Yet again, I am trying something new on the Cedar Coast blog: a green business profile. From time to time I come across amazing people doing amazing things and have thought “Man, I want to share their story! It’s so inspiring!” So when one of my good friends made some changes in her life towards environmental sustainability I jumped at the chance to share her story with you. So here we go!
For many years now I have been a self-admitted hair addict, with my partner in crime being my stylist and friend Savannah Falk. As some of you may remember in my posts A Hairy Situation Part 1 & 2 & 3 Savannah was a wealth of information about product do’s and don’ts, so when she told me she was making a huge leap towards sustainability in her business I couldn’t turn down to opportunity to share her story with you.
But a bit of back story first. Savannah and I met back in 2009 in North Vancouver. I was having a bad day and walked down the street to a hair salon in my new neighbourhood (I had just moved to North Vancouver) and begged for a hair cut. My go-to vice for bad days has always been to cut or colour my hair (I blame my sister 😉 ) Savannah was the one who obliged (or pulled the short straw, I am not sure which) and got to work on her very first Heathers-in-a-crap-mood-chop-it-all-off haircut, the first of many. Over the years I have had as many hair colours and I did jobs, and more cuts than I did boyfriends. Savannah has been there for every step of the way!
So when she called to discuss this big change of hers, I was delighted! Turns out all those years of griping about pollution and talking about the environment had paid off: she was going sustainable!
Savannah told me she was converting her product line completely to Monat (that’s pronounced Mo-Nate because I kept mispronouncing it myself LOL). “So what’s the big deal?” I asked her since I had done a great deal of research on hair products this past summer and had found several brands that I loved. What made these ones different? Well for one, this list of Monat “No’s” is straight from their website:
Monat comes at their product ingredients largely from a personal health perspective, but as I have same on more than one occasion what is good for you is usually good for the planet. As we discussed in previous posts, phthalates, parabens, phenoxyethanol, fragrances, PEG and sulfates all wash down our drains and into our waste water systems. Despite our best efforts at treatment facilities, these chemicals are still discharged into our marine ecosystems. What may be considered”safe levels” of these chemicals for humans are now found to be dangerous and harmful for marine animals and their ecosystems.
For years Savannah has bugged me about how often I was my hair, damaging it and washing my colour out along the way. She would tisk tisk me for needing to come in every 6 weeks for a colour because I was basically washing it all down the drain while damaging my hair and scalp. Savannah posted this amazing picture and caption which highlights the health and strength of her hair now that she has been using Monat. She needs to wash her hair less and less and experiences less and less breakage every week due to her infrequent washing. This not only does this cut down on water consumption but also her overall need for product which reduces packaging and plastics.
[I’ve used] “curl cream” this is day 2, post sweaty workout, I dried my sweaty hair and twisted my hair into approx 6 “zulu knots” and let it sit while I did my makeup! Took my hair down and light diffuse to break the curls up and look and the curl and volume!!!
In addition to embracing a product line which is both good for her clients and for the planet, she has joined a new salon called Joy Hair Studio in North Vancouver which is a Green Circle Salon member. Additionally, Joy is committed to philanthropic work, meaning that partial proceeds from every service is donated to local initiatives which help those battling mental illness. Located in Lonsdale Quay, Joy is easy to get to via public transit with buses and the seabus terminal located within the same building which can cut down your style oriented carbon footprint even further.
Green Circle Salons aim to be as close to zero waste as possible by recycling foils, diverting hair clippings from landfills, recycling tubes and aerosols, collecting and remediating chemical products, and by participating in traditional recycling and green waste products. In total Green Circle Salons have diverted almost 2.3 million pounds of salon and spa waste from landfills around North America since 2009.
“We further serve our salons by coaching them in making green changes to the operations of their salon such as LED lighting, renewable energy, organic tea and coffee, eco-friendly cleaning products, and installing water saving faucets” – Green Circle Salons
Investigation into the ingredient lists of Monat products raised very few overall concerns for me. Yes their products contain fragrances and some surfactants which are considered irritants to some, but in the grand scheme of things Monat products strive to make healthy/green performance oriented products not just green cleansing products. This is leaps and bounds ahead of many other salon grade products and companies which don’t even attempt to make changes to their ingredient lists. Can Monat do a little better? Yes, and I assume that through their active research and product development they will be constantly striving for improvement.
Savannah has taken such fantastic steps towards making her business responsible, ethical and environmentally sustainable proving that effective change is possible within the beauty industry. Between using Monat and through the services at Joy Hair Salon, Savannah has began to eliminate and divert much of her businesses pollution and waste which would either go into our water systems or into municipal landfills. She isn’t a “die hard” environmentalist, super crunchy or a hippie, just a normal person like you and I who wants to make a difference in her life and the lives of her clients by providing healthy hair products which are good for them and the planet. We should all be a little more like Savannah shouldn’t we?
Want a green stylist in your life? Contact Savannah to purchase the whole Monat product line via her website, on Instagram or at Joy Hair Salon and by traditional means 778-836-5171 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks again for reading you guys!