In honor of World Environment Day, we’d like to introduce you to someone special!
Meet Jamie Richards, the brains behind Eva NYC’s sustainability initiatives!
She opened up about what influenced her career, what keeps her inspired, and why it’s so important for beauty brands to join the fight for a better planet.
So, why did you decide to pursue sustainability as a career path?
"Ever since I was little, I have always been obsessed with the environment and it came with this innate feeling that I needed to protect it.
It was not until I was sitting in class one day, and we were watching a documentary called “The True Cost” (great documentary, go watch it!) that I figured out what I wanted to do. The documentary is about the effects of the fashion industry on the environment and its workers and well, spoiler alert: it is not a good effect. I remember sitting in class feeling like a hypocrite because I have always considered myself to live an environmentally conscious life, but I was wearing a fast fashion shirt.
It was that moment that made me realize I wanted to be that driving force in the fashion and beauty scene. I wanted to be that person to create the change and educate people on best practices that help instead of harm the environment. I feel incredibly lucky that I get to do that at Eva NYC every day. "
How does working for a company that has made such a big commitment to sustainability make you feel?
"Looking back from where we were environmentally (a few years ago) to where we are now, I have to say that I am so proud to work for a company that has made such a big commitment to the environment. It gives me hope that other companies will see what we are doing and will (hopefully) inspire them to make a change too. "
Why is it so important for beauty companies to actively create initiatives that decrease our environmental impact?
"In our day-to-day lives we might not see the effects of our actions, like driving cars, using single-use products, or having our AC on all day, but all these actions add up, whether you see them or not. Most of the time the buildup of these actions affects marginalized communities who do not have the opportunity to speak out against what is happening to them, this is referred to as environmental justice or ecojustice.
While we should speak up for these communities, and at Eva NYC we are trying our best to shed light on these issues, we also must change our actions, because beauty companies create a lot of plastic and chemical waste from their products and the production processes to create their products. These pollutants harm the entirety of the planet, but like I mentioned before the worst of the pollutants typically affect marginalized communities.
In my opinion, it is the brands' responsibility to actively change their production process, the materials they are using, the way they ship their product, all of it, for the better of the planet and the people who are harmed by these actions. Beauty companies have larger footprints than most people, and there is a greater and more significant impact when they make a change compared to one person. When a beauty company makes a change to reduce their environmental impact it also sets a precedent for other brands and individuals to make a change as well. "
And lastly, how does Eva NYC measure the progress we have made to lessen our carbon footprint?
"I live and breathe the data that goes into tracking and managing our carbon footprint, and it is quite extensive. We are Carbon Neutral, certified in this by Climate Neutral, which means that we completely offset our entire supply chain and there is a lot that goes into that before we start measuring the progress to lessen our footprint.
First, we must define what we are including in our emissions scope. For us we track everything from material acquisition of our packaging and raw ingredients to distribution. Everything in between like transportation, production processes, employee commuting, utility bills… we account for all of it. "