Business Education

Q&A with Lacey Hunter-Felton

May 31, 2024

Welcome to the first of our monthly Q&A sessions with LACEY HUNTER-FELTON, the pioneering founder of the co-working and freelance community: Hunter Collective.

Dear Lacey, how can I be more sustainable as a freelance stylist? I already use biodegradable towels and make weekly trips to the tip to dispose of any waste and recycling, but I still feel like I should be doing more to offset my travel emissions and adapt my hairdressing practices? – Rianna Henry, Freelancer and Session Stylist

Hi Rianna. Firstly, well done for consciously thinking about your impact and for choosing the sustainable alternatives you are already doing – it’s a great place to be! The exciting news is there are lots of simple and interesting ways we can be more sustainable (me included!) and I love getting to talk about this with people in your position.

My first suggestion is to do a carbon footprint analysis of your business to assess your travel and identify the most common modes of transport you use. Once you have these facts (these can be generated easily from an online tool such as greenly. earth), you should see if and where you can make any changes – for example, can you opt for public transport or electric modes of transport instead? Small tweaks like this can really make a massive impact on
your footprint. You can also then make steps to offset this carbon footprint by contributing to something that gives back to the environment. Offset ideas include working with a company or charity that plants trees, for example.

The next step is putting on your investigator hat and considering the impacts across every detail of your business. It’s great that you are already using biodegradable towels, but now you should look at the way you are disposing of them. Consider working with a company such as Green Salon Collective or reusing the towels by washing them, and then leaving them to dry naturally. Instead of taking items to a local tip, you could take them to be composted or box the waste up for a local waste management company.

Picking products that tick those sustainable goals will help you to achieve a more sustainable business model – this can be from the ingredients they use to the packaging or delivery of the products. Other changes could involve using reusable gloves, which can be washed and last for a long time, or using colour capes to reduce your plastic impact. Investing in biodegradable bin bags and storing everything in either recycled or biodegradable bags and boxes will also help hugely.

Another way of managing waste is to repurpose cut hair, which can be put into plant pots to provide high levels of nutrients for plants. You could even gift your green-fingered clients their own cut hair as part of your sustainable service! This is a small way of educating clients about sustainability by doing something practical and helpful with hair waste. As a session or freelance stylist, I recommend sectioning out your waste as follows: 1. Metals and foils 2. Towels 3. Hair clippings. This will ensure that more can be done to recycle, reuse and ultimately avoid more waste.

My last tip is building in a green fee as part of your charges. The idea of this is to help cover the cost of using sustainable waste systems by allocating a certain percentage of your pricing for your carbon offsetting.

Good luck Rianna, I can’t wait to hear about the changes you choose to make!

Have any freelancing questions you’d like to find out for yourself? Send your questions to Lacey here