Sustainability has long been at the heart of Anne Veck Oxford; they’re the first – and only – certified Carbon Neutral salon in the UK (awarded in 2019). A whole salon refit to incorporate clean, recycled energy to power the business has won them countless awards and their green achievements and efforts towards educating the hairdressing industry on sustainability issues have been widely recognised.
Anne makes it personal
Anne says: ‘The hairdressing industry has huge importance in society both as an industry and culturally. By influencing our clients and by setting an example, we can contribute to the positive changes needed to halt and reverse the climate and biodiversity emergencies. I am trying to do something…including inspiring other salon owners and hairdressers to get real about the mess we are creating and to take personal responsibility for fixing it.’
Remaining true to her values, Anne took the ethical decision to partner with sustainable product brand Davines, in turn stepping away from a more profitable brand contract. She has made multiple changes to the way her salon operates in order to reduce CO2 emissions – from 12.8 tonnes in 2013 to 7.7 tonnes in 2018/19, a drop of 40%. The company is also planning on introducing a team-building initiative later this year, which will see the salon team plant trees in an attempt to help offset their own carbon emissions.
What can you do?
Some of the more significant and effective measures that Anne hopes will inspire others include:
- Installation of a Ceramic Fuel Cell to produce more efficient electricity, reducing energy consumption by 50% and carbon emissions by 40%. A further benefit is that 200 litres of hot water are produced daily as a bi-product, further reducing energy consumption.
- Electricity and gas supply from Ecotricity, who generate 100% of their own renewable electricity and 5% green gas.
- Installation of Ecoheads at the backwash to save energy and reduce water use by 65%, plus a grey water filtration system.
- Recycling of all paper, card, glass, plastic, products, metal and hair by Green Salon Collective, with product waste reduced using VISH app. Good quality hair is sent to the Little Princess Trust, who make wigs for young cancer patients and anything else is collected by Oxford City Council who have a zero landfill policy.
- No printed price lists (all information is online). Salon literature is printed by Seacourt, a net carbon positive company using waterless printing technology and closed circle recycled stock.
- EasyDry biodegradable towels reduce energy and water use, saving 83,250 litres water per year. Additionally, the towels are used three times: first on clients, then for cleaning and finally by a local garage for heavy duty cleaning.
- Use of the Ecosia search engine, which uses its profit to plant trees to offset CO2 emmissions and a reduction in unnecessary emails (an email with attachments is equivalent to 50g carbon).
- No single-use cups or bottles – clients are asked to bring in their own for the FairTrade drinks served in salon.
Salon Re:Source toolkit
Anne has launched a new sustainable salon toolkit, named Salon Re:Source, with her husband and business partner Keith.
Salon Re:Source is here to help other salons do their bit towards creating a more environmentally-sound hairdressing industry. It consists of a three-part checklist of actions to take, broken down into Quick Wins (easy, cheap, quick ways to improve); Next Steps (changes that involve more time and expense but bigger payoffs) and Major Changes (large-scale investments and lifestyle changes for maximum impact).
As well as practical tips and advice, the toolkit is packed with recommendations for suppliers, brands, support systems and accreditation options – all chosen by Anne and Keith from their first-hand experience and in-depth research. How brilliant!
Click HERE to find out more about the Salon Re:Source and download your own copy.
Listen to Anne and Keith chatting all things sustainability, life in quarantine and why making your salon eco and ethical is the future in this podcast we did with them a few months ago:
Respect is a hub for UK hairdressers of all ages and stages to find out what We Love, We Hear and We See as the best product launches, styling advice, hairtools, education training and seminars and hairshows! Sign up to our newsletter which is sent fortnightly direct to your email, so you stay up-to-date with salon styling information, trends in session work, advice on presenting on stage or progress in educating – whatever your interest, whether you’re a trainee or creative director, an educator or team leader, you’ll find all the opportunities and ideas on www.respectyou.me