Ten ways to work more sustainably – Part two

by | Mar 28, 2022 | Business, Promotion, Sustainability

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Promotion – Schwarzkopf Professional Bonacure Clean Performance
This is the future of the industry, we need to start now and go big.Gina Conway, owner of Gina Conway Atelier salons and Aveda trade sustainability ambassador

Want to be cleaner and greener? You’re in the right place. We’ve put together a ten point action plan on how to work more sustainably, in partnership with Schwarzkopf Professional Bonacure Clean Performance. Check out steps one to five here, and read on for more simple but effective eco-credential-boosting tips…


Pictured: Beauty tools created by Handle using recycled plastics
You’d be surprised just how many of the products and tools you use daily could be recycled but aren’t.

“If you’re a salon in the UK, about seven per cent of what you put in a normal recycling bin actually gets recycled.” explains Fry Taylor, founder of the Green Salon Collective. The collective can recycle used foils, empty colour tubes, chemicals, PPE, plastic and even hair from your salon.

Salon Sustainability also offers recycling programmes for all hairdressers, from freelancer to multi-chain salon. With an easy-to-use sorting system, Salon sustainability will take all your recyclable waste from you to be sorted at Enham 3PL, part of the Enham Trust, a charity that provides jobs for adults with disabilities.

Handle takes another approach, collecting used beauty packaging to recycle into either more packaging or beautiful marble-esque products. From hairbrushes to toothbrushes, these artistic handles give new life to old products. “Handle is offering more than just recycling, it’s a lifestyle choice,” says founder Steven Banks. “We have been blown away by the care, attentions and diligence people have paid to the programme. It creates a ‘we’re in this together’ feeling, while earning kudos for salons.”

Professional brands are making huge steps towards sustainability. Schwarzkopf Professional re-evaluated the formulas and packaging of its Bonacure Clean Performance range, and the new look line is now is planet-friendly, fully recyclable and housed in up to 97 per cent recycled plastic. The products contain a vegan keratin complex, and combined with its signature technology it means you never have to choose between performance and the environment.

Another iconic brand, Paul Mitchell, has stepped up its already impressive sustainability credentials with the launch of its Clean Beauty range. And simple swaps like solid shampoo bars – already being produced by brands including Aveda, KMS and weDo/ Professional – are a good place to start for clients who feel overwhelmed. By eliminating water in the formula, bars reduce emissions during transport by being lighter and smaller, plus they can be packaged in more easily recyclable boxes.


Schwarzkopf Professional Bonacure Clean Performance

Dr Elmar Mussenbrock points to another product to show how Kao’s reimagining of hair product norms can have results: “By putting SilkLift lightener in a resealable pouch, we save 80 per cent plastic, 85 per cent waste volume and 65 per cent carbon emissions on each pack – and it’s 97 per cent recyclable.”

Production has a huge impact too. L’Oréal Group has reduced 81 per cent of CO2 emissions at its sites worldwide since 2005, and Aveda products are made using 100 per cent wind energy at its primary manufacturing facility. Some brands, including Great Lengths and Davines, have become B Corp certified, to show they are meeting high environmental and social standards. Davines has also been carbon neutral since 2018, and is committed to becoming Net Zero by 2030.


Atelier, Derry

“Being more eco-friendly doesn’t mean things have to be expensive,” says Dan Mewies, owner of Mewies & Co. in Leicestershire, which has an Authentic Beauty Concept refill bar that has proved popular with clients.

Electric offers aluminium backbar bottles that can be refilled, and at Atelier in Derry, clients are also encouraged to bring back their bottles for filling.

“We offer a 30 per cent discount when clients bring a clean, empty bottle back,” says founder Ronan Stewart. “Then we can refill with what they had, or something new. They love the ethos.”

Switching to a local mindset was natural when Covid struck, and you should continue looking closer to home as you look to become more sustainable.

From refreshments to regular events and furniture to flowers, stay plugged into your local community to see how you could collaborate, and with more local suppliers, you’ll be reducing emissions during transport too. For example, Electric sources almost all of its ingredients and materials in the UK – growing many of them at its own farm.

Robbie Purves and Iain Irvine, founders of Sonté Hair in Edinburgh, created a Sustainability Charter upon opening in 2020, which prioritised local partnerships with other green measures. “We can’t expect our clients to know the industry as well as we should,” they explain. “We must be aware of sustainable options and pass them on.”


Sonté Hair, Edinburgh


Want to hear how to get a real handle on your sustainability efforts? The eco agenda was front and centre at Salon Smart 2022 on 21 March, thanks to a panel discussion titled ‘All Talk, More Action’.

Focussing on how to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, it featured an all-star line up of speakers including Most Wanted 2021 Sustainability Hero award winners Anne Veck and Keith Mellen. You can catch up with top tips shared and answers to all the questions posed now, exclusively on the free-to-access Salon Smart HUB.

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