Life of a Stylist

Life of a Stylist: James Fisher on How Sustainability and Creativity Meet at WhiP

by kieran / last updated April 26, 2021

James Fisher WhiP

For Sustainability Week, we spoke with James Fisher, creative director for WhiP salon, on the ways he is reinvigorating the salon experience while remaining organic, vegan and eco-friendly.

What is your current role?

I’m creative director at WhiP and I also work on the floor as a stylist cutting all types of hair.

What was your journey into the hair industry?

I took the beginners course at TONI&GUY after exploring the best way to get into the industry at the ripe age of 31. From there I gained some amazing experience and the confidence to make my own way.

What inspired you to create an organic, vegan and eco-friendly salon?

I could see this was an area where little movement had been made in the marketplace and I’d already been working on a more eco-friendly lifestyle – upcycling and buying second-hand were habitual for me.

How do you make your salon eco-friendly?

We choose planet-friendly product brands such as Evo and Oway, we stock local vegan-friendly beers from brewers Deviant & Dandy, we use Paper Not Foil for highlights and mostly second-hand or upcycled salon furniture. We also reuse or recycle everything we can.

What can salons do to help the environment?

Ensure your suppliers are as eco-friendly as possible and don’t waste anything.

WhiP Salon

What advice would you give to someone trying to start an eco-friendly salon?

It should be part of every decision you make day-to-day – constantly ask yourself what is the best option from an eco-perspective? From using non-dairy oat milk made in the UK, to getting your cleaning spray refilled at the local health shop instead of buying one from the supermarket.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career?

It’s sometimes hard to make eco-friendly choices from a business point of view because they aren’t always the cheapest options. It does count when you tell clients and they believe what you’re saying.

What’s the greatest achievement in your career so far?

Getting the lease signed in lockdown for our newest project, WhiP Brighton, was a mammoth achievement in itself with every imaginable hold up. We’re excited and nervous in equal measure as we edge closer to the opening of our third WhiP branch.

What Instagram accounts inspire you?

@StoriesBehindThings, @Hakamme, @DJ_FatTony_, @BadHairCompany and @Mullet__Mayhem.

What’s next for you and your career?

Keeping on top of it all is a task in itself, but we also had plans to open a branch abroad until the pandemic stopped all the fun. Let’s see how it goes – serving the lovely people in Brighton is something we are very much looking forward to.

You can check out the entire schedule for HJ’s Sustainability Week here.

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