Professional Hair Care

Steps Toward a Sustainable Salon Industry in Europe

Last week, we had the pleasure of attending an exciting event—Hairdressers Ahead, a European congress by Coiffure EU—that raised awareness about the importance and benefits of “going green” in the salon environment. Although the topic of waste and environment is highly discussed in various industries, it’s still in the nascent stage in the salon hair care industry in Europe.  A political officer from the EU Commission discussed the steps that are being taken on the government level to minimize waste in the industry, including the development of a real market for green products and minimizing greenwashing.

The congress also hosted visitors from the Canadian Green Circle Salons initiative, which helps salons to dispose of the waste and recycle it. The initiative was started when L’Oréal Canada jumped in to assist cleanup of the 2014 Texas oil spill, collecting hair from salons and disposing of it as waste to help absorb the oil. Today, Canadian Green is looking for more innovative ways to use the recycled waste produced by salons, such as color residue and aluminum foils, in other industry productions. In Europe, a young student/entrepreneur from Belgium has already started a project in which he is collecting hair from salons and converting it into a biological fertilizer.

While Europe currently lacks any specific regulations on salon industry waste disposal, it is likely that policies will be developed in the near future. Manufacturers and suppliers are realizing the importance of this initiative, as we see more and more brands that are natural and environmentally friendly gaining significance in the industry. Examples include Davines, which holds the B Corp certification given to companies that meet the highest social sustainability standards. Other salon hair care manufacturers, such as Aveda and Oway, also lead the way in manufacturing products with recyclable packaging and sustainable practices

It is evident that stakeholders in all parts of the value chain are becoming more involved in developing new and innovative ideas to improve the environmental impact in the industry. This aspect is no longer a trend but becoming a decisive factor for many consumers throughout Europe, and thus all stakeholders are expected to follow in the future. To observe these and many other essential changes in the industry in Europe and around the world, please refer to our Salon Hair Care Global Series report.

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