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This Salon Is Doing Great Things for the Environment

by lydiah / last updated October 29, 2019

en route hair beauty salon empty shampoo bottles

En Route Hair & Beauty are doing their bit for the environment – the salon in Walton has launched a campaign against the single usage of plastic waste generated by sales of shampoo and conditioner bottles.

Owner Melenie Tudor, has created a refill station to invite and encourage customers to reuse, recycle and refill their empty product containers, so that as many plastic based products can be averted from landfills.

In a recent survey of over 100 En Route Hair & Beauty customers, 75% indicated that they would be very likely to bring their bottles back for refill. Melenie has already seen 25 customers use the new refill station to give fresh life to 48 shampoo bottles and 30 conditioner bottles.

“We’re aiming for 1,000 as our first milestone,” Melenie explains. “78 is a good start and I’m pleased with that figure in the first couple of weeks of launching the refill bar. Hairdressing isn’t the kindest industry to the planet with all the product waste, water and electricity usage. I’m changing things to reduce my business’ waste and its negative environmental footprint.”

En Route Hair Beauty salon

Melenie has also launched a ‘Sustainability Promise’, where staff and clients have been invited to commit to adopting one new environmentally friendly act a day that they didn’t do before. So far, around 60 people have lent their support to the idea by pledging to implement a new choice and marking this commitment by putting a green fingerprint against their name. “It’s a great visual reminder that if we all make small choices, then together they all add up to make a difference,” Melenie says. “I never set out with an ‘I know it all stance’, but rather a ‘let’s do something about this’ invitation.”

Melenie, who is a seven times North West Hairdresser of the Year finalist, found her eco-friendly passion after visiting an Orangutan sanctuary in Borneo. There she cared for orangutans who had their homes destroyed for palm oil plantations. Since then, Melenie has been set on making noticeable environmental changes within her business.

Now she is more efficient with waste, Melenie has disposed  of all the salon’s washing machines and tumble dryers and now uses compostable towels that disappear in 12 weeks, leaving no footprint in landfill.

In a recent salon revamp, she upcycled furniture, installed energy-saving LED lighting, changed to recyclable paper bags, uses green cleaning products and vegan-friendly washing up liquid with no sodium laureth sulfate, an alternative name for palm oil.

En Route Hair Beauty salon

Melenie also only stocks products with the RSPO (Round table for Sustainable Palm Oil) certification.

Even the client snacks haven’t escaped the environmentally friendly overhaul. Melenie used to offer individually wrapped biscuits, but her unrelenting commitment to saying no to plastic, she has switched to a local provider, Whisk Coffee & Cake. This partnership sees freshly baked biscuits delivered to the salon each week, with no transport footprint.

“The refill station is more of a planet decision rather than a business decision,” Melenie declares. “But I keep thinking that 1,000 of our product bottles laid out top to tail would cover two lengths of Wembley Stadium. If we continue diverting these bottles away from landfill, that’s a big difference to the environment.

Multiply all the waste every consumer produces and you’re talking stadiums full of waste per year. It’s shocking when you picture it in those terms. That’s why I’m adopting alternative solutions and making supplier changes. I’m not an eco-warrior, but I’m being an influence in my sphere and hopefully sparking others to reduce their waste too.”

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