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WATCH: In The Chair with Emma Lewisham

January 1 | 4 minute watch


Words by Kerri Gordon

Originally published on | March 31

Get up close and personal with the biggest names in beauty and media – from global brand founders to boundary-breaking creatives, stars of the screen (and everyone in-between).

Emma Lewisham – at the time, a senior executive at a global tech company – had three wishes. To bridge the Nile-esque gap between natural and luxury skincare, so that she could indulge in the latter, safely, throughout her pregnancy. To re-engineer the beauty industry’s formulation and supply chain processes for the greater good of the earth and its people. And to have her products front and centre in MECCA stores around Australia and New Zealand, so much so her brand identity was based around the white, or rather, purple spaces on our shelves.

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Less than five years later, as we celebrate Emma’s eponymous brand coming into MECCA exclusively for the Australian market, the celebrated founder’s wishes didn’t just come true, but instead snowballed into a long list of achievements so great one might assume the brand has a global, corporate machine behind it, or a word-in with the higher powers that (may or may not) be.

Emma Lewisham became the world’s first beauty brand to be truly carbon-positive, an achievement further decorated by a stamp of approval from Dr. Jane Goodall. “For each product produced,” Emma tells us, “we sequester more carbon than we emit.”

She invested in circularity, then made the brand’s sustainability strategy public, forgoing competitive gatekeeping and instead inviting the beauty industry to adopt the strategy and practices developed by Emma, partially responsible for the brands success. “The beauty industry needs change at pace and at scale,” she noted, “and to honour that we released our IP to the industry for how to become a circular and carbon-positive brand.

The brand is formulating like no one else, and for the better. “Traditionally, skincare has been developed by starting with a focus on one or two singular active ingredients and then determining the potency required to deliver results,” the founder tells us. “Our formulations are fundamentally different as we’ve moved beyond this approach, where instead of starting with a focus on ingredients, we start with a focus on the physiology of the skin and the complex network of processes that sit behind each skin concern.”

[Editor’s note: a prime example of the brand’s formulation ingenuity arrives at MECCA later this month, in a topical that has stunned MECCA HQ’s biggest skincare critics for its near-instant results.]

In this instalment of In the Chair, Emma shares her aspirations, inspirations, biggest regrets and greatest pleasures in the beautiful Brahman Perera-designed Greville Street Henne boutique. Hit play!

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