Earth Day 2024: Ere Perez of Ere Perez Cosmetics Interview

Earth Day 2024: Ere Perez of Ere Perez Cosmetics Interview

Marisa: Today is Earth Day and I have the absolute honour and privilege of sitting down with Ere from Ere Perez Cosmetics. Ere, you are truly a ray of light and such a leader in sustainable beauty. I would love to learn more about how you have woven sustainability into your brand since day one.

Ere: Well, the most important for me is just sit down for a coffee, have time, you know, enjoy. It's something that when you look at beauty, what it is, it is really about you going, you trying to do your very best to maybe enhance your own beauty. And I feel like, when it's about sustainability, you do also have to enjoy all your surroundings. Have that connection of the single change that you can do for the for the good of everyone.

So every time I have a choice, it's something I think about. You can no longer just think about yourself. I guess it's always been something as part of your family, as a woman, being part of community, being part of a country or two countries in my in my case, I feel like I have superpowers!

You know, when you're gonna create a product, you feel like I can do whatever I want. This is what happens when you are an entrepreneur or when you have your own business. You can do whatever you want. This is the freedom we have in Mexico, in Australia. we have a lot of freedom in do and choose whatever we want.

So sustainability, it is your choice. That's what it is. What you want to do. With who you create, what you buy, what you use, how you are. Do we really want to work around, you know, two, three minutes with a coffee and then go to the office. Or do we sit down and have a coffee and enjoy that, and then have that time. That's my time. And then go to the office without it. So then you save that cup.

So sustainability is a lot with packaging decisions in regard to beauty. It is about the ingredient dignity that you have also in your ingredients. It is about ingredients that are not in danger, that are found in Earth in abundance. It is all to do with every choice that goes into every product, which sometimes it gets quite confronting.

And I keep asking this question, are you the girl who like to wear a beautiful leather jacket that's going to be biodegradable? Or are you the girl who wants to save the animals and wear a vegan jacket that is made from PVC, which is plastic and is not biodegradable but it will last forever. So this is a choice. So both choices are right and wrong for one or the other. So you've got to choose who you are as an individual.

So in regards to beauty and sustainable brands, you've got to choose what kind of brand that you are, what kind of sustainability I'm bringing into play with my decisions. So there's a few you can choose to have products that last a long time. So for example, I know you love our Carrot Colour Pots, so you know that last ages.

Marisa: I've had mine for so long and you only need the smallest amount and it goes such a long way.

Ere: If you have a product that lasts a long time, then I'm saving to buy a few. So I go, okay, this is blush. It's a lipstick. It's a bit of an eyeshadow if you want to. Not really for the eyes, but you can also use it. You can just tint and dab it on your lips. Then if you do want to have that as something, how many other products will you buy instead of the two pieces?

You have a beautiful glass and a beautiful aluminium that looks nice, that looks luxe. We still don't have that high end price, still kind of mid-market. I can't say we are affordable for everyone, but we are that brand that is trying to stay under the $40 US, so under the $50 Australian.

So this is the challenge in having a good quality product that also has sustainability in mind. It's always been about less is more. So if you have less ingredients, less on the packaging, then you kind of can conquer the game.

Today is quite confusing for me with a lot of the the journey that other brands are taking. You have to choose, as I said, what is going to be your sustainability journey as a person, as an individual, as a brand, as a community, as a family? As a whole family. Are you the one who walks to school, or are you the one who drives very far away because you prefer that school because it's closer to your work? Like what kind of decisions you're making in your everyday life.

So today in beauty, we have a lot of really incredible things that we have achieved as a brand, and I can go through them with you further in the interview, but I think it's interesting to do it.

Marisa: I completely agree, and it really does come back to our personal values and we are inundated with beauty products in the market. There is a new product I'm sure released every second at this point, because it just seems to be more and more and more. But I'm also finding that people are wanting to simplify. And by doing that and using multi-purpose products like you've created, it really is making their routine simpler. It's more time efficient, but it also has that beautiful sustainability knock on where it is using less, there won't be as much going into landfill, but in your case, you use such great packaging and sustainable choices that they can be recycled. It's not going to end up in landfill.

I think you've made such a beautiful point there and it's something for people to start to become more aware of as well when they're purchasing products and when they're making those decisions about what do I truly need in my beauty routine? Do I need 100 products? Or can I narrow it down and use maybe 5 to 6 really beautifully well-made, quality products that perform in multiple ways? So they're really getting a lot more out of them, and they're using them because I think as well that's another thing. So many people buy these products, but they're not all getting used. They also end up just getting replaced by the next new thing or the next trend that comes out, but really being more thoughtful in our decision making and buying things that we truly love.

Ere: I think, there's so many things that you can do as a brand. And for me is it is always like, what we want is just to look more beautiful, you know, it's always been that. There's also different personalities out there. I always have three ladies in my head, and I always look at them and I go, okay, Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kim Kardashian. I always have these three different women who make different statements in their lives and why and how do you look gorgeously beautiful with age and stay who you are? Or how do they stay gorgeously beautiful and you don't know how they do it? You know, and stay healthy and look good? Or how do you try to change yourself? Because it just makes you confident, which is also value is is who you are as a woman is also the choice that you do in your beauty journey.

So for me, I'll be honest today and say I'm getting a lot of grey hairs now. I'm turning 50 soon and I have to decide, do I stay with my grey hair? Do I never dye my hair in my life? So I have to choose. That's a choice, you know. That's what I'm saying. There is no right or wrong. And then I look at my mum, I look at my grandmas and say okay, well then I'll be happy with that. So I'm going to leave it. Then I see a few photos and videos and go, oh well I'm just going to cover it a little and I grab my own mascara and I just cover the very front, because I have this big, wave of white right on the front and then I decide that's who I am. Then I go, okay, I'm just going to do that. I don't think I'm ready just to have the colour right here. So this is my choice. But then my friends, I have some friends who are beautiful hairdressers or have salons and they say, "I think we have time now Ere we want to do your hair" and I was like, I don't want to do it. And they say, "I think you will look really good if you do." And I was like, I'm not sure. So this is a decision that I have to think about. I'm not ready to dye my hair because I feel like a virgin I have never done anything to it! And then I look at it and I go, oh, you know, I have all these greys everywhere. I don't know. And and this is exactly what I'm talking about. Who are you as a woman.

Then you go to the nails. I never really do anything for my nails. I cut them, I clean them. But then you have a wedding. I have a wedding tomorrow and I should do my nails. You know, it will be nice. What kind of nail polish am I going to use? So then if I go to the salon, they normally don't have anything healthy for the nails. I used to have a beautiful nail range, but I stopped haven't because it was so difficult to export it and to transport it with all the online orders and it's a decision we have to make as a business. So no nail polish. What do you do? You choose a better nail polish. as much as you can make it better. So then the choice today for me is what I'm going to do with my nails. So when I do my nails everybody notices because I never do my nails. So they go, "oh, Ere your nails." But I have something to say. You know, I like to say something. I want to be heard as a person, as a mum, as a wife, as a woman, as a sister. So sometimes the choice of a bigger eyelash, a bigger nail. Sometimes it is what you have to say about yourself. You know, sometimes people listen to you because you do have that on you and whatever works for you as a woman, you can do it and this is your choice.

This whole interview for me I just want to make sure that what what the women who listen to this and the men is that it's about choices, that's all it is.

Besides what the government does, besides what the external factors of the weather do to us, we have a choice. And the choice is every day, every minute, and everything we do, we eat, we buy. And it should not be something stressful. It should be something that comes naturally to you as you go. You have to grow on your own time of who you want to be.

Like I want to have a coffee and I like it with sugar and I shouldn't because now I shouldn't have sugar at my age. So what can I do? How can I give up on sugar if it's something I love so much? Like butter, I love bread and butter, so what can I do? And I feel like if I create something different, you know, and I make myself a different choice of who I am, it could help me to, to maybe express what I want to say in just changing a few things, but not everything.

So if I want to change my nails, I will, but I just copy those and make a massive impact. At the end of the day I want to say something and this is exactly how I feel today. I feel like if you change yourself a lot and you're no longer that person, then maybe you hiding or maybe before that didn't work for you and you just need to be heard by oh my God, who's this blonde lady I used to have that dark hair. I know you had yourself a massive transformation and this is something that has been positive and incredible for you. And this is what I'm saying, it's a choice that you made and you knew you have your risk. Your followers know about it. And I think this is how I believe in you, how brave you are, because you took that decision of doing this yourself.

And for me, when I walk out of the door and I find summer not there, or winter that's not there, or this spring that is not there, and the weather is changing so crazy. I know it is my choice to help the weather. I need to have better decisions. I need to think about sustainability.

And every time we have to put an order for thousands of plastics to create a product that I just happen to love to make, I do feel guilty. That is a good thing to ask when you produce products. Then you go out and you put on the aircon in your car because the car is so hot, and then you go, well my mother lives in the city and there's no water. In many cities like Mexico City, nobody talks about that. That's not on the news, you know, like there are cities who have no water already. So for me what can I do.

Marisa: Yeah, it's in those daily choices and like you said, it all comes down to choice. You've summed it up so beautifully that we can all make, like you said, there's no right or wrong, but what's right for you. And as you evolve as a person, your choices will change. And that's okay too. you know, we all evolve as humans and I think especially as a brand, you've created such a positive footprint in the industry. And to even hear that you still guilty at times about things that happen in production, that just really shows the heart and soul of your business and that is 100% why I support you and I've been a huge fan of you since day one.

Ere: Thank you Marisa, thank you. Well, that's exactly what I'm living right now. I'm living changes. I'm trying to do different things, as you know, with ditched the lipstick. We have the crayon, as you know. Yes. That was a big decision, obviously I have 20 lipsticks and now I'm going down to six crayons. That was a big one, a big argument right at home. You know when you're going to do your next order. What will you do? You know, should we do this all over again or not? It wasn't something to take it lightly. When you do decide to change something and it pays off. When you do that once and it is a beautiful lipstick, it does last a long time, but some people is not ready to sharpen and that's valuable. You know, people do like the good lipstick. So it we are going to make one beautiful lipstick it should be good. It should last. You know some people just like everyday lipstick. In three weeks the lipstick is gone and then you ditch the packaging. It is a tough call.

You know, in sustainability also, when we create it with the wheel. That's my own design and I'm just trying to think about timeless. You know? I'm trying to make something that is a collectible. But let's say you actually lose it and you end up with two things or three things or one thing, and the whole thing goes into the recycling. Yeah, it's more like two inches of aluminium. So, not having a sticker, no paint.

Today when you're trying to do commerce and sell something, you also have to be different. Most of the beauty companies, you know, we have to buy packaging already made. It is hard to make your own packaging and it is very expensive. And that's something that I take the risk, let's design our own thing and see if it pays off. It doesn't mean we're making any money. You know, it takes time. If you invest a lot in changing the packaging from scratch and it is your own design it is hard unless I'm going to sell products for $100, which are many companies have to do that and I understand it. But then it's hard for the consumer to have access to it. So for me, you have a powder that is very simple. You go to one powder, there's nothing in it. You just get all the whole thing can be thrown out. But it's just different than when you have the whole compact with glass, with a mirror, with a hinge, as, like so. And I can't, stress thinking, yeah, there's massive big elephant out there in the beauty industry who gives so much employment to people. It's not like they can just say, oh, we're just going to throw away all our powders. You know, you can't just do that. It's so easy for people to judge why bigger companies are not carbon neutral, like I've been carbon neutral for seven years. But L'Oreal wants to be by 2030. You know, they're very big corporations. They can't just change all of a sudden.

But we are small businesses or a big voices like yours Marisa, as small as you think you are, you can be as big as you want with the audience you have because you are doing a small change by just voicing it. You have a voice and and it is making things interesting for people that oh, maybe I should do that. You know, little things like why not? Like I say to a friend, why did you buy the whole cheese? Like I buy the whole big block of cheese. You know, the kids like Colby or Tasty cheese or whatever, and you buy the whole thing and then you cut little soldiers and then you save all these little plastic, you know, that comes in plastic.

But how do you make that change? Like, this is not difficult, but it is something that requires time, time to care. Time is the most important resource, I guess is the only one who we cannot buy. We cannot buy time. You cannot have it again, and it doesn't come back. Things happen, unfortunately like what's going on with the Princess in the UK, like, you can have everything and one day your health is not well and there's nothing you can do about it, regardless of how much you have behind you. This is something, if you work hard on it and then you have a positive attitude, there are things you can overcome.

And I think the way to heal the planet is exactly the same. We can all feel like royalty because we live in this incredible planet. I think we are royalty. We have this planet, it was designed for us to live in it. This is our planet and it is the only one that has water because we need water to survive.

So for it there is a need of doing simple things, getting good simple dresses, designs that you can use in many ways, many times, again and again. Good quality things that could make you stand out in your daily changes. And maybe you need to change the earrings so you know, I am a big advocate of reusable always.
I guess coming from a family, my mother has seven sisters. Are they passing the clothes from one to the other. I go to Mexico and leave all the dresses to my mum. Then she gives me stuff like she is young, you know, young at 20 years older than me. So she's 70 now and I'm 50 and together we just have a lot of fun with our earrings and dresses. But unfortunately I already have a bigger size, a bigger bum, but it's fun to change clothes with her. But, I find that, if I feel confident in something and it's good quality, I don't need to change it.

You know, trends are also quite, harmful for the Earth. This constantly change what is needed. But you know what I see today with my young daughters? Like I have 14, 12 year old and a an 8 year old boy. They're both in high school now, year 8 and year 9. Their friends, for example, I give them a present. here's a gloss. And then the next year is their birthday and here's a gloss. And they say, no thanks, I've got one. You know, this is a new generation. They actually say "thank you Ere, I love it I still wearing" but they don't use much so they don't need another one.

So actually the little boy 8 year old and his friends, they are already adopting an elephant instead of getting Lego which is good as well. Now they thinking about it. Lego is such an incredible idea and an incredible game. Well you know, many years ago their slogan was to last forever and they do, you know, it's a plastic that lasts forever. It's an incredible toy that has helped many, many kids to use the their genius side in their brains to, to develop and build is an incredible toy. But it is today. I do get them up. They want another one and another one and another one. So we make a deal in the house that you have everything in the bucket and you have to keep on building things yourself. You can't just get a new one. You've got to do your own idea, your own design and reuse all the blocks that you got already on the box because it's like so many again and again, little pieces. So we have to try, you know to look for the messy skills that the people need to create that new generation of kids who want to reuse what they have. And they do care and they do worry. The primary schools, all of my kids are in public school here in Bondi, and they love to do things like that have to do with the eco system and how it works and recyclability.

So I think it's a big conversation that it doesn't stop, I think is is something that is a daily choice.

Marisa: Absolutely, and I love that there is more awareness for these new generations and for our children. And, you know, they're going to be the leaders in the future. And if they're equipped with this knowledge and wanting to create a better world, then I have a lot of hope for humanity and for the planet, because we're going to have a lot of powerful people, who care, you know, and I think that's just so important.

Ere: This is exactly what I think. We have to put together ourselves with a positive attitude and think okay, individual changes for the collective good.

Marisa: Yes, absolutely. And I think you do such a great job with that, especially with your products. Like, for example, your award winning Coco Crayon that you shared earlier. is zero waste. Your makeup wheel - that was a world first. It has no hinges, it has no screws, it has no mirror. You've done such an incredible job at creating these thoughtful pieces of beauty, which are more than just a beauty product. It is a item which you can continue to use. So it really is that less is more approach. But it's been so beautifully crafted that you do want to keep it forever.

Ere: Thank you, thank you. I'm glad that you see that and thank you for having the time to see all of that. Some people don't really understand it but I can see that you do and I do feel like we're doing the trailblazing and a lot of big players are watching what we do, which is a good influence. So that makes me happy. I don't see it as competition at all. I see it like it is making a positive impact in people who actually makes a change.

Marisa: Yeah, absolutely. I guess we're always reevaluating and striving for to improve our environmental footprint. What else are you doing, in terms of future products or other things within the brand to create a more sustainable future?

Ere: What's next for us is that time savers, water savers are the most important two things for me right now. So we are reducing the water, going for zero water in products. So we're going to soon have our next baby beginning again. You know, I always say to my friends, like our products is like an elephant pregnancy that takes more than two years or more. And, it's just been a long journey. And every single product, it takes a while. I still don't have a liquid eyeliner. And I always say, because I can't make it clean. I know there is many in the market, but we are quite picky with the way we do our formula and it's something that I haven't been able to do. I try so many and it just doesn't work. Just making a liner that is going to run better not. Getting there to try to do something that is super good for sensitive skin is hard, with very basic ingredients that it works as being honestly clean is really difficult.

So I find that as a families growing and all the products we have now, it's been just, over two decades just working on this. And we have so many failures already and so many wins and I'm proud of and I that's well, I just, you know, I'm just happy to keep going in the journey and make more things. So stay tuned!

Marisa: Oh, I'm so excited. And I'm always loving just watching what you're doing next and what you're creating, not just in terms of products, but also in terms of the sustainable practices that you have within your business and that you share with everyone. I just think, like you said, it's just being that voice and planting that seed because someone may not have considered that as even being a I thing within their beauty routine, like, oh, a lot of water is being used to create this, like, these are things that people probably don't look at when they just see a product at face value. But by you sharing and educating, you're creating a lot of awareness around that.

Ere: Yes, it's it's true. And I and I find also that everything you do like people notice and then it does make you, gives you that petrol that you need to keep on going and keep on moving. That's really good.

Marisa: Absolutely. Ere thank you so much for joining me today and chatting to me on Earth Day. I couldn't think of a better way to start the day and I cannot wait to see what you release next.

Ere: Thank you and thank you everybody who will watch this and who's watching this video. And yes, the best makeup you can wear is a smile and just be positive. The world shows a lot of love and compassion. There's a lot of difficulties happening, but I think we can all do little individual changes and care and I think we can make it as a as a humankind. We can change what is happening. I believe, you know, belief shifts biology. And I believe so much of it.

Marisa: Absolutely!

Ere: Thank you. Bye, Marisa.

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