Salon Smart Dublin 2022: waste not, want not

Salon Smart Dublin sustainability panel

L-R: Kevin Bodenham, Lorraine Naughton, and Andrew Mulvenna

Lockdown, it turns out, wasn’t all bad. For Maynooth salon owner Lorraine Naughton, it was an opportunity to research sustainability practices and re-think the way she was going to run her salon business.

“The biggest threat to the world is that we think someone else is going to save it,” said Lorraine, whose laudable commitment to sustainability has not only resulted in a healthier space for staff and clients but also zero waste being sent in landfill. For Lorraine, sustainability is a commercial imperative, too, arguing that green-minded clients of all ages are actively seeking out her business and happy to pay the €2 ‘green fee’ she adds to every bill – all proceeds being donated to charity.

Lorraine was part of a Salon Smart Dublin’s sustainability panel, discussing how the hairdressing industry is tackling the challenges posed by climate change. Belfast salon owner Andrew Mulvenna began his journey in 2021 with a ‘Green Commitment’ that includes renewable energy, biodegradable and compostable hair towels and capes, water-reducing policies and even bamboo toilet rolls. “It’s important to do your research but it’s also very easy to get overwhelmed and/or over-obsessed,” he said. “My advice is to make a list so that you can break it all down and tackle one thing at a time.” He’s also appointed a Sustainability Manager within his team to research best options and ensure best practice in-salon.

Kevin Bodenham, owner of Moyo Hair & Beauty in Dublin, agreed that taking the first step is often the most difficult part of the journey to sustainability. “You have to do as much as you can, otherwise you’d never start,” he said while pointing to a slide about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the world’s biggest accumulation of ocean waste (it’s three times the size of France), composed of 1.8 billion pieces of floating plastic, and which kill thousands of marine animals every year. What an incentive to start dealing properly with your salon waste…

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