Salon Support: Sustainable Salon Practices Post-Lockdown – Part 1

The environmental impact of COVID-19 is still largely unknown; whilst there have been reports of reduced air pollution, there has also been a surge in plastic waste due to increased use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves. As the first tentative steps are being taken towards recovery, salons will want to continue to manage their environmental impacts. That’s why we’ve produced this quick guide for a safe and sustainable post-lockdown salon experience.


Rather than commiserate on the downside of the new normal, we want to encourage salons to see how this moment presents an opportunity for more commitment, more ambition and more action – never let a crisis go to waste!


Reusable Cloth Masks

1. Reusable Cloth Masks

As all clients will need to wear a mask, salons – in the interest of sustainability – should always ask clients to bring their own. However, the salon should provide a back-up just in case! Here’s how to do it sustainably:

  • Some clients may require or prefer new and sealed masks, but salons should at least offer sustainable options, such as locally sourced, re-usable cloth masks that are washed after each use. New and sealed masks can be offered as for-sale options for clients to keep after their visit
  • The salon logo alongside a smart claim, i.e. keep the sea plastic free can help nudge clients to choose the sustainable option


Sustainable Gloves

2. Sustainable Gloves

Protective gloves are often made from vinyl and other synthetic materials which are not biodegradable. Latex (natural rubber), whilst more natural, is often associated with unsustainable harvesting practices – looking for alternatives can help save the planet:

  • Make sure that the natural rubber is sourced from a responsibly managed plantation, e.g. FSC Certified
  • When choosing biodegradable gloves, it is important to pay attention to information about how long these take to degrade and under what conditions, so that they can be disposed of correctly and degrade as intended
  • Some manufacturers offer dedicated recycling schemes for their gloves – remember to check the options in your local area


Compostable Capes

3. Compostable Capes

Capes have always been part of salon life, however, due to stricter hygiene protocols, salons may want to turn to single-use capes made from sustainable materials:

  • As re-usable capes will need to be washed after each use, which consumes a lot of water and energy, 100% biologically degradable single-use capes made from bioplastic (e.g. cornstarch) are a sustainable alternative


Disposal – Dedicated Recycling Systems

4. Disposal – Dedicated Recycling Systems

In instances where single-use PPE is unavoidable, considering the proper disposal of products is key, for example:

  • TerraCycle offers an innovative way of efficiently recycling even hard-to-recycle items, such as single-use PPE. Customers receive a collection box, fill it with their hard-to-recycle waste and, once full, schedule a collection to ship items back for safe recycling using the pre-paid shipping label


Look Local

5. Look Local

As is the case with beverages, disinfectants also offer ample opportunity to get creative, for example:

  • Several small distilleries have changed their production and can supply salons with disinfectant, which can be decanted in the salon and used for disinfecting hands and salon tools
  • Locally sourced options aren’t always available at suitable price points, so salons may also look towards refillable glass hand-sanitiser bottles and other plastic-free refills as alternatives to regular sanitisers that often come in small, plastic bottles

For more information on Environmental Sustainability type ‘sustainability’ into the search bar to read a range of informative blog posts on this topic.