Your organisation re-purposes and recycles salon products that would otherwise go to waste. What innovations have you put in place to do this?
Sustainable Salons is the first comprehensive resource recovery program designed for the salon environment that rewards salons and gives back to the community.
Founded by Paul Frasca and Ewelina Soroko in 2015, Sustainable Salons specialises in collecting up to 95% of the salon waste bin and redirecting all material for reuse, recycling and repurposing solutions. 100% of the recycling proceeds are donated to OzHarvest and KiwiHarvest (in our NZ territories).
The Sustainable Salons program began in hairdressing salons and there are now sustainable beauty salons, dermal clinics, barbers and pet-groomers in QLD, NSW, ACT, VIC, SA, WA and New Zealand! There are more than 950 Sustainable Salons members, and consumers can find one near them at sustainablesalons.org/salon-locator.
Plastic packaging is kept in circulation and out of our oceans! Both hard and soft plastics are sent to specialist local plastics recyclers where it’s cleaned and transformed into outdoor furniture and closed-loop products such as The Shampoo Collection glasses frames made from 100% post-consumer recycled shampoo bottles – a collaboration by Sustainable Salons and Dresden Vision.
All aluminium products, cardboard, paper, magazines, razor blades, unwanted tools and select disposables are sent for recycling with the proceeds donated to OzHarvest and KiwiHarvest, while excess chemical waste is now being turned back into clean water used for manufacturing and construction, rather than going down the drain and contaminating our oceans.
Hair clippings are collected from the salon floor and stuffed into stockings to make Hair Booms that will help clean up oil spills along our coastlines! Hair is also repurposed in local community gardens for composting or used in sustainable art installations to educate the community.
Empty glass vials, pipettes and treatment bottles are collected and recycled into new glass products, and select disposable hygiene products used during beauty treatments are pulled apart and the materials sent for repurposing!
In partnership with organisations in QLD, VIC, WA and in the HQ Depot in Sydney, Sustainable Salons is also creating stronger futures for people with a disability by providing purposeful work within our material collection and processing streams.
Every aspect of the Sustainable Salons program is based on the globally-recognised three pillars of sustainability – People, Planet and Progress, and we’re about making real, measurable change that creates a ripple effect for a better future for all!
Why does the work OzHarvest does align so closely with your values?
Both OzHarvest and Sustainable Salons operate to bring about balance; there’s an excess in one area and a shortage of that resource in another… essentially, each organisation came to life to solve a problem.
We love that OzHarvest beautifully caters to the needs of the community and the planet equally, which is a belief we share. Many assume that Sustainable Salons is just about recycling, but it’s so much more than that! By contributing to the incredible work OzHarvest is doing, not only can we actively help solve a very real societal crisis, but it also means our network is opened up to the realness of their communities – the struggles and the beauty – and it gets them thinking about how their input could benefit others.
On the journey to a better future for all, OzHarvest shares our values of action, education and collaboration – our salon members and their clients are now hugely committed to this, too.
Tell us more about supporting the community through the Eat.Shop.Chop, that you host together with OzHarvest?
Eat.Shop.Chop came to life because we saw an incredible network of organisations all in one place at the Addison Project already working hard every day to support the vulnerable. This event simply adds in a spirit of fun and an opportunity for guests to mingle and enjoy great conversations, while receiving practical support.
Eat.Shop.Chop has become a powerful tool in breaking stigmas around what ‘homelessness’ looks like. By collaborating, we can learn from each other’s experiences and hopefully create more empathy and action amongst the wider community.
Ultimately, we set out to provide those doing it tough with a sense of self-worth and connectedness to their community. To elevate even one person’s quality of life – even if that’s just with a haircut – is what we’re all about.