Welcome to February’s column, and I really hope I’ll see you at Pro Hair Live this month where I’m delighted to be launching my services as a Sustainability Consultant! I’m finding that so many people want to incorporate sustainability into their life and business but aren’t that sure where to start, so I’ve put together a training plan to deliver in salons which will get you on the right track.
I’m not an eco-fanatic, I’m not even vegan, but I can see where we can incorporate the stark warnings about the future of the planet and offer a look at how small changes can lead to big ones and where we should be tweaking the way we live for the benefit of our planet and our businesses. So much is about balance and just smart changes to our routine.
I’ll come into the salon and look at areas where we can make small changes, present to your team to get them to engage with why you’re becoming more sustainable, do an assessment, help you to set targets and engage with your local area as well as marketing your new credentials, giving you template letters to lobby suppliers and ongoing coaching afterwards. We assess both the business and your own activities, it’s a personal holistic approach.
Pro Hair Live
I’ll be on the Sustainability stage with Organic Colour Systems on Sunday at 1-2pm and Monday 3-4pm where I’ll be presenting my top tips for sustainability and answering questions about any issues people are having in their own salons. I’ll also be launching my new collection, Twisted Linear, recreating a look but incorporating plastic waste to draw attention to the sort of unnecessary packaging that finds its way into salons. You can also find me on the Platinum stage at 2.10-2.40pm on Monday with a show for Curlformers® by HairFlair where I’ll be demonstrating an organic perm which has become a huge seller in my salon where we do around 4 a day!
Sustainable checklist – what to ask your suppliers
There are SO many things you can think about to ask your manufacturer, for example
Do their bottles contain PCR (Post-consumer recycled) plastic? Companies like the Body Shop have been using 100% PCR in their bottles since 2008 so it’s perfectly possible. Plastic packaging accounts for 44% of plastic used in the UK, but 67% of plastic waste, and over 2 million tonnes of plastic packaging is used each year. The vast majority of this is made from new, rather than recycled plastic.
Are cartons being produced using recycled card? Are they recyclable?
What about the way products are delivered – are the boxes recycled/recyclable with paper tape used instead of sticky tape which is generally made of a type of plastic called polypropylene, and not typically recycled in the UK? Also did you know if you send a box/card/paper to be recycled and it has sticky tape on it, it can’t be pulped so goes to landfill – worth remembering at Christmas when Britons use over six million rolls of tape during the festive period. At Organic Colour Systems, paper tape is being used instead of cellotape in the dispatch department, and because the adhesive is also a natural gum, which means the complete tape is recyclable, 90 miles of tape a year are saved from going to landfill!
This is exactly what I mean by small changes – look how significant they are when added together! And this is also where you find a crossover between work and your personal habits – knowledge gives you the power to implement sustainable changes across the board.
What is the company’s own green policy – do they car share, use public transport, use paper bags instead of plastic, have movement monitor lighting in their head office or factories – once you start to ask these questions you’ll see that it prompts others to think about an answer. It could be something that they can change easily, but they just hadn’t thought of it before. This is how our waste culture will change.
My overall message for 2020 is use less, waste less. Don’t buy fast fashion, and ask yourself before every purchase – do you need this? And ultimately you’ll have more money in your pocket… Look forward to seeing you at Pro Hair Live, and please stay in touch on social, I always love to hear from you!