Immerse in expert advice to help protect the planet and satisfy clients…

Unilever reports that 90% of Gen Z expect brands to do more to help reduce climate impact and in 2022, a YouGov survey found that two-thirds of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable purchases.

Claudia Sear“Most new clients reference my focus on sustainability during their first appointment,” notes Claudia Sear of Claudia Sear: Luxury Eco Nails, Sussex.

“The problems facing the earth are problems facing every individual, so it’s a niche that adds value to everyone’s service. With an eco-friendly treatment, a client can feel that they’ve made a green choice, without it being any more work for them.”

Lucy AllenLucy Allen of Sheffield-based conscious studio space, Offbeat Beauty Collective, agrees: “Almost every new client says that our ethical and environmental ethos is one of the main reasons they choose to visit our business. This confirms that large numbers of the public are actively looking for greener options when searching for beauty and wellness services. As an industry, we produce tonnes of waste that unnecessarily ends up in landfill. Being environmentally conscious should be a priority for us all.”

Faring financially

The SME Insights Report 2023 from business insurance provider, Simply Business, found that finances are negatively impacting sustainability efforts for 57% of small UK businesses, with only 13% saying they have been able to achieve their green goals.

With this in mind, the concept of a green fee (a small added cost to allow businesses to carry out environmentally conscious practices) is becoming increasingly popular – and can be implemented with the help of organisations like Green Salon Collective, an authority on salon sustainability in the UK&I.

Fry Taylor

“We work with most salon software, so a £1 to £2 green fee is easy to introduce, showing clients that you’re a salon that takes environmental matters seriously,” says Fry Taylor, co-founder of Green Salon Collective.

Lucy Allen tells Scratch that her green fee is included within her treatment prices and pays for her to be a Green Salon Collective member. “Before introducing the fee, I spoke to every client about the recycling we’d be doing and why, helping them to understand the small added cost to services. Not one person complained; they were all very supportive of the scheme,” she smiles.

Marketing magic

“If you’re embracing the green wave, share it with genuine vibes, let your passion shine and do not act like an eco guru unless you truly are” notes Fry Taylor. “Even small green choices can be used as marketing content, and if you’re consistent in posting about the eco values of your business, a reputation builds quickly,” adds Claudia Sear.

Tanya JeskinsTanya Jeskins of Tanya Jeskins Hair & Nails, Cornwall, details that she markets her sustainable efforts and plans in-person, by openly talking to clients. “It creates conversation, clients love to ask questions and they often want to know how they can continue to be environmentally conscious after leaving the salon,” she says.

Click here for 5 ways to avoid greenwashing (when brands market misleading claims about their environmental practices).

Digital do & don’t

Do

“Reduce paper waste and the impacts of deforestation by using an online booking system rather than a physical diary,” suggests Tanya Jeskins. “Online systems allow you to manage appointments, organise stock and save client information more easily, too.”

Don’t

Sam Blake“You clean your nail tools and equipment, but how clean is your email inbox? Do you have 500, 700, even 1,000 read, unread or spam emails?” asks Sam Blake, aka The Safer Salon Geek, a health, workplace wellbeing and safety trainer & adviser for salon professionals. “Emails are stored in the cloud, which takes a lot of electricity to power, generally produced by fossil fuels. Deleting emails and unsubscribing from mail that has no use or meaning is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint and costs nothing to do.

“Deleting 10 emails could save 1,725,000 gigabytes of storage space, which is around 55.2 million kilowatts of power!”

Initiatives to get involved in

Green Salon Collective Gsc Logo

Green Salon Collective (GSC)

Both Claudia Sear and Lucy Allen note the ease of joining GSC, and have benefitted from offsetting their businesses’ carbon emissions via partner brand, Eco Offset. Claudia mentions GSC’s great marketing tools and media for members, and Lucy adds that any waste that can’t be recycled is incinerated, generating energy to heat and power local homes and businesses.

Greenspark

Greenspark

“For every one of my manicure or pedicure services booked, Greenspark plants a tree or removes a plastic bottle from the ocean,” reveals Claudia Sear. “I let the client choose which they’d prefer, and find that this is a tangible way for them to connect with what I’m trying to achieve as a business.” Via Greenspark, both businesses and clients can track their planet positive impacts.

Ellie's Fund

Ellie’s Recycling Fund

“I send my nitrile gloves to Ellie’s Recycling Fund via Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity, which recycles disposable gloves, printer cartridges, used writing instruments, water filters and used stamps to raise funds for research into brain tumours,” shares Tanya Jeskins.

By Editor