The Sustainable Salons Comb: A Showcase of Innovation

In a world where conscious consumption is gaining momentum, Sustainable Salons takes a bold stride towards a circular economy with our latest offering - The Sustainable Salons Comb. 

The Sustainable Salons Innovations Team, led by Anuj Dhawan, played a pioneering role in the design and innovation of the comb. 

We sat down with Anuj to gain insights into The Sustainable Salons Comb's design process end-to-end. Anuj shared Sustainable Salons vision and commitment to sustainability and how plastics sourced from members were key to the closed-loop process.

The comb, meticulously crafted from member resources, features wide teeth, a distinctive wave element, and a bespoke teal hue that symbolises our unwavering commitment to a closed-loop process. By embracing recycled plastics, Sustainable Salons diverts resources from landfill, granting them a renewed purpose and simultaneously reducing the demand for new materials. Embracing this circular approach, we ensure resources remain in circulation for as long as possible, nurturing a future that thrives sustainably while minimising our environmental impact.


Where did the concept of The Sustainable Salons Comb originate?

Our first Sustainable Salons branded product needed to fit within the feel-good industry. It needed to be useful for our members, and valuable as an in-salon and e-commerce retail product. The concept of a semi-wide-toothed comb was the perfect fit. Its simple, universal design ensures everyone can enjoy the impact of our member’s commitment to Making Sustainability Reality and our passion for closed-loop research and development. 

What key objective did Sustainable Salons aim to achieve while designing their latest product?

We wanted a way to give back to our members, to close the loop and give their plastics new life in the form of a 100% recycled product. On top of being effortless to use, our goal was one of storytelling. The comb symbolises our unwavering commitment to a closed-loop process and our dedication to contributing to the circular economy. We are diverting resources from landfill and giving them a second life, reducing the demand for new materials. This circular approach ensures that resources are kept in circulation for as long as possible, minimising environmental impact and fostering a sustainable future.

The comb is a tangible physical reminder of the collective impact they are achieving as Sustainable Salons members, and it’s a story they can celebrate with their customers.

We also wanted new members to witness (and feel) what Sustainable Salons represents, and be inspired for their future as a Sustainable Salons member. Our goal was to demonstrate that we walk the talk, that being a member means their plastics will become useful again, which is evident as soon as they open their merchandise kits!

Our comb kick starts the new era of Sustainable Salons. Being a closed-loop product made from 100% recycled member plastics, it celebrates how far we’ve come as a purpose-driven organisation and confirms our promise to our members that there’s so much more to look forward to in Making Sustainability Reality.

Anuj Dhawan, Innovations Team Lead

The development of the comb was also a way to showcase our refreshed brand for our physical launch at Hair Festival 2023 in early June. Those who visited our Marketplace Stand were able to take home a (useful & tangible) reminder of who we are as a proud profit-for-purpose organisation and what we stand for, Making Sustainability Reality.

How would you describe The Sustainable Salons Comb?

The comb features wide, flexible teeth and is designed to be used on wet or dry hair for detangling, quick styling, or to evenly distribute products throughout the hair, like heat protectants, conditioners or hair masks.

When designing the Comb, who did you have in mind as the primary user of this product?

Above all, our main focus was to create something that showcased the impact of the Sustainable Salons membership, which was accessible for anyone to use. The medium spacing between the flexible teeth ensures versatility, making it particularly ideal for individuals with wavy or thick hair.

Why did Sustainable Salons choose to collaborate with Defy Design for the creation of this product?

Sustainable Salons has a longstanding relationship with Defy Design, thanks to our common interest in for-purpose business with a focus on the circular economy. As a local manufacturer specialising in using recycled plastic, our collaborations are always mutually beneficial.

Explain the design and development process behind the comb

Initial discussions started with a virtual meeting with Defy Design to brainstorm design options. Defy then outlined a few different paths we could take with this product. From there, we refined the design through multiple feedback sessions, utilised 3D printing models to get the look and feel just right and aligned with our vision.

As a company specialising in both design and manufacturing, Defy Design was entrusted with the creation of the comb. We provided Defy with P2 plastics collected exclusively from our members, which were then shredded into pellets going directly into the injection moulding machine. Because the combs were crafted to celebrate our brand refresh, it was important to perfect the colour of the product. This led to an in-person site visit to Defy so the Innovations Team could determine the right ratio of blue/green/white pellets to achieve the Sustainable Salons teal.

Ultimately, The Sustainable Salons Comb stands as a symbol of what can be accomplished when we ardently pursue sustainability, leaving us with a reminder of the transformative influence we can have as a network.