The Zucci Hairdressing brand has been in existence for an impressive 33 years, and with four salons and more than 40 staff, it stands firm as a Melbourne salon icon.
And then when you hear that owner Rocco Petrucci’s passion for sustainability can be traced back to the very beginning (that’s 1984… when ‘green’ was still just a colour), it makes this hairdressing powerhouse even more special.
For as long as he can remember, Rocco has guided Zucci’s success based on promoting a strong and loyal relationship with his employees, and always looking outside the usual conventions of the hairdressing industry for innovation in service and development.
So when Aveda landed on Aussie shores, Rocco knew he’d found a port for his burgeoning sustainability ethos. “Zucci partnered with Aveda in 1990 and became the first Aveda Concept salon in Australia,” Rocco recalls proudly. “This was followed in 2009 with the first Australian Aveda Lifestyle salon, and through this relationship, Aveda sustainable business became our mantra.”
Part of that infamous Zucci mantra is the effortless balance it strikes between environmental practices and profit goals. As many of the Sustainable Salons network can attest, the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive, and Rocco figured this out very early on.
However, it was his sheer determination to minimise his environmental footprint that created a unique selling point for Zucci, and has since backed the brand to excellence.
“To have a sustainable business, you have to have very strong environmental values as well as have an understanding that each of us can make a difference with the actions we take on a daily basis.”
Along with the close alignment with Aveda, Rocco set his mind to finding other pathways to sustainability in the salon (back when Sustainable Salons Australia was but a twinkle in its founders eyes). He would gather hair clippings to use as compost in his garden beds at home, deposit paper and cardboard waste at a nearby recycling plant, choose a green power provider and use only LED lighting throughout the salon.
“We also changed from using cotton towels to Easydry towels – and then reused them in our veggie garden to keep down the weeds!” Innovation and sustainability, the very best combination!
Rocco’s green warrior influence has never stopped with just the environmental elements. He is a firm believer in building a strong, well-prepared future generation and very much counts his staff as a big part of his business success.
“Our team are our extended family,” says Rocco, “with several staff members being with Zucci for in excess of 15 years. We work very hard at developing individuals and offering opportunities for growth and movement within the company.”
When Sustainable Salons Australia entered the Victorian market in May 2016, Zucci had its face pressed up against the glass, waiting for opening time.
“It is such a great way to continue to reduce our environmental footprint as a business,” Rocco enthuses, “and to also further support both our industry and consumer profile as a business that has an environment conscience.
“Our team has completely embraced becoming a SSA partner! Being able to divide our waste into hair, paper, metal, chemical, plastic as well as all electrical items has made it so much easier for all of us.”
It’s no secret that Rocco Petrucci has a green heart – he’s the eco warrior, the creative soul, the quiet businessman who determinedly builds on solid, sustainable foundations.
“I talk to many individuals within our industry about what they are doing to promote sustainable practices, and how they can make changes that would help them achieve a lower environmental impact. I always suggest Sustainable Salons Australia as the easiest way to achieve this.”
Sustainable Salons Australia provides the most comprehensive waste free systems to the professional hairdressing industry. We collect and recycle 95% of a salon’s waste and reward the salon for their recycling efforts!
Contact us here if you’d like to become a member of Sustainable Salons Australia.