How to Spot an Eco-friendly Salon

We’ve all seen them, chipboard veneered concrete-floored, concept hair salons. Taking over London’s East End one shop front at a time. Every time I go to buy a coffee (reusable cup in a tote of course) a new one appears overnight and as such I’ve nearly dropped many a croissant in shock. In the time of eco ‘aesthetic’, how can you spot a truly sustainable salon?

Chelsea Robin James Trainee Hair Stylist
Blog Author: Chelsea, Butchers Salon Assistant & Trainee Hairstylist

Don’t let the art student cladding and glossary of herbal teas fool you. As an eco-conscious consumer, how can you be sure you’re really in the green hands of a planet-friendly band of hairdressers? Anyone can hop up Columbia road and stick a succulent on reception, but what are the telltale signs of a salon where sustainability is prioritised over profit? 

Local Sustainable Suppliers

On entering any such establishment one of the first things you will be asked is may I hang your coat? And of course, would you like anything to drink? 

Here at Butchers Salon, you will be handed that coffee you urgently need before your full head of highlights ‘work from salon’ sesh in a beautiful handcrafted mug by a local ceramicist. Later refilling it with a second hit of caffeine because once your stylist is finished applying the colour, you will be strict, reply to those work emails, and absolutely will not be distracted by the relaxing chakra ritual, hand massage, or paperless magazines tempting you. 

Butchers use Abel & Cole as our refreshment suppliers, whose deliveries are made on e-bike! Excellent for the planet, but let’s take a moment in praise of the courier brave enough to pedal all that organic wine to us! On the surface eco-friendly grocery’s and decorating with reclaimed wood are easy enough to spot from afar, but what lies beneath the soft-hued Instagram filter?

Environmentally Friendly Products & Organic Colour Systems

Sustainable Hair Salon product from Aveda

The question of everyone’s furrowed brows at the basin is what are you putting on my scalp?

Our salon uses Aveda hair products. All of Aveda’s products are vegan, cruelty-free and 96% naturally derived from sustainable sources. From the shampoo, conditioner, enlightener (Aveda’s alternative to bleach: bleach is for toilets, not for hair), to the serums and balms that keep your blow dry silky smooth for days. If a source becomes unsustainable they discontinue the line. 

The pioneering natural hair company was founded in the seventies when flower power filled the air and Janis Joplin was the soundtrack to many a summer fling. Aveda was inspired by Ayurveda, a Hindu holistic medicinal tradition utilising plants and realigning chakras. The brand we know today was founded with environmental responsibility in business at its core. 

The hair colour tubes are made from recycled beer cans, and all of the product containers are recycled with first-mile recycling. So rest assured, you can lean back, relax and place your head firmly against the neck rest for a guilt-free scrub and head massage. 

Sustainability in every detail

One of my unashamed things to do when I go to a restaurant or anywhere out of the norm is to visit the bathroom. Wash my hands, check my mascara’s not misbehaving, take a selfie… we’ve all done it. With authority, I can tell a lot about a place from their subterranean amenities. But who gives a crap? 

Butchers do, they stock up on ‘who gives a crap’ loo roll, a company which like Abel & Cole is a B-corp. The certified B corporation website states ‘They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment.’ Put simply, these suppliers meet the highest standard of social and environmental responsibility.

It’s responsibly sourcing disposable items like loo roll or scrummi towels that planet-friendly salons like Butchers sew back on the corners that have been cut off by big business. 

What are Scrummi towels? Wrapped around your head for an Aveda Nutriplenish™ treatment Scrummi’s are single-use towels. They are made of 100% biodegradable in 8 weeks, vegan, soft natural wood fibres from sustainable forestry programs. The carbon footprint of churning through laundered towels all day is radically reduced, minimising the use of electricity and water. 

Saving Water & Energy

Ecohead Shower

But surely hairdressers use a lot of water, what are you doing about that? It’s no secret that the basins are the drummer of the band, keeping the rhythm flowing throughout the day. Another sure fire way to spot an eco-friendly salon is how they handle water wastage. Butchers have had a pretty good idea at fearlessly tackling the issue. They have installed all their basins with eco-shower heads, filtering the water, both softening the hard East End droplets and minimising wastage. 

It’s not enough to just use vegan products it needs to be reinforced with bold actions and hard decisions where to invest resources as a small business. The water, towels and suppliers are ways that Butchers Salon are on a journey to constantly improve and reduce their carbon footprint. 

Interested in experiencing our sustainable salon yourself? Book an appointment.