New Green Salon Collective now has 14 Irish members

A new salon sustainability initiative that launched during the summer now has 14 Irish businesses on board.

Founded by environmental experts, hairdressers and eco campaigners, Green Salon Collective is an Ireland and UK start-up that is aiming to facilitate salon sustainability by recycling the unrecyclable, such as hair, used foil and colour tubes, chemicals, plastics, and PPE.

Its goal is to be able to collect as close to 100% of all salon waste as physically possible, and to then find new uses for it that reward the salon, the environment and the community.

Profits raised from the sale of all commodities get redistributed and recycled too by supporting charities and local communities, as well as aiding all salons on their own journey towards a greener future.

Initially slated to launch in March, the Covid-19 lockdown delayed this until the summer. “We were ready the week of the lockdown, but we had to hold off,” said Fry Taylor, who is one of Green Salon Collective’s founders.

“But during that time hairdressers – and non-hairdressers – did a lot of thinking and plenty of research. In April, Kate Brandt, head of sustainability at Google, said that the search ‘how to live more sustainably’ had gone up over 4000%.  I think Covid has helped people to reflect on what is important, and what is needed.”

So far there are 14 salons in the Republic of Ireland signed up to Green Salon Collective, including Susan Collins Home of Hair in Greystones, Co Wicklow; Romina Daniel, Vanilla Hair, Maven Hair Studio and Wildflower in Dublin; and Pin-Up Hair in Inishannon, Co Cork. Three salons in Northern Ireland have joined, while there are 140 salons in the UK that are now part of the collective.

Salons and freelance stylists can join from around €135, explains Taylor. “That’s the only up-front cost and it covers the salon bins, bin bags, marketing tools and education. Salons then start to charge their clients a €1-2 ‘green fee’; this extra income covers the costs of us collecting the waste from the salons. It's a cost-neutral ‘pay as you play’ system.”

Taylor believes that being a ‘green salon’ will hugely beneficial for businesses. “As a client, if you wanted a haircut and colour, and you knew that one salon was recycling you hair, foil and even your leftover colour, and you had to pay an extra euro, and the salon next door wasn't doing any of those things, which salon would you choose? Salons on our system attract more like-minded clients. And more clients equals more income.”