supercharged products created with innovative formulas that will shape the future of the beauty industry. She believes artistry should be for everyone, and that no one should have to damage their skin or sacrifice their principles to be self-expressive,” the brand said in a statement.
 
The new products are created with the new HausTech Powered Innovation, that merges together the fields of science and skincare to create makeup that works to make skin look and feel better while still delivering high performance and high pigments.
 
See the brand’s announcement on Instagram below:

BEAUTY PACKAGING

What Went Wrong At Glossier?

Not too long ago it was impossible to scroll through Instagram without coming across an aesthetically-pleasing post by beauty startup Glossier. The millennial-pink packaging, which housed beloved buys like Balm Dot Com and Solution took pride of place in #shelfies belonging to both viral influencers and well-respected skin experts. Endearing product names like Cloud Paint and Skywash earned the brand a cult following and Glossier’s catchy mantra — “skin first, makeup second” — was refreshing. Sticking a middle finger up to the outdated, unattainable glamour that the beauty industry seemed to push on us as consumers, it was makeup minimalism‘s time to shine and beauty lovers welcomed Glossier with open arms.

But after raising $80 million in funding last July, it was announced on 26th January 2022 that the brand had laid off 80 corporate staff members (a third of the company), with the technology team most affected. In an email to employees, CEO Emily Weiss wrote that Glossier had “made some mistakes.

As of July 2021, the company was valued at $1.8 billion. Shiny product launches like Generation G lipstick, the longed-for Solar Paint bronzer, and even pretty-pink merchandise appeared on every beauty blogger’s IG feed — but there’s no denying the excitement was somewhat marred. In spite of the brand’s seemingly-bulletproof popularity, an anti-Glossier movement has been bubbling away on social media. If you’re a beauty lover with a TikTok account, you might have come across a handful of Glossier takedown videos recently. “Let’s talk about Glossier’s fall from grace,” said TikToker @skylar.alyshia in a post. “At one point, they were everything. They were the start of the minimalist look.” Skylar continues: “Then they really started slipping off of everyone’s radar and they quickly became so [irrelevant]. They weren’t really releasing any new products and their shade range was honestly ridiculous.”

YAHOOLIFE

Circular Beauty Can End the Industry’s Waste Problem

One only has to look as far as their own bathroom vanity to know that the beauty industry has a sustainability problem—generating a cited 120 billion units of waste annually of mostly plastic. This ugly truth about the multibillion dollar sector comes along with a bevy of alarming consequences related to ingredient sourcing, environmentally hazardous formulations, and wasteful distribution. For years, the industry status quo has been to prioritize profits in the midst of staunch competition, with beauty brands rapidly launching new products to keep up with the pace of mercurial trends. We know we can’t just recycle our way out of this mess.

But how’s this for hope? The eponymously named, New Zealand–based, luxury green beauty brand founded by Emma Lewisham is officially the first in the world to model a solution. In an unprecedented move, the brand has achieved a 100 percent circular business model, complete with carbon positive status, defying the global beauty market’s competitive environment by making the intellectual property public. “We genuinely want to see change,” Lewisham tells BAZAAR.com. “The problems we face are so much greater than the success of one business or brand, and if we are going to solve them, collaboration is key. We must tear down the barriers of competition once and for all. … This has to be the future of beauty.

This achievement garnered the written endorsement from Lewisham’s lifelong hero, the world-renowned environmentalist, ethologist, and a United Nations Messenger of Peace, Dr. Jane Goodall. “Emma Lewisham may be setting a new benchmark in beauty, but they are also setting a benchmark for how all industries should be operating—circular, waste free, and carbon positive. I wholeheartedly endorse Emma Lewisham’s Beauty Circle and all the systems they have put in place as a business striving to make the world a better place,” Goodall writes.

WHAT IS CIRCULAR BEAUTY?

The term refers to a green business model that keeps materials in use through repair and reuse, extends product life-cycle through quality, and purposely minimizes waste. “The beauty industry is currently built around the linear economic model, where we take from the earth, make something, then consumers throw it away. This take-make-waste system is responsible for an unprecedented amount of waste,” Lewisham says. “It may be appeasing profits, but it isn’t supporting the one thing we cannot live without: Earth.”

Being the first luxury beauty brand to achieve a circular model including carbon positivity meant undergoing an extensive process of research and development, collaborating with independent environmental organization agencies like Toitū Envirocare to track their carbon emissions at each stage of production. “It has been the result of many years of hard work and dedication by our team to get to this point,” she says. “Our circularity journey has been underway since inception and has been a labor of love and tenacity.” She adds that this meant investing heavily into the research and development of packaging, machinery, and business processes to allow for every product to be refilled, kept in use, and out of landfills.

REUSABLE, REFILLABLE PACKAGING

Achieving circularity relied heavily upon innovating packaging. “The single largest contributor of carbon emissions in the beauty industry is single-use packaging,” she says. “In mapping our carbon emissions, we have been able to prove that when buying our circularly designed refills—as opposed to brand-new packaging—carbon emissions are reduced by up to 74 percent.” It is important to Lewisham that we understand the significance of reusing packaging, via endlessly refillable containers, as opposed to recycling. “While recycling is part of circularity, reuse must always come first,” she notes. “Typically, refilling requires significantly less energy and resources, therefore emitting less greenhouse gases.”

More importantly, she points out that beauty recycling is not as streamlined of a process as we would like to believe. She notes that the recycling of beauty packaging requires specialized systems; it is simply not possible through typical curbside pickups. “Unless someone is prepared to cover the cost of having it recycled, it ends up either in landfills, scattered through our oceans, or burnt into greenhouse gases,” Lewisham explains. “If brands are to rely on the recyclability of their packaging, it is essential that they take responsibility for ensuring that it is actually recycled.

Further, the skincare entrepreneur is calling for an end to single-use beauty packaging. “After all, why would you invest time and resources into producing something that is inherently designed to be thrown away?” she asks. “And economically, surely, we should be reusing materials that we have invested in producing as opposed to sending them and their inherent value straight to a landfill.

CARBON POSITIVITY

Yet another aspect of Lewisham’s achievement has been going beyond carbon neutrality by becoming certified carbon positive. Carbon neutral is a status brands achieve when they track their carbon emissions (caused by resource use in production, transportation, creation, et cetera), and then removing the equivalent amount of carbon from the atmosphere, often through financial donations to offsetting agencies. But being carbon positive—also known as “carbon negative” or “climate positive” depending on the certifying agency—indicates that the brand is taking more carbon emissions out of the atmosphere than it puts in.

To become certified carbon positive, we worked with Toitū Envirocare, who are a world-leading independent environmental certification agency,” Lewisham says. “Over 12 months, we measured the carbon emissions emitted at each stage of our products’ life cycles, including growing, harvesting, transportation, product packaging, and end of life. This allowed us to clearly see where we could reduce carbon emissions and enabled us to implement an extensive carbon-reduction strategy as a first point of call.” It took work, but it created a new baseline of eco-responsibility for beauty brands to aspire to.

COLLABORATION OVER COMPETITION

The final step of Lewisham’s planet-friendly commitment has been making the fruits of their extensive labor—the Emma Lewisham Beauty Blueprint—public for other brands to follow suit. “Sharing our Beauty Blueprint wasn’t a decision I made lightly, as it is undoubtedly one of our brand’s competitive advantages,” Lewisham says. “However, none of it matters unless other brands join us on a circular and carbon positive path. … I hope that by sharing our Beauty Blueprint, other brands can capitalize on our innovation and investment to accelerate their transition to a circular and carbon positive model.

Poignantly, Lewisham points out that alone, the brand cannot hope to achieve the true shifts in the industry that she passionately hopes will come to pass for the sake of her young daughter. Her belief in the power and importance of collaboration is yet another area where Goodall commends the beauty entrepreneur. “I admire Emma Lewisham’s passion for creating lasting change,” Goodall writes. “Sharing their sustainability IP industry-wide is a powerful step, and I urge all brands to follow their lead. … This is when true change begins—when we work together.

VOTING WITH YOUR DOLLARS

In August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that human-wrought climate change through the emission of greenhouse gases was already “irreversible” for centuries to come, causing U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres to deem the IPCC’s findings “a code red for humanity.” Experts urged steps to limit greenhouse gas emissions in order for global temperatures to stabilize in two to three decades. How? By voluntarily prioritizing elements of inclusive and green economies—models characterized by low carbon emissions and efficient resource usage, and that are socially inclusive; in other words, circular.

As beauty consumers, we can take steps to consume less, waste less, reuse packaging (or recycle it responsibly). But for the purchases we do make, we can also vote with our dollars by supporting environmentally responsible brands that put their values into concrete actions. “New Zealand beauty brand Emma Lewisham is demonstrating what it means to be a truly sustainable business,” Goodall writes. “Through their carbon positive and circular business model, Emma Lewisham is creating environmental prosperity and showing their peers that this business model is not just possible but paramount if we are to make a meaningful difference.”

HARPER’S BAZZAR