The number one reason we are in business is to make a profit.
But society now demands more from us. We need to help create sustainable and responsible brand. It might seem ambitious to think that as salon owners we can make a difference but society is demanding that we become more ethical in our approach to business.
There are several ways, that as salon owners we are able to contribute to more sustainable business practices. We can take action that is good for the environment, not just right now but long term. Finding ways to reduce waste and consumption re-use resources and of course recycling.
Reducing can come in many ways, some are even beneficial to our bottom line, for example weighing colour makes sure that we consistently mix only what is needed for the use on each client, reducing the amount of chemical we wash down our sinks and into the environment. This is also a money saver!
New companies are emerging all the time with products to help salon owners reduce consumption, Eco heads, have produced a shower head that doubles water pressure while filtering the water and removing rust and sediment. Better water pressure makes more efficient rinsing and reduced water consumption. The product is also 100% recyclable.
Something as simple as investing in china or ceramic cups for coffee and tea rather than paper or foam cups, again a twofold action, it reduces the burden on the environment, and because they are washed and re-used the initial investment over time has minimal impact on our bottom-line compared to disposable products.
There has also been an emergence of companies producing recyclable towels, EasyDry is one that is available globally. These are made with wood fibers; even the manufacture of these products uses recycled water and solar energy. They are biodegrade within 12 weeks and are 100% recyclable. While it might seem like an initial outlay, compared to the cost of washing, drying and replacing cotton towels, and the cost and time of employees to do the laundry, recyclable wood fiber towels in the long term are not only more eco-responsible but reduce the cost on your bottom-line.
In Australian alone hairdressers throw away one million kilos of foils every year? That going straight to landfill. Companies such as Refoil use recycled aluminum, using a fraction of the energy needed to produce raw aluminum and cutting the need for destructive open-cast mining that damages the landscape. Again the cost for business is minimal but the impact is great.
But there is no need to stop with then environment. There are many ways within our community that we are able to be more responsible. Supporting non-profits such as women’s shelters, animal aid, youth groups the list is endless. And it doesn’t have to just come from our pockets. You may offer a day or two a year that you offer all the money from a service like hair cutting is donated to your favorite community group. Encourage staff by offering them a day off a month to volunteer at their favorite charity or group.
Our society is heading towards more a sustainable and progressive future. It is your chance as a salon owner to capitalize on this and be the first in your community to get on board with this consumer trend, 87% of global consumers believe business should place at least equal emphasis on social interests as business interests, and ‘purpose’ has increased as a purchase trigger by 26% since 2008. The changes are taking place socially and environmentally at a greater pace than they have in the last 20 years, and governments are now forcing companies and consumers to do. Cities like Manila are banning plastic bags, June 2013 Los Angeles became the largest US city to ban free plastic bags. The US town of Concord, Massachusetts banned the sale of bottled water in less than one liter in a bid to reduce waste.
But don’t make it a one off effort for the positive PR you might gain, if this is not an authentic effort from your business consumers will see it as nothing more than a PR effort and it can have a detrimental effect on the perception of your business.
Do it because you care. You know it’s the right thing to do for the community and the planet. Take positive long term action and your customers will reward you for it.