WHY GO GREEN? Salon owners and industry experts point out the perks they’ve seen.
THE GROWTH OF GREEN
Eco-consciousness is going mainstream. Here’s what it may mean for your future.
The environmentally friendly movement — more casually known as the “green” movement — is sprouting all over. Hybrid cars are showing up on highways, Wal-Mart is upping its organic food selection, and Al Gore’s movie about global warming An Inconvenient Truth was viewed by audiences worldwide.
In the beauty industry, Spa Finder Inc. identified “green” as one of its Top Trends to Watch for 2007. “We’re starting to see more spas either going green or doing small things to incorporate green elements, like water or energy conservation,” says Melisse Gelula, Spa Finder’s Luxury Spa Finder Magazine beauty and home spa design editor. “I’m definitely seeing that in day-to-day consciousness the green element is there much more than it’s ever been before. We think this trend is just going to continue.”
What does this mean for you? Very possibly that you, or one of your nearby competitors, has begun incorporating an eco-friendly consciousness into the salon. From using organic products in services to designing a green interior to instituting a recycling policy, green has arrived in the salon industry in a big way.
SHOUT IT OUT
Once your salon has decided to go green, here are some tried-and-true methods of letting your clients — and the world at large — know.
WHERE TO START
If you’re thinking about opening your own eco-conscious salon, here are some resources to help you on your way.
TALKING THE TALK
Keep this glossary of acronyms handy, so you can decode the green-related alphabet soup.
Salons all over the country are going eco-chic. Check out these four success stories for inspiration.
Owner: Elizabeth Snowdon; Designer: Envision Design (contractor: Davis Construction)
What makes the salon green: Awarded the prestigious LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification, the spa boasts a feature wall that is made from the salvaged wood of a former barn, carpeting with more than 50% recycled content, energy efficient HVAC system and lighting, and eco-friendly product lines; its printed materials use eco-friendly paper and ink.
Why: Snowden says, “There were a couple of reasons: environmental awareness; health issues, such as the quality of air in the salon; and a strategic business decision, so the salon could fit into a unique niche. Some people think there’s some sort of aesthetic compromise when you build green, but we’re trying to show you don’t have to compromise. You can get any look you’re going for — whether hip or elegant — sustainably.”
Owner: Carrie Malia; Designer: Cool Designs
What makes the salon green: Viridis features recycled glass countertops, recycled paper window shades, cork floors, natural lighting, 100% wool fabrics, low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint, formaldehyde-free veneer, and stations made of pressed sunflower seeds and soybean resin. The salon does natural nails only.
Why: Malia says, “I had been working in the salon for about 18 years and was getting sick from the job, but I didn’t want to give up what I was doing. I started looking into healthier building strategies, including working with an engineer to create a better ventilation system. It really started for my own health, but then I realized it could help so many other people as well.”
Owner: Kim D’Amato; Designer: Self-designed by D’Amato
What makes the salon green: Priti uses 100% organic products in its services, making sure to avoid parabens, formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, and acetone. (Its nail polish remover is soy-based.) It incorporates flowers, fruits, herbs, and organic essential oils into services and offers clients biodegradable slippers.
Why: D’Amato says, “I felt there wasn’t really a salon where I could feel safe having services while pregnant. So basically I put together a spa thinking about what would make me happy. Also, I believe in aromatherapy, so I incorporated organic essential oils as well.”
Owners: Maria and Gary Sigman; Designer: Solterra Studios (materials consultant: Stone Prairie Studios)
What makes the salon green: Inspired by Aveda founder Horst Rechelbacher, a pioneer in the green beauty industry, the salon boasts recycled poly-vinyl flooring with an underlayment of post-consumer tire rubber, fabrics made from recycled soda bottles, paint with no- to low-VOCs, and a reception desk made of compressed bits of bamboo. It primarily uses botanical and organic products.
Why: Maria Sigman says, “We try to lead a green personal lifestyle, so the salon became an extension of how we live. Also, it offsets some of the toxic chemicals we have to use in nail, hair, and body services.”