Sustainable living rooms: an expert guide to eco-friendly cuts
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Sustainability was one of our priorities before the pandemic, but over the past couple of years this shift has accelerated and we are now looking for more eco-friendly options in the products we use. It doesn’t stop there, we beauty lovers are also looking for sustainable salons.
“The UK hairdressing industry has always been seen as the best in the world and now has the opportunity to lead the way when it comes to sustainability,” says Tabitha James Kraan, environmentalist, pioneer as an organic hairdresser for 24 years and which demonstrates what is possible.
“Becoming more planet-friendly is key to the future growth of salons and hair salons,” she says. Those who will prosper over the next few years will be those who embrace this movement in the fight against climate change: biodiversity loss and long-term clean water, which are two important elements of this industry, are the areas cited by the scientists as potential threats. to humanity.
We hosted a panel discussion with the British Beauty Council’s Sustainable Beauty Coalition Hair Working Group with Tabitha James Kraan, Gina Conway and Anne Veck, plus celebrity colorist Nicola Clarke (who works with Kate Moss ), co-founder of Green Salon Collective.
Becoming a sustainable salon is a journey and this discussion aims to empower salon owners across the UK, as well as us customers, to start somewhere – because by taking one small step for change we we can make a real difference collectively.
“The hairdressing salon industry produces more carbon emissions than a small country using five million tonnes of plastic each year and 15 liters of water per minute”, explains Anne Veck.
Veck recommends being mindful of the pollution we leave in the drain every day and choosing sustainable and organic products whenever possible.
Gina Conway, sustainability consultant at Aveda, cites water scarcity, conservation, and the carbon footprint of our wastewater as some of the biggest environmental concerns.
Tabitha James Kraan thinks many salons have yet to start their sustainability journey: “We have just been through a pandemic – so the advice I would give is just take a small step. This is a non-judgmental field and it’s about coming together and looking at what matters next.
If you’re new to sustainability, but know it’s kinder to the planet and our future generations, and also makes economic sense, getting started can be daunting. Nicola Clarke talks to us about the hurdles she faces: “Dealing with climate change has definitely been on my radar because we can all do something to make a difference, but we’re just getting back to business after the pandemic, the rates of activity drops again, energy cost goes up, money and cost sustainability is pushed to the bottom.
The Leaping Bunny logo has always been important to Clarke, she recycles at ground level and recently partnered with the Green Salon Collective, a b-corp recycling and education system, but thinks there’s more to it than that. she wants to do now like select a team member to become an eco-warrior for her living room.
The Hair Taskforce campaign addresses the following steps for salons, but we can all adopt these tips for a more sustainable life:
Sustainable living rooms switch to green energy
Join the mass movement from dirty energy to clean energy. Several suppliers guarantee 100% green electricity such as Ecotricity, Good Energy and Octopus Energy. Plus, switching to energy-efficient light bulbs saves energy and lowers bills.
Use biodegradable and compostable towels, gowns and capes
This change will save water, reduce energy consumption and staff time spent on laundry, but they must be made from sustainable materials to avoid the destruction of rainforests. Market leaders are Easydry and Scrummi. Having an individual towel for each customer also means better hygiene, which is crucial in today’s climate.
Store and use eco-responsible products
Switch to more sustainable and ethical hair product suppliers. There are a growing number of well-known brands offering products and packaging that are safe, ethical and sustainably produced without harsh chemicals. In terms of packaging, there is a debate over which materials are more sustainable: advanced plastics, reclaimed plastics, glass or aluminum.
You also need to think about the cleaning products you use. Try traditional cleaners like white vinegar and baking soda. If you use cotton towels, wash them with eco-friendly products such as Eco Balls. Use a laundry bag when washing microfiber towels and cloths, to collect microplastics and prevent them from entering freshwater and the sea. Sustainable products include those from Bio-D, Mimiml, Ecoleaf. Ecover is your best supermarket choice.
Watch your color waste
Record how much color you get rid of daily by collecting it in a bucket. Keep a tally and aim to reduce the weekly amount. Or even better, use an app like Vish or PrecisionColour which can help reduce waste and save money.
Avoid throwing color waste down drains or sinks as it contains plastic and ends up in our oceans. Also, do not put unsuitable materials such as hair, cotton, plastic, cardboard, paper, metal (leaves, color tubes, etc.) in the general trash or even your recycling bin unless you are certain that they will indeed be recycled.
For specialist salon recycling, try Green Salon Collective or Salon Sustainability which subject salons to rigorous evaluations and a rigorous auditing process. They work hard to advance their understanding of the impacts of industry waste on people and the planet, develop products made from waste, and improve services that put waste back into the loop.
Sustainable fairs should be accredited
It shows our customers, our employees and the entire industry that a show goes above and beyond when it comes to caring for both people and the planet. Look in Green Salon Collective, Good Salon Guide or the University of Southampton. If you need a helping hand along the way, download the Salon Resource Toolkit. Anne Veck and Keith Mellon have compiled an amazing resource that’s available for free on Instagram – it’s about actions people can take to make salons more sustainable.
Install low-flow faucets and timer controls to reduce water flow and water-efficient showerheads like Ecoheads when backwashing.
Reduce single-use plastic
Avoid products with microbeads and plastic nuggets and choose products without plastic packaging, such as using soap instead of bottled hand cleaner. Ban single-use plastic bottles, serve drinks in glasses not plastic cups and don’t offer plastic bags to customers, encourage them to bring their own bags. If you must have bags, offer biodegradable recycled plastic, reusable paper or canvas.
Eliminate cardboard and paper to make your trade shows more sustainable
Think about what you really need: gift vouchers, loyalty cards, appointment cards, even rates. Do you really need it to be physical? If you have stocks, use them but do not reprint. If you must, use a waterless, circular economy printer like Seacourt, Jump or Park Lane Press. For in-house printing, choose recycled and/or FSC-certified paper and cardboard.
Take steps to become carbon neutral
EcoOffset can offset the carbon emissions of an entire team or a single person for an entire year. Prices start at £20 per year.
Tell clients, friends and family to find a way to wash their hair less, use good quality product, and leave in conditioners, which means using less water in the home.