It’s easy to talk the talk on sustainability, but walking the walk can be a daunting process. We understand this, so we’ve taken the risks and the responsibility so you can live your values just by joining our network of Sustainable Salons.
For me, living my values is non-negotiable.
I’ve had so many interactions with salon owners at expos and conferences who have said to me that they want to join Sustainable Salons and offer their clients a service that aligns with their values, BUT… they’re scared.
Scared that their clients won’t accept the minimal price increase that comes with becoming a sustainable salon, scared that it will all be too hard, and scared that it will negatively affect their bottom line.
I always encourage these salon owners to think about it from a consumer’s perspective. We know that sustainability is a concern for the absolute majority of consumers these days, and consumers are thinking about the impact of their actions and purchases more than ever.
So imagine that consumer, looking in the mirror and realising that after two years of on and off lockdowns, it’s finally time to go back to the salon. They’re thinking to themselves, ‘wouldn’t it be great if I could get my hair done without compromising on my values?’
So, what do they do? They hop on the Sustainable Salons directory and look for a salon in their area. And what do they find? Nada. That’s a pretty big bummer for consumers who want to live their values. They’ll probably come to you anyway, but they’ll jump ship as soon as a Sustainable Salon opens in their area.
Your clients are the backbone of your business – not only do their appointments pay your bills, but your clients’ heads are literal walking advertisements for your salon. Who hasn’t seen a friend with an incredible new haircut and immediately demanded to know where they got it done? I know I have!
So, that being said, it makes even more sense to meet your clients where they’re at. And right now, that’s typically knee-deep in at least one element of the sustainability movement. No matter which aspect of sustainability your clients are interested in, Sustainable Salons covers almost every area of concern: people, planet and profit.
Here’s a little look behind the scenes of Sustainable Salons because we are far more than just a recycling program:
- Dignified work for people living with disabilities. The number of people we’ve had reach out to us and talk about how pleased they are to see a company offering employment opportunities for people living with disabilities is huge.
- Ponytail donations for charitable wigs. Human hair wigs don’t come cheap, but they’re life-changing for people with hair loss through cancer treatment or autoimmune illnesses like alopecia.
- Recycling. This is what we’ve made our name in. We have prevented over 250 000 kilos of metal, 275 000 kilos of paper and over 38 000 litres of chemicals from going to waste and kept over 220 000 kilos of plastic out of landfills. And that’s not even mentioning the insane amount of hair clippings we receive from salons every year, which are turned into hair booms to soak up oil in our precious oceans.
- Closed loop manufacturing. Recycling is only half the solution. Recycling waste is all well and good, but its impact is somewhat lost unless it goes back into a circular system and the products produced from recycled materials are valued as highly as those from virgin materials. The metal and plastic we recycle go back into the manufacturing system to become new products like dog leashes, coasters and sunglasses, extending their lifecycle.
- Job creation. We’ve had politicians asking us to bring Sustainable Salons into their states and communities because they understand that we provide long-term job opportunities for many people. We know that there’s no saving the planet without dedicated people working towards our common goals.
- Partnerships. We partner with over 21 charities across Australia and New Zealand to deliver a range of services. These include grooming services for people experiencing homelessness and donations to fund meals for people in need.
We know that many salons have wanted to be part of something like this for a long time, but it’s daunting going out on your own and trying to create something from scratch. We’ve built the infrastructure around protecting people, the planet and profits so that salons can easily join and know they’re contributing to a fairer, greener tomorrow.
Oh, and if you’re still not convinced – you should know that over 77 000 clients visit a Sustainable Salon every week, and over 1400 salons across Australia and New Zealand are already on board!
The best part of my job is waking up each day knowing I am living my values. It could be the best part of your job too. When I look back at my legacy at Sustainable Salons, I know I’m on the right side of history. And that’s a pretty great feeling.