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Green Queen Karine | A Sustainable Christmas

December 13, 2019

Our resident environmental campaigner Karine Jackson has been championing her mission to go single use plastic-free and has been really thrilled with the response she’s been getting from you! Here she continues her sustainable columns flying the flag for all things ethical in salons, covering what’s good for the environment (and your profits), and creating a blueprint for salons to go plastic-free… This month she’s asking if you can offer your clients a more sustainable Christmas?

So this is my third column now and I’ve been so happy with the response that it’s getting – at every event I’ve been to recently people have come up and asked questions, so it’s great to feel that it’s connecting with our industry. People seem really excited by it but does this mean they feel confident to take some steps?

I wanted to ask you in this column what changes you’ve made to be more sustainable in your salon? We’d love to hear from you so please do message me and Professional Hairdresser as we’d love to give you a shout out to acknowledge your great work!


I desperately want to make sustainability accessible for everyone – I know from experience that the whole thing looks so daunting it’s really easy to become overwhelmed and just think nothing you do can make a difference in the grand scheme of things. Please believe me when I say this isn’t true! Every little change you make adds up to a better future for our planet.

The book Atomic Habits by James Clear carries the tagline Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results, and it’s a really inspirational read that demonstrates a whole host of examples where just one tiny action builds up over time to effect huge change. Maybe you could ride your bike in one day a week instead of driving?

I started riding a bike when I was President of the Fellowship so that I could do a charity bike ride (for which I was not a little bit prepared!) I went from NEVER riding a bike EVER to now hardly ever driving my car unless I really need it – I cycle to work and back most days. I wouldn’t have dreamed that I was somebody who could do that!


I’m now looking at how I can make Christmas more sustainable in (and out!) of the salon. It’s our busiest time of year, but how can we maximise our profits and celebrate the occasion without the habitual pointless waste that the season now seems to bring?

I was cheered to read that M&S have banned glitter from their cards and wrapping paper this year so the message is definitely going mainstream.

The big boys wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t good for business! We have an added ethical ace up our sleeves because our core business is experiential – the gift of a haircut, colour, massage or facial isn’t going to end up floating in the sea! At home, my housemate and I have been looking at clever ideas to be ethical, so we’re using the tissue paper that comes back with our dry cleaning to wrap our presents.

We’re going to encourage clients to think about their purchase power this year with gifts themed around the reduce, reuse, recycle principle, including:

The gift that keeps on giving – buy a product from us and let your recipient know that they can bring it back to be refilled.

Mulled wine refills – we’ll be encouraging clients to drop in with their reusable cups for a little warming mulled wine on our annual local Christmas shopping night along with offering double points on purchases.

Gift vouchers – we’ll be offering beautiful vouchers so clients can gift something that won’t end up in landfill. For extra eco-points, offer to email it!

Our plastic free retail shelf is packed with beautiful but USEFUL items that all make great gifts.

When you really think about it there’s almost ALWAYS a win to being eco-friendly – if you can sell more experiential services to clients who don’t want to gift another crappy novelty item then that’s money in your till and a good deed for the environment!

So own it this Christmas – call out the useless gifts and market your much better ones – clients will love the idea that their gift is useful and zero-waste. And keep questioning your product companies – is that gift box recyclable? Are they making good ethical decisions about what comes into your salon?

Let us know all about your ethical swaps on Instagram – tag us @karinemjackson and @prohairmag and we’ll be giving a shout out to you for the changes you’re making.

And please do ask me questions about your plastic issues – if I don’t know the answer I know someone who does!

Remember, plastic’s not fantastic!


www.ecohairandbeauty.com – Get your salon certified sustainable and don’t forget to promote it to your local press and clients.

Turning The Tide On Plastic by Lucy Siegle – Must read book to get you up to speed on all things plastic and recycling.

Atomic Habits by James Clear – this is NOT a book about the environment, but it does demonstrate how tiny but consistent changes in habits develop into quite remarkable results. If you’re a business owner you should read this anyway!