In celebration of Earth Day, we decided to reach out one of our greenest members, Green Circle Salons. We had the opportunity to speak with Brandy Atkinson, Business Development and Educator for Green Circle Salons, about the Green Circle philosophy, upcoming projects, and what it means to be green!
“Green Circle Salons provides green solutions to the North American salon and spa industry,” says Atkinson. “Our mission is to make this industry sustainable by 2020. We’ve developed a comprehensive pathway that helps salons and spas reduce their footprint, AND create business value at the same time. Our program ensures that hair, foils, color tubes, plastics, papers, and excess color, and many other materials get diverted out of the waste stream.”
“Green Circle Salons brings together some of the best brands from across the salon and spa industry as a way to offer our communities responsible, greener choices when it comes to looking and feeling beautiful,” Atkinson continues. “Our directory offers a simple way to connect consumers with like-minded salons in their neighborhood. Simply put, we offer a turnkey solution for recycling and re-purposing materials once destined for landfill, and help to promote the salons that are leading this charge for our industry – all at no cost to the salon!”
So what do Green Circle members look like? To find out, we headed to beautiful Downtown Phoenix, AZ to rePose Salon. Stefanie Richards, Salon & Spa Director, gave us a tour of her green salon and explained the importance of environmental sustainability in her business.
How did rePose make the decision to turn to a sustainable and green process?
When I took over the salon we needed a direction that made us stand out from the rest. It was a no-brainer to me that bringing in Davines hair products and clearing out what was used previously was that direction. The quality of the product is superior to anything else I have used, but the Eco-friendly element is equally important to me.
My stylists attended a class where they learned about Green Circle. So I give credit to them for bringing this element to rePose. Green Circle also seemed like a no-brainer. In our location, there was not a separation between garbage and recycling. So bringing in Green Circle gave us the ability to recycle everyday paper and plastics, as well as hair supplies that I never knew were recyclable. We now recycle metals (foils and color tubes), all of the hair that is swept up every day, and even unused chemicals!
How do you go about educating clients on the Green Circle process?
Typically, clients will ask if they see the recycling containers. We explain the process to them and I always like to share with them the light bulb that went off in my head as soon as I realized how much recyclable material we were throwing away before becoming members of Green Circle Salons.
What advice would you give to salons considering joining Green Circle Salon’s efforts?
They are a wonderful company, based on an honor system. You send them your client numbers and that generates your monthly payment. You can’t go wrong, and you won’t be overcharged. There is also no contract, so giving it a try carries no risk. The recycled products get picked up any time you schedule a pick up, and pick up always happens within 24 hours, so you can avoid any clutter. Green Circle Salons has worked out all the kinks before starting their operations, so it’s very smooth as long as you create a system. I delegated pick-up scheduling and keeping the recyclables organized to two of my stylists. It really is a very well oiled machine if you are organized, so there is really nothing to lose!
“Today, each of us has a role in igniting and supporting a greener world,” says Brandy Atkinson. “Our guess is that you know green is the right thing to do. We’re beginning to buy, live, and eat ‘green’. Green is the clear choice for tomorrow. Surely, as a business owner and community member, you want to be a part of the cutting edge? But the truth is, while we all get it, we also have very good questions. ‘How do I get there? How will I pay for it? What difference will it make? Is there anyone credible out there to build a pathway for me to do the right thing for my customers, my employees and my community-AND-stay in business? Where is my solution?’ Simply put, Green Circle Salons is your industry resource for everything that can help to reduce your business’ waste, improve energy and water efficiency, and help to ensure long term financial stability.”