Sustainable Salons is a unique social enterprise and the first comprehensive resource recovery program designed for the salon environment that rewards salons and gives back to the community.
Founded by Paul Frasca and Ewelina Soroko in 2015, Sustainable Salons specialises in collecting up to 95% of the salon bin and redirecting all material for reuse, recycling and repurposing solutions.
How did it all begin?
Ewelina was working in sustainable fashion and Paul was hairdressing. Ewelina being the environmentalist she is, Paul saw it as his duty to let her know what levels of waste the hair and beauty industry generated anecdotally. Ewelina needed DATA!
So they decided to drive around to 180 hair and beauty salons and ask to look in their bins (yep they got some strange looks) then they asked to take the whole contents of the bins home to the garage and separate all the items to see exactly what was in each one and what could be recycled. That was fairly easy..
Next they had to go around and ask for support from recyclers that were used to dealing with huge industrial clients, not people who had no real idea if they could even get a single member.
With that done, Paul set out to ask salons to join.
The first salon to join was in Newcastle NSW called Crysalis. The owner Katya was very keen to join but hesitated and asked Paul “how many salons are on the programme so far”
Paul panicked and fibbed saying “Oh about 100” !
Katya joined up straight away and is still a member and one of our greatest advocates. Paul’s conscience had him confess to Katya and she only just found out that he had panicked! Her leap of faith helped start a revolution in our industry so we are very grateful.
For Sustainable Salons, sustainability is not just about environmental impact – it’s about so much more!
Investing in the viability of the salon business, providing for the local people, inspiring the next generation, driving global awareness and employing people who are differently abled (more than half of our team are living and working with a disability) … all become factors that contribute to sustainable and healthy people and planet. We live in a community not an economy after all..
Five years ago, after more than five years of research, Sustainable Salons signed up its first salons as industry eco warriors. Today, the program has over 1,000 salon members (and growing everyday!) in the hairdressing, barbering, beauty and pet-grooming sectors across Australia and New Zealand as part of the journey to zero waste.
Our Key values:
Sustainable salons are able to take what people think of as rubbish or landfill and waste and convert those things into something of value. Paul says we are above ground miners. Nature hates waste and we need to be more like nature.
We take all the paper, aluminium foil, cardboard, metal product tubes and plastics out of landfill and keep them in circulation. These items are processed in our various facilities including right here in Melbourne. More than half of our team members are differently abled and so proud of the work that they are doing to help the environment.
As these raw materials are sold to recyclers we take one hundred percent of the money and give it to OZ harvest and Kiwi harvest to supply meals to the most vulnerable in our communities. We have fed well over 142,000 meals and is one of the many things we are very proud of.
We love what we do and are so excited for this movement to keep gaining traction.