Green Salon Initiatives


L’Oréal & Redken

Caring is at the heart of everything we do at Team Bespoke. We see it as a privilege to go to work every day and get the chance to make people feel good about themselves. We care deeply about what we do and the world that we live in. When you try and look at the combination of creating a work environment that is better for the planet and running a hair salon, some very difficult challenges are raised. We need electricity water and chemicals to work. We started work on this and then the pandemic hit, which required new ways of working that took us backwards in regards of waste reduction. We never lost sight of the long-term goal of waste reduction, and we are now in a position where we can start to make some immediate changes and work towards some longer goals.

Our site at 3-4 Church Street, Rugby, has three areas over two floors. We still want to offer more space for clients to feel safe, on days where there are less people in working, we use a smaller area of the salon, so that we reduce utility costs. We have decorated to a neutral pallet so that it does not age or date, so that we can focus on work that is for maintenance and safety rather than re-branding. We won’t replace items purely for looks. There must be a safety need and we will seek to repair, and where we cannot, we will seek to replace locally.

We have always paid for the safe removal of our waste via Rugby Borough Council. We have one general waste unit and one recycling unit. We are working with the Council to see what additional initiatives they can offer and see if we could create a solution that would support our industry across the Borough. We will keep you updated on this.

For the moment we have signed up to work with Green Salon Collective, who provide recycling solutions that are tailored to our industry. The downside to this is that the waste must be collected out of area. Therefore, we are working with our local council to come up with a local solution and reduce transport costs. Salon recycling can be broadly split into the following areas:

Recycling general (we can dispose of that locally in our current arrangement with the local council)
Hair (Green salon collective take this)
Metals (Green salon collective take this)
Chemicals (Green salon collective take this)
Towels (Green salon collective take this)
PPE (Green salon collective take this & our plan is to reduce the use of plastic)
Plastic (we can dispose of that locally in our current arrangement with the local council)
Paper (we can dispose of that locally in our current arrangement with the local council)
Food (we can dispose of that locally in our current arrangement with the local council)

Recycling decoded

Green Salon Collective have a plan for each area of salon waste:

Hair – There are many ways to recycle hair by creating hair mats, compost and booms!

Compost – Hair is a protein and like other proteins it will break down when composted. It does take about two years to break down though. Any hair that doesn’t make it to mats or booms is donated to local farmers.

A hair mat – sounds strange! A hair mat can be used to absorb oil or water by plumbers, mechanics or in local parks.

What is a boom?

Hair absorbs oil. A hair boom is hair cuttings of any length or colour, tightly packed into cotton or nylon tubes. When placed in either water or on the shores of beaches. These booms will stop oil from spreading, saving wildlife and the natural landscape.

100% of any of the money raised by selling hair booms & mats by Green Salon Collective, is donated to charity.

Metals / Chemicals /PPE

Green Salon collective have come up with a solution to recycling foil (much to Louise relief as rinsing it would be a full-time job).

It’s not just foil though, its all-salon metals as they will often be impossible to clean (think colour tubes) which makes local re-cycling not possible. They can recycle all metals from colour tubes to a can of pop. The dirtier the better! All profits made from re-cycling are donated to charity.

Excess chemical waste is sent to a specialist facility that burns it to ash. The incineration process produces heat and electricity, and all waste is burned according to Offensive Waste guidelines.


All clean disposable towels can be collected and turned into compost.

Gowns & Capes

Since the pandemic, our use of disposable protective equipment increased. We are planning to reduce this over time.

We started to look in to how we could return to using gowns and give the client the security that everything was individual use. The first issue that we had was with sourcing gowns. We found a local company that sources gowns from a place abroad that guarantees wages and working standards.

If you want to support this company . We love the concept of what they do and their ethical policies.

From a green perspective, we were torn with considering the implication of transport costs and should we be working with a company that makes products in the UK. The cost per gown without branding and a material back cape for additional protection was £21.00 per gown and to guarantee single use we would need 100, so it’s a big investment for a small business. We need to get this right. It has taken time to work on this and we went with a UK based company to reduce transport, but you can understand the conflict that we felt, and it wasn’t an easy decision.

This just gives an insight into some of the challenges that we face and the contradictions that each option can pose. Writing a sustainability policy is not easy. It will take time to get there, and we are learning that we can’t solve everything immediately.

We will be offering our clients the “Gown for Life” option, where they could buy their own gown and bring it with them if they felt safer. We will wash each gown after a single use. They can dry overnight and will not require the use of a tumble dryer.

We still need to use water, but our shower heads provide an economical flow.

We work with product houses that have an ethical and environmental policy.

Recycling tips


L’Oréal and Redken have sustainability policies.
L’Oréal offers a sustainability education plan, and our team will cover this.

Kevin Murphy are one of the best companies around now for sustainability programmes and one of the few to get approval from PETA. They do so much that the detail will be covered in a separate blog.

Both Product houses are supporters of the Green Salon Collective

Kevin Murphy - recycling - the choice we make