Barhairink is a hair salon based in Islington. They were looking to reduce single-use plastic and minimise the amount of waste sent to landfill or incineration by the business.Thanks to a grant and support from Islington Council and ReLondon’s business transformation team, Barhairink were able to introduce refillable cleaning products and recycle bins for hard-to-recycle materials such as foils, metal, dye packaging and customers’ hair itself. Barhairink estimates that they have been able to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill and/or incineration each month by 80% - approx. 192kg in 6 months!
What was the challenge?
Barhairink is a hair salon based in Islington that provides hair and beauty treatments, ranging from haircuts and styling to body waxing and facial threading.
Like many working in the industry, the salon was increasingly concerned by environmental issues related to single-use plastics, pollution and climate change. They wanted to reduce the amount of waste they sent to landfill and/or incineration by reducing the amount of single-use packaging used at the salon and recycling as much materials as possible.
What was the response?
Thanks to a grant and support from Islington Council and ReLondon’s business transformation programme, Barhairink took a multi-pronged approach to reducing their waste.
They started by tackling the single-use packaging coming into the business by exploring refillable cleaning products, eventually switching to products from Spruce (another ReLondon-supported SME), thus avoiding a weekly order of products in plastic bottles.
Next, they tackled hair dye packaging by establishing a partnership with a colour company – Kevin Murphy – which provides 100% recyclable packaging, and where products are formulated with naturally derived ingredients and are PETA certified. This has resulted in offering a new colour refill service for their customers along with large refills used for the salon.
And finally, they looked for a better disposal solution to tackle all the unavoidable packaging used by the salon by subscribing to the Green Salon Collective and introducing special recycling bins for difficult-to-recycle items such as hair foils, dye packaging and even the hair left behind by customers!
“ReLondon has opened our eyes to how much hairdressers chuck into the bin and got us to turn around completely, and it's absolutely incredible how much we can recycle.”
Miranda Alund, Stylist, Barhairink
What were the outcomes?
Thanks to their circular activities, Barhairink estimate that they have reduced the amount of business waste sent to landfill and/or incineration by 80% – from 40kg to 8kg per month. The majority of this is made up of the foils, dye packaging and hair recycled by the Green Salon Collective – the business now fills two to three 144 litre bins each month, ensuring the metals are recycled and the hair collected now goes to organisations that help mop up oil spills.
Lessons Learned & next steps
Barhairink have demonstrated that to become a more circular business, it isn’t necessary to re-invent the wheel. By accessing pre-existing solutions such as Spruce, Kevin Murphy and Green Salon Collective the business has been able to reduce their waste significantly and set themselves apart from other salons to appeal to customers who are becoming increasingly interested in the sustainability of the businesses they buy from.
To continue to stand out, Barhairink are looking into more solutions to further their sustainable goals that fit alongside their day-to-day business.