Are You and Your Salon Sustainable Enough?

by laurahusband / last updated April 8, 2020

Sustainable salon

Today, 22 April, marks Earth Day an annual celebration and reminder of the ways we can help and protect the planet. One day of doing this in hairdressing is making your salon more sustainable. The term ‘Sustainability’ is evolving from being a buzz word to an essential way of life. Be inspired by these salons who implementing a number of positive initiatives that you could easily experiment with this year….

The sustainable workforce salon

Name: ENA Salon
Location: Covent Garden, London
Sustainability ethos: The salon believes sustainability shouldn’t be an option – it should be a way of life.

Sustainable initiatives: The salon recently joined an app called CoGo, which is a sustainability shopping/lifestyle app. The idea is to help everyone to live more sustainably by offering suggestions for places to shop that are verified as being plastic-free. The salon also interprets the term sustainability to relate to the health and wellbeing of its staff. Samuel Ryde, ENA Salon’s director has counsellors, a life coach and an osteopath available for his staff.

He also has a gym membership partnership with a gym called Sweat It, where the team can use the gym for free and gym staff can visit the salon for free. “Members of the team don’t always feel that they can speak to a line manager in confidence. Our team of experts come in every Wednesday and the team know they can talk frankly and openly with them.”

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Lotions and potions 🔮

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Shouting about sustainability with clients: ENA has a few sustainability awards but hopes to do more in terms of PR to shout about its positive sustainability initiatives such as recycling, using LED lights and upcycling furniture.

Advice for other salons: Investigate the products you stock and use in the salon – where the products come from, whether the packaging is necessary and consider if you could offer clients a refill option for your retail products.

The eco-designed salon

Name: Anne Veck Oxford
Location: St Clements, Oxford
Sustainability ethos: Anne Veck Oxford believes all businesses should operate ethically and sustainably and should play an active role in their local and industry communities. The salon believes hairdressing should be ethical, green and artistic.

Anne Veck sustainable salon

Sustainable initiatives: The salon was refitted in 2013 with a design by green salon guru Charlie Hearn. His remit was to combine sustainability with the Anne Veck brand to create a stylish green destination. The aim was to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. Anne Veck Oxford is the only salon in the world to use ceramic fuel cell technology, which generates its electricity from the gas supply at an efficiency rate of 75%+. The front and back doors were made to be draught proof, all water pipes are insulated and the staff room and toilet lighting are motion activated.

Shouting about sustainability with Clients: The salon is a refill centre, which means the salon encourages members of the pubic to fill up on free filtered tap water, which attracts attention to its sustainable ethos. The salon also has a printed ‘eco salon’ information sheet for clients and staff, which is available at styling positions and reception.

Advice for other salons: It makes good business sense to take action now. Start with baby steps such as switching to a green energy supplier or using biodegradable towels. Aim to be carbon neutral and use zero single-use plastic.

The clever technology salon

Name: Gina Conway Salon & Spa
Location: Wimbledon, London
Sustainability ethos: Gina Conway Salon & Spa wants to be part of the solution and not the problem with the ultimate goal of reaching carbon neutrality.

Sustainable initiatives: The salon is reducing colour waste using technology such as the Vish app, which measures to the gram. This means less pollution being washed down the sink. Gina Conway has also introduced Eco Shampoos, which is a technique Gina decided to reduce water, product and energy. The salon uses First Mile – a recycling company for waste, which offers a zero to landfill programme and has a ban on all plastic bottles and paper coffee cups. Plus, it chooses to use Ecosia as its online search engine, which plants a tree roughly every second.

Shouting about sustainability: The salon uses social media platforms, local press and word of mouth to let guests know about sustainability initiatives.

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COME AND VISIT US! ✨ We have three salons across London including Wimbledon, Fulham and Westbourne Grove👏 We pride ourselves in providing our clients with a relaxing atmosphere when the enter our four walls. Make sure to book in with us online for a visit, or if you're already part of the Gina Conway family, comment your favourite salon and treatment!✨ #ginaconway #mondaymotivation #missionstatement #london #londonsalon #avedauk #avedaartists #avedateam #relaxation #salonandspa #westbournegrove #wimbledon #nottinghill #fulham #customerexperience #teammission #sustainable #hairdressers #spa #salon #daymakers #fourwalls #londonhairdressers #elyswimbledon #elys #mondaymission

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Advice for other salons: It’s a journey, which is worth investing in both mentally and physically. It’s not too hard to do and the positive changes you make will outweigh the initial effort needed to make the switch.

The small change, big difference salon

Name: Haus of Brooks
Location: Bexhill On Sea, East Sussex
Sustainability Ethos: The salon’s ethos is ‘Live, Love, Make a Difference’ and sustainability is one of the 11 guest promises that form part of its overall business mission to provide hairdressing as it should be.

Sustainable initiatives: Haus of Brooks has a ‘stuff in to stuff out’ approach and uses this as simple way to look at the waste the salon produces and the environmental impact of the purchases the salon makes. The ‘stuff’ the salon purchases can only leave in two ways – with clients or as waste in the form of rubbish, water or vapour. Haus of Brooks has 5% of its waste going to landfill and is striving to reduce this further.

The salon has a no print policy so all communication and salon administration is electronic and cloud-based. The salon uses environmentally friendly cleaning products and steam for cleaning to improve the quality of any wastewater and all backwashes are kept hair-free to avoid blockages using bicarbonate soda and vinegar.

haus of brooks sustainable salon

Shouting about sustainability: Sustainability forms a large part of the Haus of Brooks website as it includes the brand’s sustainability charter and video. The salon also runs and sponsors local beach cleans on a bi-monthly basis to empower people to take action locally.

Advice for other salons: The fashion industry products more CO2 than aviation and marine transport combined. Haus of Brooks believes hair salons can make lots of small changes that can make a big difference. If every salon in the UK changed to renewable energy tomorrow half of the CO2 emissions would be reduced in an instant and that would give the industry something to be proud about.

The sustainable incentive salon

Name: Karine Jackson Sustainable Hair and Beauty
Location: Seven Dials, Covent Garden
Sustainability Ethos: To provide luxury hair and beauty services in an environment that cares about the planet, the client and the team.

Sustainable initiatives: The salon has provided sustainable services for over 15 years and is consistently looking at ways to improve. Clients who refill their shampoo and conditioner receive 50p off and when they bring back their reusable bags, they receive £1 off. Not only does the salon offer fully vegan services, it is constantly looking at how to reduce plastic consumption and excessive waste in the salon. Karine Jackson serves tea with tea leaves instead of tea bags and also runs a seminar on how businesses can be more sustainable.

Shouting about sustainability: The salon invites clients and local business to its seminars on sustainability and asks clients for suggestions on how to improve on the road to sustainability.

Advice for other salons: In the words of Anne Marie Bonneau: “We don’t need a handful of humans doing zero waste perfect, we need millions of humans doing it imperfectly.” Get your team on board from the start and ask them to come up with their own ideas. Don’t try and do everything at once but consider small changes such as emailing client receipts instead of printing them.

The sustainable charitable salon

Name: Kennadys
Location: The Chequers, Ingatestone
Sustainability ethos: It’s just who we are and what we do.

Sustainable initiatives: Kennadys is addicted to recycling and that permeates right through the salon. Kennadys started recycling foils and collecting empty aluminium tubes on a monthly basis. Essex Hairdressers collect the foils and tubes, which are recycled at a metal depository and the money raised from every deposit goes to the Hair and Beauty Charity. We recently got in touch with the South Essex Wildlife Trust.

Shouting about sustainability: The salon won a sustainable award in November which has given the salon the opportunity to explain to clients why it won and the sustainable initiatives on offer. Kennadys offers clients an easy dry towel to take home after their appointment, which reinforces the sustainable message.

Advice for other salons: Dedicate time and effort into setting up sustainable systems and put someone in charge of monitoring it. Kennadys has a waste cutter in the salon who is in charge of making sure the sustainable initiatives are carried out. Encourage your team to suggest ideas to make it a fun and positive experience for everyone.

The sustainable design salon

Name: Perfectly Posh
Location: Hungerford
Sustainability ethos: The salon believes in doing its best to do better and be better to ensure a cleaner and greener future for all of us.

Sustainable initiatives: The furniture in the salon is sourced from reclaimed scaffolding boards, tree trunks and branches. Salon owner Krysia West crafted the light for the backwash area from a branch she found. Perfectly Posh has introduced recycled toilet paper from a cool and quirky company called Who Gives a Crap – the packaging stands out and the brand’s mission is admirable. The salon has asked the Green Salon Collective to collect cut hair from the floor so it can be made into brooms and mats. This organisation also collects plastic, cardboard and chemical waste like left over colour.

Perfectly Posh has also started working with the Vish app to reduce colour wastage by determining how much is needed for each client.

Shouting about sustainability: The furniture in the salon is often a talking point with new clients that haven’t visited the space before as this often leads to a conversation on similar initiatives. Perfectly Posh also uses our social media to communicate everything it is doing andthe #PerfectlySustainable hashtag shares the mission which clients to keep up to date with and engaged.

Advice for other salons: Make a conscious effort to understand just how you are impacting the environment, small things like single use towels and plastic shampoo bottles have a large impact when we are in such a vast industry, so every small effort helps. Ask your energy provider to conduct an energy audit of your salon and provide you with some suggestions to aid this.

The open-minded sustainable salon

Name: Convey Salons
Location: Stokesley, North Yorkshire
Sustainability ethos: The ethos is to strive to become a more sustainable salon by looking at the things are carried out daily that can have an impact on the planet.

Sustainable initiatives: The salon swapped to Paper Not Foil, which was a big change as foil had been used in the salon for such a long time. The team was pleasantly surprised and found it was easier to work with and faster than foils. Paper Not Foil is reusable unlike foil, which saves the team time and in turn saves money. The salon has installed Eco Heads to all sinks at the backwash, which means 65% less water is being used.

The salon also encourages the team to turn the tap off between shampooing to help save gallons of water each year. Some marketing materials like posters and signs have switched to digital alternatives, which saves on printed paper and allows marketing materials to be updated easily and instantly. The salon has switched from having cut flowers to potted plants, which help to purify the salon and it stocks Biolage retail products for clients which sit in recycled plastic and can also be refilled in the salon.

Shouting about sustainability: Clients are starting to take notice and make changes in their own everyday lives. This helps when explaining the changes that have been implemented. Clients are encouraged to give feedback and suggest ideas for further initiatives to try via the sustainable suggestion box in reception. One suggestion was to switch of the hairdryer when sectioning the hair during a blow-dry, which was a great energy saving idea.

Advice for other salons: You can’t become sustainable overnight but if your bulbs need changing opt for energy efficient ones to replace them. When your foils run out, invest in paper ones – all of these small changes will quickly add up to a big step and transform your business into a sustainable one.

Lead image courtesy of ENA Salon

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