• Incremental Change Agency

How Davines is motivating salons to be more sustainable

Updated: Mar 10

Meet Erin Tijsen and Juliet Ferguson.

They are both hair dressers and owners of Refuge Hair Boutique, a sustainably focused salon located in Wellington, New Zealand.

They never used to be passionate about sustainability but caught the bug after adopting the Davines product line at their salon in 2018.

“We wanted to have a more natural approach at our salon. We did a lot of research before opening into quality product lines and came across Davines, which has been rated one of the cleanest beauty brands in the world. Learning more about their commitment to the environment really inspired us, so much so that we have adopted their ethos in our salon too.” Erin said.

Davines has completed a ‘sustainable life cycle assessment’ analysis on all of their products to “evaluate every possible consequence on natural resources, environment and society, during the entire life cycle of the product” (Davines, 2020).They have also aligned their corporate strategy with the Sustainable Development Goals as defined in the UN Agenda 2030. “We have rewritten our way of doing business, looking at business as a positive force capable of generating profit and at the same time creating virtuous impact on people and the environment.” Davines is carbon neutral. They have partnered with EthioTrees in Ethiopia to offset their carbon footprint while also providing positive environmental and social outcomes for the community. (EthioTrees, 2020)

Erin and Juliet feel that this alignment has given Refuge a competitive advantage. “We do take on the price of a premium product, but we feel this is worth it. It has provided a competitive advantage and a lot of new customers have found us through this commitment to the environment. All of our colour, shampoo and conditioner is 99% biodegradable in water after 30 days. In addition to our product line, we do a lot in our salon to mitigate our own carbon footprint. We have recently upgraded our sinks to Ecoheads, which reduce our water consumption by 60%. We also recycle all of our products, including our tin foil. The only thing we don’t recycle yet is hair since this is still not available in New Zealand and we think the impact of sending it overseas is worse than throwing it away. It is biodegrable but takes a very long time.” Juliet said.

Other leaders in this space, include Sustainable Salons who are doing some great work to help salons move to zero waste in Australia. “They have recently come to New Zealand to begin working with salons on moving toward zero waste but have not yet made it to Wellington. We have already adopted a lot of what they do, but look forward to meeting them to see what ways we can take it a step further – in particular with hair.” Erin said. Sustainable Salons have collected “43,700 ponytails resulting in 2,185 wigs and also collected 18,900 kgs of hair from the salon floor that could soak up 63,100 liters of oil in a coastline spill” (Sustiainable Salons).

“It’s been incredible seeing the growth in sustainable salons as an industry and how much of a positive impact it has had on our environment already. The passion for sustainability has been contagious at Refuge. Since we’ve adopted these measures, our staff have caught it too and we are all doing more in our home lives as well to reduce our impact. It’s amazing this all started with our supplier, Davines and has spiraled into each of us acting differently and our customers also changing their behavior. We are really stoked that our work could inspire others too!” Juliet said.

If you’re interested in making your salon more sustainable here are a few incremental steps to help you get there:

1.) Start with your supplier – select a brand that avoids nasty chemicals that will end up in the water system. Ensure they consider the sustianable life cycle assessment like Davines – or better yet just use Davines!

2.) Recycle all products, including tin foil at your local steel plant

3.) Purchase sink heads which reduce water consumption – like ecoheads

4.) Use LED lights and select a space which has more passive lighting like windows to provide natural light and venilation

5.) Get your staff excited about it and working collectively toward continuous improvement

6.) Talk to your clients about why it’s so important

7.) Track your progress – keep metrics on how much waste you’re diverting from the landfill, how many clients you’ve switched to better product ranges, and any other metrics which tell your sustainable story