How was the Sustainable Beauty Coalition formed?
“A few patrons of the British Beauty Council were speaking about sustainability, which led to the Courage to Change report, commissioned by some industry agencies, which found that the beauty industry really isn’t very beautiful. Our industry has problems in terms of formulation, plastic, greenwashing, ingredient sourcing and more. We needed to get the industry together to clean up its act and raise awareness, which is what we’ve set out to do by bringing together industry experts to form an advocacy initiative.”
How can salon and spa owners ensure they are making sustainable choices?
“The biggest question for a lot of business owners is ‘where do I start on my sustainability journey?’. Remember, you have inputs and outputs – you know what you’re buying.
“When you talk to suppliers, ask their sustainability policy or tell them you only want to buy sustainable products. Ask questions of them – could they make their delivery methods greener? Is their packaging 100% recyclable?
“Within your business, look at your outgoings, such as gas and electric. Make changes like switching to air source heat pumps or see if your local council or landlord would offer support to insulate your building. These changes not only make your business more sustainable but help to lower costs too.”
What resources do you offer to business owners looking to make more sustainable choices?
“At the moment, we’re trying to bring everyone together by encouraging sign-up to our database, where salon and spa owners can share their stories; for example, if you are running an initiative that is going well.
“We’re then running these news stories in our newsletters to share best practice so that you can take inspiration from others’ successes.”
What are coalition’s main aims for 2022?
“We’ve set up a Sustainable Beauty Coalition (SBC) hair task force, which is a group of salons who have got together to talk about issues and share best practice, and that’s something we want to expand with nail bars, beauty salons and so on.
“If we can replicate that initiative across each different sector and encourage salons and spas to share best practice, then we’re already being more sustainable.
“We’ll also be working with the Government more to set up workshops on things like how to monitor your carbon emissions, and best practice for sustainability in your business.”
What drew you to the coalition and why did you want to be a part of it?
“I want to help support our industry to become an exemplary industry when it comes to sustainability because I think we can be.
“I’ve been a climate activist for the past 40 years and I firmly believe that business can be a force for good. We all need to take action, take responsibility and make a difference. We’re all citizens of the planet and we have to step up.”