3 March 2024

Focus on Sustainability with Salon Emotion

L’Oreal Professionnel’s Sustainable Salon Emotion helped get Luke Huffstutter and his Annastasia Salon in Portland, Oregon on the right track.

Salon Emotion is L’Oréal Professionel‘s program to boost salon business with an approach that should be intuitive. The essence is focused mostly by raising awareness of the importance of engaging clients on a personal level using seven simple steps. All the salons who apply the Salon Emotion principles notice a significant uptick in their bottom line and improvements in the overall ambience. Taking this once step further, the focus on clientele also implies addressing their concerns for the environment.

This is where Sustainable Salon Emotion steps in. Luke Huffstutter immediately got on board to apply the principles to all three locations of Annastasia Salon in Lake Oswego and Portland, Oregon. Estetica asked him about the changes he made to his salon that would make an important difference.

Focus on Sustainability: step by step

How did Salon Emotion encourage you to focus on sustainability in your salons?

After talking with the L’Oreal Sustainability Team we realized that many things can be done to make simple changes in an everyday routine. For example, they made us realize that local solutions are always the best. Using local suppliers of products and services reduces the need to ship items, which already has a significant negative impact on the environment. As a result, we relied on L’Oreal’s Sustainable Salon Emotion class as well as SalonCycle to look for opportunities where we could DIY. Then, if we can’t figure out a solution locally, we use alternative services.

What kind of recycling do you do in the salon?

Plastics, glass and paper are the easiest to recycle because Portland has an awesome recycling program. The most important thing to consider was the staff work flow. The right container had to be at their finger tips. For example, there is a plastic bin at the color bar and shampoo back bar, so when a bottle is empty they don’t have to walk anywhere to dispose of it properly!

Foils and color tubes are all taken to a metal recycling company. Hair clippings, instead, are composted through our regular garbage company.

How about sustainability in terms of energy: heating, lighting, etc.?

We have had some challenges in this area because of the buildings we are in. In any case, we’ve updated all our light bulbs to low energy LED’s. We insulated walls that had none. We even replaced some windows with high performance glass. Our energy usage has declined but not as much as we would like. We have a long outlook on sustainability. That means we will continue to set goals and improve as we grow.

Will the remodeling focus on sustainability in the new location?

We recently purchased our 3rd location and are currently in the design stages to remodel it. To this view we are working with Millard Kwon Design. This gives us a big opportunity to purchase LEED fixtures and have sustainability as a core value in designing the next salon. We keep learning and applying those lessons as we grow.

What other sustainable actions are you taking?

For example, in terms of water conservation the most impactful step we’ve taken to reduce water is at the shampoo bowl. We simply installed shampoo sprayers that use 20% less water than the normal heads. We still have a small amount of color waste and use SalonCycle’s Excess Color Buckets to manage this waste in a responsible way.

When it comes to things like plastic caps (color tube caps!), plastic film, batteries, light bulbs, electronics, clamshell containers, multi-layer plastic and more we use Ridwell. This is a new and growing recycling company that helps us with hard to recycle items.

What has been the most effective tool in meeting your sustainability goals?

We rely heavily on Vish to reduce our product impact every day. We have seen a large reduction in color waste since implementing Vish. There is also the additional benefit of charging correctly for our color services, Vish has been a huge win/win.

Before this focus on sustainability, did you make any calculations on costs vs. projected savings?

Honestly, we have not spent a ton of time on cost analysis. This is something we have to do both in terms of social responsibility. It is also expected by our clientele. But Vish alone has more than paid for all of our changes by reducing our color usage. I can confidently say that.

How do you communicate your focus on sustainability to your clientele?

We have mostly talked about our efforts on Social Media. In salon we have taken advantage of our Inovshop monitors to show our commitment, but we have more work to do.

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