Sustainability in the Salon: People, Planet, Profit
The desire to be sustainable has evolved. Today, society is wanting to make greener choices, and the majority now understand that sustainability is more than a trend — it’s a responsibility. We sat down with the Director and Founder of Sustainable Salons, Paul Frasca, to find out why running businesses sustainably is a no-brainer!
Businesses like Sustainable Salons Australia are looking at ways they can meet the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to live healthily and happily. That’s what being sustainable is all about.
True sustainability gives back as much as it takes. The beauty industry is a long way from that, but there are so many ways that our industry can create new habits to limit the threat we’re placing on the environment.
“These days, people want to know how they can take sustainability to the next level — that includes your customers!”
Sustainability is about making intelligent choices, and these often come down to the initiative of the business owner. Sustainability isn’t just a trend, it’s a way of doing things.
Being sustainable only works if we make small steps and changes every day.
Paul Frasca’s tips for running your business sustainably
1. Do your research
Not all recycling businesses take all of your waste, so it’s vital you do your research.
Make sure you know exactly what your recycling company can take, and where the rubbish ends up! Recycling is a given but you just have to ask what’s happening in your local area and ensure that your recycling company best serves your business.
2. Get busy in the garden
In-salon composting is a great way to deal with your food scraps and waste. Many sustainably-run salons have worm farms in the backyard, and clients know that anything consumed in the salon will end up being disposed of correctly and sustainably. Remember, clients too are looking to make better choices, so make sure you can offer these greener alternatives.
3. Switch to LED
LED lighting is given. If you haven’t switched to LED lighting, then you’re probably paying an extra 20-30% on your electricity bill.
4. Hunt of recycled furniture
Recycled furniture always has a story and stories are vital in the salon environment. People like things with history and history gives you a great conversation starter, especially with new clients.
“I know when I see recycled furniture I instantly want to ask questions — like where did that come from, how’d you build that? Everything has a story to it.”
5. Shift toward products that are more eco-friendly
Society wants to make choices for a better planet, so make sure your salon is in the best position to serve.
“If you were walking into purchase a product and you saw a antiquated product and then saw something from today that was organic and had biodegradable packaging — which would you choose?
It’s up to the salon owners to place pressure on hair-care suppliers to offer eco-friendly products. The more demand they place upon them, the more likely they will be to deliver.
People, planet, and profit
Being a part of programs like Sustainable Salons is rewarding. Not only can you do your part environmentally, but you can give back to society.
Sustainable salons is a comprehensive resource recovery service that is run specifically for the salon environment. All profit from the waste that they collect, and then resell, goes back to into local communities and charitable programs.
Hair clippings are collected and used to make hair booms that help clean up oil spills. Each one-metre hair boom can soak up to 4 litres of oil and, unlike other oil spill solutions, are made naturally and from organic, recyclable material!
Ponytails of a certain length are donated to wig makers so that they can create wigs for people with alopecia or for those who are going through chemotherapy.
Sustainable Salons sell off all the commodity waste. This includes aluminium, colour tubes, canisters, paper, razors, and tools. Once sold, all the proceeds go to Oz Harvest. For every dollar they raise, they can provide two meals for someone in need.
“Sustainable salons Australia was born to solve a problem.”
One of the biggest misconceptions is that going green will cost you the Earth. When in fact, these practices are likely to save you money.
Many eco-friendly steps simply involve being mindful: turning off a light or unplugging appliances that aren’t in use. These habits are free and will also save you money in the long run.
In the past, eco-friendly products have been more expensive but with the demand for more environmentally friendly products growing, prices are becoming more competitive.
It’s a simple equation — supply and demand.
Let’s switch to eco-friendly and sustainable practices in our salons. It’s a no-brainer!