Making salon waste history
Once upon a time
Many moons ago in Amsterdam, a chatty hairdresser named Paul Frasca met a sustainable fashion guru called Ewelina Soroko.
In 2010 they embarked on a very long drive around Australia (which took 4 months and $7,000 in petrol) in the name of waste research, and 160 salons later they discovered that salon waste had nowhere to go. Australian salons alone were sending 1 million kilograms of infinitely recyclable aluminium foil to landfill every year!
One big sustainable family
They set out to fix the salon waste problem and they officially launched Sustainable Salons in 2015. The salon recycling program began in the hairdressing industry and now creates waste solutions for barber shops, beauty salons, dermal clinics and pet-grooming salons.
We now have over 1,000 members across Australia and New Zealand as part of the journey to zero waste.
We minimise the salon footprint
We’ve established a network of collectors, recyclers, manufacturers and distributors to make sure up to 95% of materials from salons are diverted from landfill.
- Our plastics are collected, cleaned and upcycled into new products.
- All salon metals (including foil) and paper are sold for recycling, and the proceeds are donated to OzHarvest and KiwiHarvest to provide meals for hungry people.
- Hair is collected from the salon floor and stuffed into stockings to make Hair Booms that can one day help clean up oil spills along our coastlines.
- All collected ponytails 20cm or longer are distributed to charitable organisations to create wigs for those suffering from cancer or alopecia.
- Chemicals are collected, pooled and sent to chemical recycling plants where they’re neutralised and turned into recycled water.
- Select disposable hygiene products used during treatments are pulled apart and the materials are sent for repurposing.
Green level up
Sustainably-minded solutions are promoted to help the salon make greener choices. Our Rewards program gives salons access to environmentally-friendly options for everyday salon products, such as eco cleaning products, recycled toilet paper, biodegradable coffee pods, recycled foil, biodegradable towels, biodegradable gloves and more.
Look good, feel good, do good
In partnership with Mylestones (QLD) and Mambourin (VIC) and Workpower (WA), Sustainable Salons is creating stronger futures for people with a disability by providing purposeful work within our material collection and processing streams. All organisations are ‘for purpose’, dedicated to helping people with a disability live fulfilling lives – they believe employment is a critical part of this, and so do we.
In the Sydney depot, we directly employ people with a disability to work across our processing streams, too!
For less than the price of a coffee…
Sustainable Salons has now made it possible for the consumer to eliminate 95% of the negative impact of their salon service via a small fee on their final service bill – all you have to do is choose to visit a Sustainable Salons member salon.
The Sustainable Salons Fee goes toward supporting a range of important sustainability and community initiatives:
- 40% – Resource collection and redirection
- 25% – Implementing green practices
- 20% – Supporting the community
- 10% – Researching recycling solutions
- 5% – Awareness and education
We believe that we’re all responsible for the ethical disposal of any waste produced by a product or service we choose to consume.
A proud social enterprise
As a social enterprise, we strongly embrace the People, Planet & Profit model of sustainability, and we encourage our members to do so too. We use financial proceeds to create local employment, support charities and give back to communities (financially, resource-driven and through volunteering).
We strive to improve our program to further minimise the salon industry’s impact on the planet, and we believe that when used right, a healthy income allows us to concentrate on what’s fruitful – ethically-minded business growth, products that advance the human race, and quality of life for all as standard.