A time to give back to people and the planet

A Q&A with Sustainable Salons Co-Founder Paul Frasca

We’re taking the spirit of the giving season seriously. At Sustainable Salons, we’re dedicated to giving back in any way we can - to the planet and our local community. 

Our range of re-branded, recycled closed-loop products has hit the virtual shelves of our Sustainable Salons Store, and Members can now purchase these products to retail within their salons. Not only are these products made from recycled plastics from our Member network, but from November 6th to December 18th, for every closed-loop product purchase made by our Members, we will donate meals to those in need through OzHarvest and KiwiHarvest.

Our ethos has always been people, planet, and profit, and this end-of-year campaign encapsulates them all. We’re supporting those doing it toughest in a whole host of ways. We donate meals through OzHarvest and KiwiHarvest and employ individuals with disabilities in our depots, providing meaningful employment throughout the year. We’re also continuing to recycle salon materials and working towards a circular economy. This means that not only are our Members able to purchase closed-loop products made from plastics collected in their very salon, but they’re introducing a new profit stream by retailing those products to their clients

Why is the new Wide Tooth Comb closed-loop product so exciting for you?

While most people see a comb, I see a vision for what the future could be. 

The comb symbolises the economy we want to help create. Fully circular, nothing in, nothing out. We collect the materials, process them and create new products. These durable and reliable products are available for our Members to purchase and retail from their salons. We’re blurring the lines. There is no waste anymore; we’re removing that word from our vocabulary wherever we can because, as they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Or, in this case, one person’s empty shampoo bottles are another’s Wide Tooth Comb. 

At the end of the year, many of our Members see an uptick in materials used, and we’re so proud of our network for continuing to recycle those materials through us. Those very same materials are turning into the new Wide Tooth Combs, the re-branded Coasters, Holders and Plant Pots.

What specifically drew you to OzHarvest and KiwiHarvest?

We’ve been working with OzHarvest and KiwiHarvest for many, many years, and that partnership has been core to our business model. Our organisations work in nearly identical ways. We take resources that others see as waste and put them back into the production cycle, and OzHarvest and KiwiHarvest do the same. In their case, the excess material is food, but the concept is remarkably similar. 

Our partnership is a win-win, and knowing that there’s increased demand for meal services at the end of the year, we wanted to step up to the plate. That’s how we came up with this campaign. What better way to support the delivery of meals made from ‘repurposed’ food than by selling products made from recycled salon materials? We support OzHarvest and KiwiHarvest year-round, but demand far outstrips supply during the holiday season, so donating even more just makes sense. Most of us have tightened our wallets as the cost of living increases, but for those already doing it tough, that’s barely possible.

How can shoppers contribute to a circular economy these holidays? 

The festive season is the perfect time to start shopping more mindfully and even having conversations with your loved ones about this topic. Our closed-loop products are the perfect conversation starter. Head to your nearest Sustainable Salon and grab yourself some closed-loop products (they might even have been produced from shampoo bottles from that very salon).

These are products people can feel great about. They’re supporting employment opportunities for people with disability, they’re diverting resources from landfill and, to top it all off, they’re providing meals for those in need these holidays.