6 Last Minute Upgrades to Sustainably Future-Proof Your Salon

Valorie Tate, founder of Sustain Beauty Co, shares some summer DIY upgrades to help future-proof your business with sustainability in mind.
Valorie Tate, founder of Sustain Beauty Co, shares some summer DIY upgrades to help future-proof your business with sustainability in mind.
Courtesy of Sustain Beauty Co

Autumn is fast approaching, but there is still time to squeeze in some summer DIY upgrades to help future-proof your business with sustainability in mind.

Write a To-Do List

Begin with an inventory to identify areas in need of a tune-up – improvement or replacement – and plan for a realistic schedule of completion. Some of it might be shelved until next summer but at least you have a plan.

Go Surfing 

August is often the calm before the storm that begins with summer beauty rehab and keeps going through to the New Year. So take this time for some online research into innovations currently reaping rewards for your peers. It will pay in the long term. What’s new in waste management, energy conservation, cost mitigation, efficient service upgrades and general sustainability? What products, systems and tech are other business owners discussing? Keep an open mind, and take time to learn and consider without rejecting it as ‘not for you.’ Sometimes the best ideas are the most radical.

Focus on Easy, Quick Fixes

Focus on quick wins first, things that require the least change and expense, like going paperless or plastic-free. At the very least, get rid of one-use plastic. You still have time to swap out all your lights for LEDs – saving energy and money – and to organize recycle bins to curtail wish-cycling, or upgrade to a salon-specific mixed use box where your team just put it all in one bin and it gets sorted by a specialist, like SalonCycle or Green Circle.

Prioritize Big Impact and Big Savings

Upgrade power strips to those with timers to ensure idle equipment isn’t left on, burning unnecessary energy and change over to light sensors in rooms and cubicles not in constant use, such as restrooms or cupboards. If you are one of the few salons not using dual-flushing, low-flow loos, you could make that change now while many clients are still away on vacation. Update all faucets to low-flow – ones with a 1.5 gallons per minute limit. An easy first step is to install ECOHEADS on all basins, which will cut back on water and energy use by as much as 65%. Look into updating efficient water heaters to on-point versions that reduce the need to run water until it’s the right temperature.

Maintain What You Have 

Don’t put off bi-annual checks of HVAC and cleaning as good management leads to max efficiency. Be alert to wear and tear on furniture and equipment so it is repaired or refurbished – rather than replaced in a panic when it breaks. Reupholstering a good salon chair or bed is often cheaper than replacing it. To increase its longevity, stop using abrasive chemicals that wear down and tarnish your fixtures over time and also expose your team to air-borne pollutants. Plant-based, non-toxic cleaners developed by The Salon Chair Guys and carried by Sustain Beauty Co, protect your team and your equipment.

Clean Air for Everyone 

Don’t shy away from upgrading ventilation. A typical salon is full of fumes that can have a long-term impact on you, the team and clients. If it’s too much investment or disruption for this summer, look for ways to reduce inflammatory toxins, like adding live plants to clean the air, swapping stations that use heavy duty chemicals to be near the intake vent or a window and mixing color in air tight compartments like The Ping; these cute color mixers don’t just limit fumes and so protect the team, they also create creamier formulas that require less color, saving on pollution and color costs. Meanwhile, put the upgrade on next summer’s to-do list.

Becoming more sustainable is the only way to future-proof your business, but it can be done gradually, a little bit more each season. To make it easier we have published the Sustain Beauty Co checklist, full of ideas on how you can make the change slowly or quickly.

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