Chances are that in your busy day-to-day life as a salon owner or freelance beauty therapist, the vast majority of your mental energy is spent on back-to-back appointments and giving clients the best expert beauty advice. It can be easy to forget the bigger part that we are playing in the world, especially when it comes to doing better for our planet. Today, all businesses, including freelance beauty therapists and salon owners, should be taking steps to make a meaningful impact. Sustainable business practices are also becoming of increasing importance to clients.
Here, we wanted to put together the basics of what you could be doing as a salon or independent beauty business owner to make sure you're building your business in an environmentally friendly way:
Join the Green Salon Collective
This organisation has been pioneering in holding the beauty industry (particularly hairdressing) to account when it comes to sustainable, eco-friendly standards in the UK and Ireland. They will help your business with everything you need to know, with a primary focus on the correct recycling or disposal of toxic products, providing general education on best practices, and also provide accreditation of your business. The organisation is also partnered with some of the top beauty brands in the world, including Wella and L'Oreal. In general, they are the top starting point for your beauty business.
Create policies for yourself and your business
At minimum, after educating yourself on the aspects of environmental waste and damage that are directly applicable to you, it's important to then take action. Simple but consistent changes can go a long way. While it can be overwhelming to think about all the problems at hand, doing something is better than nothing. Whether it's installing water eco heads, recycling hair for various uses, or swapping out towels for muslin cloths, there is an enormous opportunity to create a more sustainable business in beauty by having a few policies and being disciplined about implementing them.
Offer even a few sustainable products to clients
When deciding what to stock in your store or sell on your online Expertly shelf, you first have to decide what matters to you and your values. Whether it's ensuring companies use sustainable packaging or have even more deeply ingrained sustainability practices, there are an increasing amount of professional beauty brands and products that you can support. (This great list from Hairdresser's Journal is an excellent starting point for those in haircare in particular). And don't forget that products don't have to be just what you use for treatments. For everything from cleaning products to refreshments, taking a few extra minutes to research the best options for the environment can go a long way.
Educate your customers and community
It takes a global community of people to walk in the same direction to make a difference. No matter what steps you're taking to make your business more sustainable, big or small, we encourage you to share them on your social media or other ways in which you communicate with your customers. Not only will they be aware of your practices, but they may also in turn make environmentally conscious choices in their own lives and businesses, inspired by you.