When Miranda Kerr first started Kora Organics in 2009, it was simply a passion project.
The supermodel-turned-CEO was looking for certified organic skin-care products she could trust, but at the time, there were limited options in the U.S. As a result, she turned to manufacturers in Australia, her home country, and obtained COSMOS certification from the organic certification organization Ecocert. The brand’s ethos has since expanded beyond its organic skin-care origins to include wellness products like supplements and aromatherapy.
Since 2021, Kora Organics has focused on sustainability, first with the launch of its refillable Turmeric Glow Moisturizer, and most recently, with its Active Algae Lightweight Moisturizer in April. All product launches moving forward will use recycled, recyclable or biodegradable materials in both primary and secondary packaging.
But Kerr wanted to do more. This led her to work with Climate Neutral to measure the brand’s carbon footprint and develop a plan to offset it through the purchase of carbon credits while actively reducing its footprint via processes Kora Organics announced on Friday. For example, the brand will reduce its air freight shipping by 20% over the next 12 months as the team found its largest carbon footprint was due to air shipping. According to Climate Neutral, it takes 1-3 months to measure carbon emissions, make a plan of action and purchase credits. Climate Neutral estimates carbon purchases cost about 0.5-1% of a company’s annual revenue. Kora Organics does not share growth or revenue figures.
Kerr spoke with Glossy about her climate-neutral action, Kora Organics’ relationship with the wellness category and her long-term desire to build something she can pass on to her three children. The conversation has been slightly edited and condensed for clarity.
Is there a direct relationship between Kora Organics’ climate-neutral certification and its brand purpose?
“Being certified organic is a lot better for the environment because of [the lack of] pesticides sprayed on organic crops and the other ingredients we use. By avoiding the use of pesticides, they don’t go onto the crops or into the air we breathe and into the water systems. The ingredients we use and wash down the sink are also better for the environment. We were limited from day one with our packaging because when you are certified organic, every single package and component internally and externally has to be approved by Ecocert Cosmos. Now, because more people are becoming aware [of sustainability] and there’s more of a demand for cleaner products, there are more options available to us, from a packaging standpoint.
But further, I was looking for something more than just being certified organic — something more environmentally focused. My interest in being Climate Neutral-certified is because, this way, we can measure and offset our carbon footprint each year and, basically, be a carbon zero brand, from 2022 and beyond. If we can all do our part, it can make a big difference in the world. That is what I’m trying to do in the ways I am able to, and hopefully, lead by example for my children.”
How has the brand evolved and what are you looking to do next?
“In 2009 when I started the company, it was my passion project. Then, I became involved on every level in 2017 when I decided to step down from modeling and focus on being the CEO of Kora. My aim for Kora Organics is to grow and evolve the brand so it can become a household-recognized name for people. [I want us] to be conscious about everything we’re doing, from the ingredients to the manufacturing to the sustainability. I’ve tried to look at everything we’re doing from a 360-degree angle.
But it’s important to establish the core of the brand and let it have its [presence] worldwide before you branch into other areas. The company is mine, and we don’t have outside investors. It is important for me to continue to invest in developing the highest quality products, using the highest quality ingredients and [hiring] the right team members. [I want to] eventually pass this company down to my children. Of course, I’m excited about the potential opportunities in the future to expand into so many other areas. It’s kind of limitless, because I have so much passion for health and wellness. I have a book where I write down ideas and [map out] what might be the next evolution. And let me just say, there’s plenty.”
Do you think of Kora Organics as a wellness brand or a skin-care brand?
“Kora has always cared for the mind, body and spirit. But first and foremost, we want to provide clinically active, certified-organic skin care that is healthy for people and results-driven. That’s the priority. The pillars of the brand are about uplifting your mind, body and skin through the use of certified-organic skin care. That’s why I’ve included little tools that have helped me, like the [rose quartz] crystal water filtration process [that we use for the products] and the addition of positive words of affirmation [on each product] like ‘Joy,’ ‘Forgiveness’ and ‘Peace,’ that can help spark little positive intentions. Every product has its own story, and we offer [skin-care] routines so you’re not just getting one benefit but also feeling the energetic component I put my whole heart and soul into.”