Sustainability: for beauty & business All about the new wave of 'green salons'
The 21st century’s burning topic— sustainability—is fast catching up with the global salon industry too. It is a great means to drive environmentally-conscious practices, with long term effects on businesses.
While the salon industry in the West (especially in Australia) is seen to be embracing the ‘green salon’ concept at a rapid rate, their India counterparts seem to have taken the slow track to sustainable business. Being a country that runs on ingenious ideas, it wouldn’t be hard for us to figure out the nuances, however, industry awareness and economic considerations are a major hindrance to salon owners. Although sustainability is yet to leave a mark on the Indian beauty industry on a large scale, efficient recycling and waste management is a genuine concern for the salons. Here’s an expert take on the initiatives/ programs that a few industry leaders have taken to do their bit in reducing environmental havoc.
International brands have paved the way to practice sustainable measures, one among those leading the pack is the professional favourite brand Matrix. One of their bestselling ranges, Biolage, is strongly rooted in naturality, with the core range being inspired by nature. Hence Biolage is committed to giving back to nature by making beauty sustainable. Globally, they produce, innovate and develop sustainably. By using Biolage, one already takes a step towards sustainability as those products are not only good for your hair but also good for the planet. Melroy Dickson, GM-Education, Matrix believes that it is really easy for hairdressers to take small simple steps to get their salons clean and green.
SUSTAINABILITY IN PRACTICE
In 1990, when Arnie Miller saw that nature could be harnessed to protect and nourish hair, he launched Biolage. He not only promoted the use of botanical ingredients, but also believed in the power of nature for the well-being of stylists and clients. Biolage has found ways to incorporate this philosophy in a regular salon experience too. Hairdressers are being trained on simple initiatives like judicious use of water, electricity and other resources, as the brand has begun creating sustainability-oriented educational modules. Special salon accessories have been developed that are completely biodegradable. An initiative to reduce water wastage at the backwash is underway. The windows are kept clean so that maximum natural light can flow into the salon. Moreover salons are being encouraged to turn green, with special green zones that are inspired by nature.
COMBINING SCIENCE WITH NATURE
All formulae of Biolage Core draw inspiration from botanicals—like camellia flower, orchid flower and aloe vera. The Biolage Advanced range that resolves serious hair concerns brings nature together with molecular science. The primary manufacturing facility at Matrix is making constant efforts to produce sustainably, by reducing waste and water consumption. The facility uses a process called lightweighting to minimise the plastic used in their bottles. Up to 40% of the plastic used is post-consumer recycled (PCR), and they inform us that they are consistently pushing to improve this.
Make strides toward environmental friendliness
NEU salon chain’s recent initiative is about driving awareness about the importance of a sustainable environment. When asked about the driving force of the ‘green salon’ concept, Vibhoar, CEO, NEU says, “Rather than inspiration, it was just a scare! We witness pollution and its impact in our everyday lives. We just need to stop for a second and pay attention to our surroundings. Delhi, Gurgaon are being considered as one of the most polluted cities in the world and hence we thought if we could at least do our bit for the environment. You can be a part of the problem or you can be a part of the solution. We’d rather be a part of the solution. Sustainable salons is a concept that struck our mind sometime around last year and we were very excited to work towards this commitment since then..” Vibhoar further reveals that the salon chain is trying to practice the ‘reduce, reuse & recycle mantra’ across the branches. The sustainable model now applies to five of NEU salons in Gurgaon and the company also expect their future salons to follow the same path. “From water conservation to lighting to reducing carbon emissions. Even, the entire salon waste is being recycled by a professional waste management company. We have replaced our stationery with recycled paper, while the plastic water bottles have given way to water dispensers. We’re also looking at owning green spaces in and around Gurgaon and helping in maintaining them. We’re looking at educating our guests as well as children about the importance a sustainable future,” he says.
Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic Unisex Green Salon is touted as the pioneer of the green salon concept. The brand envisions to have running sustainability right through the salon. “The concept of green salons was developed to give shape to the brand’s vision of creating responsible and sustainable beauty. Through this, the company is taking steps to reduce, recycle, reuse and keep the energy consumption low compared to any other salon in the industry,” says Dr Blossom Kochhar, Chairperson, Blossom Kochhar Group Of Companies. The salon chain aims to awaken people to the concept of a truly nourishing, healing salon environment and holistic practices. Dr. Kochhar shares how the salon is leading the way to reduce the carbon footprint...
The green walls in salons provide a comfortable eco-friendly environment. Energy efficient lighting ensures less electricity consumption and less heat emission. The interiors of the salon are minimalistic in design. The large windows and doors make sure that the rooms are flooded with natural light during the day. The furniture and fixtures include use of alternative materials like bamboo and have minimised the use of woods, thus sticking to their mantra of sustainability. Cotton fabrics have been used in the spalon.
Products from Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic brand are used as all our products are 100% free of parabens, alcohol, harmful chemicals, artificial fragrance and colours and promote an organic way of lifestyle. As we are committed to using safe and nature derived products in our salon, we have made it a point to partner wherever possible with some of the best eco-friendly hair and nail brands to ensure our clients get safe and healthy beauty solutions. Our product packaging will not harm the environment as they are biodegradable.
Therapists are trained to control water wastage and usage of excess electricity while servicing their clients.
The opinions of these experts open up new possibilities. Afterall, it is clear that sustainability needs no big overhauls. Tiny changes in running the business with a firm hand on optimal utilisation of resources can bring about a larger impact on the environment and the society. Lead the way and inspire clients to follow through—and sustainable beauty needn’t be a distant dream.