Environmental sustainability is important for any business, especially independent hairdressing salons, beauty therapy salons and barbershops. With the right strategy, you can make a difference in protecting the environment while saving money at the same time.
While concerns surrounding waste in the beauty industry have only grown in recent years, this has also led to plenty of innovation and opportunity. Clean beauty is projected to make up a $22 billion market globally by 2024, according to Statista Research. This push is especially appealing to younger consumers who want to invest in brands they believe are ethical and relatable.
Sustainability is often thought of as requiring major overhauls or huge upfront investments that may not be feasible for everyone. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Keep reading for tips on embracing sustainability in your beauty business so you can help the planet while also helping your bottom line.
## Take your appointment book and payments online
One of the easiest ways to make your beauty business more sustainable is to move your booking and payments online with a solution such as Square Appointments. You can save paper (and human resources efforts) by allowing anyone to book their own appointments online. That saves you a lot of phone calls and eliminates buying paper schedule books for every team member.
Digital payments also help you save on printing receipts, as your team can easily send them by email or text message. With digital receipts, you don’t have to pay for paper receipts that most people throw away before they get home anyway.
Scheduling that puts time in your hands.
Send waste for recycling and reuse
Hair clippings may not feel like a serious problem for the environment, but most of that waste is piled in a landfill. While you likely know that you can recycle paper and cardboard, plastics, and metals, just like at home, salons have a unique opportunity to send other waste for recycling and different uses.
A growing number of companies offer to recycle and repurpose beauty waste. For example, some hair salons help you collect hair clippings, used foils, color tubes, excess hair colour and other items in specifically designed containers that quickly ship off to a processing centre.
Much of what we consider waste can in fact be recycled. Hair clippings can be composted, turned into plastics, or may go to humanitarian efforts. Hair colour can be separated and turned into fuel. Single-use items may be turned into renewable energy or asphalt road filler. The potential to reduce what goes to the landfill can’t be understated.
Choose eco-friendly products
While you can reduce consumption of some products, you’ll still need shampoos, conditioners, chemicals and other products used in typical client visits. The next time you restock, consider looking for environmentally friendly products made by sustainable manufacturers.
Some business owners may go a step further and search for products made from organic materials and not tested on animals. As a salon featuring eco-friendly products, you’re taking another significant step to make your business more sustainable.
Bonus Tip: With Square Appointments, you can sync your online booking site and retail sales all in one easy-to-manage hub.
Upgrade for water and power efficiency
Eco-friendly products are a great way to start making your salon more sustainable, but you can take it a step further by changing how you use water and power in your business.
Look at your lighting, thermostat and washing machines as opportunities to save energy. Adding window tinting could help you save on heating for a relatively small, upfront investment. The next time you replace the fridge or dishwasher in the break area, look for Energy Star or other certifications.
Finally, your hair-washing sprayers and toilets could be upgraded to high-efficiency or low-flow versions, conserving another precious resource: water. When you do everything on this list, you should also see your utility bills drop as a financial reward.
Little efforts make a big difference
The sustainability journey is different for every business, but some core practices can help any beauty business succeed. And as an added perk, these changes will also save you money in the long run.
So what’s next? Start by looking at your business through a sustainable lens and see where you can make some minor changes with a big impact. Your clients, your community and your bottom line will thank you.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.