Our Commitment to Salon Sustainability - Sulis Byron

A Meaningful Commitment to Sustainability

From waste products to wall paint, power points to potted plants, Sulis’ commitment to sustainability can be found throughout the salon.

Sustainability isn’t just a short-term trend to jump on for 2018. At least, it isn’t for us here at Sulis.

Throughout our salon, care is taken to constantly strive to improve our sustainability. From using eco paint on our walls to recycling 95% of the salon’s waste, our passionate staff have made a firm commitment to doing more to impact less on our planet.

This strong commitment may be personal to Sulis, but we hope it’s one other salons will choose to follow too. In this article, we explain why we believe sustainability matters and reveal the steps we have taken in becoming a more sustainable salon.

Sulis Hair & Beauty Salon in Byron Bay

Sustainability and Hair Salons

This may come as a surprise: it’s not a simple process for hair salons to meaningfully embrace sustainability.

Hair and beauty products often arrive packaged in plastic, while the foils used in hair colouring and razor blades are only used once before being discarded. Add to this metals from sprays and other containers, and paper from packaging, magazines and paperwork.

Already, that’s a lot of waste material that could end up in landfill.

But then, have you ever wondered what happens to all the chemicals used in hair colouring, straightening and beauty treatments? Often, these are simply washed down the drain requiring energy-intensive treatments to remove the chemicals from the water alongside other water waste. If left untreated, these chemicals eventually become pollutants that harm our environment.

Clearly, there are some major hurdles to overcoming sustainability issues for salons. Here at Sulis, we understand these challenges and have chosen to do something about them.

Step-by-step, we’ve worked hard to find solutions and make our salon more sustainable. Here’s how.

Hairdresser Tahlia doing a professional hair colour

How Sulis Became a Sustainable Salon

Sulis’ approach to sustainability begins with changing the fate of waste products. By partnering with Sustainable Salons Australia (SSA), there’s now very little that goes to waste in this salon.

SSA collects up to 95% of Sulis’ waste products, recycling and repurposing these materials so they can become useful again. Here’s what happens after they leave the salon:

  • Hair clippings are stuffed into long stocking-like tubes to become ultra-absorbent hair booms. These are used to soak up oil spills. Ponytails are used to create wigs.
  • Metals—foils, razors, containers and colour or tint tubes—are sold as scrap metal so they can be reused. Proceeds from sales are donated to Australian food charity, OzHarvest.
  • Plastics—packaging, bags and containers—are recycled by Plastic Forests and become underground cable covers that wrap around NBN cables as well as outdoor furniture.
  • Paper—boxes, magazines and office paperwork—is recycled into new paper products by Loumbos Recycling in Sydney.
  • Chemicals—hair colour, extension solutions and other chemicals—are put through a neutralising process which extracts all the water. This water then gets used in construction and roadworks.

That deals with the vast majority of waste products leaving our salon. But Sulis’ commitment to sustainability doesn’t stop there.

Sustainable Salons posters 3 tonnes of hair collected to assist in oil spill clean up efforts.

How Sulis Is Leading the Sustainability Charge

Throughout the salon, you’ll find further evidence of Sulis’ deep-felt commitment to sustainability.

The walls of Sulis are painted in an eco paint supplied by local painters, Natural Painting Solutions.

These non-toxic paints are free from strong smelling chemicals, making  a more pleasant environment for everyone. Their manufacture also has a smaller carbon footprint than normal paint, so they’re good for the planet from the very beginning.

Also decorating the salon are potted plants, instead of the cut flowers found in many salons. Instead of constantly throwing out dead flowers, Sulis nurtures the plants so they become a long-lasting fixture of the decor. These, in turn, oxygenate the air for the benefit of staff and guests alike.

Sulis’ sustainability continues even when hairdryers, lights or curling tongs are turned on. The salon uses energy supplied by Enova Energy. This community-owned, local energy company supplies power from renewable energy sources. It’s goal is to play a role in a sustainable energy revolution, and Sulis is fully onboard with that goal!

Finally, Sulis is an Aveda Lifestyle Salon – the highest level of Aveda salon. By committing to using, promoting and celebrating Aveda’s products, Sulis is making yet another strong statement in support of sustainability.

Aveda products are based on natural ingredients and are produced in ways that look to minimise impact on the environment and producing communities. This is clearly laid out in Aveda’s mission statement:

“Our mission at Aveda is to care for the world we live in,
from the products we make to the ways in which
we give back to society. At Aveda, we strive to set
an example for environmental leadership and responsibility,
not just in the world of beauty, but around the world.”

HORST RECHELBACHER, FOUNDER

This mission statement could equally be Sulis’ – striving each day to take the lead in salon sustainability.

Aveda products at Sulis Byron bay

Sulis’ Steps Towards Sustainability

Here’s what Sulis currently achieves on the path to sustainability:

As partner with Sustainable Salons Australia, Sulis recycles:

– Hair

– Plastics from packaging

– Chemicals from hair colours, straightening and other products

– Metals, including foils, canisters and colour tubes

– Paper from office use and packaging

– Razor blades

Sulis also makes a commitment to sustainability by:

– Eco paint from Natural Painting Solutions

– Energy from Enova Energy

– Stocking Aveda Products

– Using potted plants in the salon.

With clear commitments to sustainability found throughout the salon, Sulis hopes to support other salons to help create a better future between salon and our environment.