It’s quite possible that Nicola Le Lievre is the beauty industry’s Energiser bunny. Not only does she have unwavering passion for her craft, but she relishes every chance to say ‘yes’ to an opportunity, event idea or charity that calls for her flair.
Of course all of this happens over and above the running of her two busy Brisbane beauty clinics, In Therapy. Over the last four years, Nicola has honed an impressive business with eight staff and a supreme line-up of treatments, products and client experiences. But when Nicola discovered Sustainable Salons, a new passion was ignited; one that she believes has delivered extra value to her brand and the hope of a brighter future for her daughter’s generation.
SSA chatted to Nicola about her business, the beauty industry and what makes going green so attractive.
SSA: What is the In Therapy brand famous for?
NLL: Amazing customer service, our commitment to the environment and supporting Australian brands not tested on animals!
SSA: Tell us about your team…
NLL: Our team are all so passionate, positive and we all work really well together. We work hard but also have lots of fun and I believe that is key! Our guests always come first and we try to make them all feel like the centre of the universe.
SSA: What is In Therapy’s view of sustainability?
NLL: We are very proud to be the first beauty clinic in QLD to join SSA and our goal is to encourage the rest of the industry to join us in this very important movement! As a mum, I also believe in educating our youth; we teach our children to respect one another, and it is equally important that we teach them to respect the environment.
SSA: How do you link your salon style to your sustainability message when it comes to communicating with your clients?
NLL: In Therapy has a reputation for giving back to the community and supporting charities such as RSPCA. So joining SSA this year was a natural choice for me… it gave us the ability to do something great for the environment as well, which now means I can communicate the whole sustainability message with my clients.
SSA: How do you feel the beauty industry is tracking when it comes to sustainability?
NLL: Not great. I see just how much goes into our bins daily and the boxes from product deliveries, it’s incredible once you start paying attention. We are a small clinic, so I can only imagine how much waste larger business have. Personally, I love the ambiance that having candles in the treatment room creates, but wow… now I can see from looking in our Metals bin exactly how many disposable products our industry goes through!
SSA: What would you see as the most pressing sustainability issue for the industry?
NLL: The lack of education about being sustainable! I really had no idea what our waste problem looked like until we started separating our paper, plastic and metals instead of throwing it all into our regular bin. Without being educated, it’s easy to miss out on this very important process. I thought we are doing well putting our recycling items in the yellow bin provided by the council, but I’ve since learned that only roughly 20% of that is actually recycled! It’s great that we can lock our purple SSA bin to prevent passersby from contaminating our separated materials with food and other waste.
SSA: In Therapy is such an active business when it comes to sustainability; tell us about your other initiatives…
NLL: In Therapy supports two main charities: RSPCA, because we are so against animal cruelty; and Bright Pink Lipstick Day, which creates awareness and early detection for breast and ovarian cancers… these particularly are so real in our industry.
We also explain our sustainable practices to every new guest who visits our salon, and the reaction we get is just so positive. We encourage our guests to bring back their empty product containers when restocking and we give them a $1 off their new purchase for every container they bring back. It’s so rewarding seeing our guests involved and supporting us in this way!
SSA: What’s In Therapy’s ultimate sustainability goal?
NLL: Our ultimate sustainability goal is to help cross-pollinate SSA to the rest of the Australian beauty industry, and have as many salons come onboard and join us!
SSA: On that note, why does SSA make sense for a beauty salon?
NLL: You’re going to throw your containers and boxes out anyway, so why not go a step further and separate? SSA provides all the bins, training and support – it’s so easy and you gain momentum quickly. My team keep telling each other off for putting containers in the wrong bin! I believe joining SSA has created even more of a team spirit at In Therapy.
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.