The team at Zazou Salon and Academy in North Vancouver are masters of sustainability and waste management; they produce the minimum possible and make sure it is disposed of without damage to the planet. But in 2018 they still produced more than 3,000lbs of liquid waste, an enormous and unnecessary cost to the salon. Even though it was disposed of responsibly, it was still exasperating.
“We could see exactly how much, thanks to Green Circle Salons, which disposes of our waste in an environmentally careful way,” says Heather Hui, salon manager. ‘There was a lot of color that we had paid for.’
But in 2018 the salon introduced Vish Color Management and within a year, waste saved per service brought cost per ounce spiralling down. Comparing before and after implementing Vish, the team has saved the salon CAN$10,000 in six months. Considering what a year 2020 was for the industry, that was a very timely saving.
“We loved Vish and introduced it immediately into the salon and academy in October 2018,” explains Janine Cannon, Zazou’s business development lead. “The team all embraced it, especially as it does the math for them. One stylist actually halved the amount of product she used on one regular client. We saw color waste plummet. Then lockdown happened.”
The salon was shut for two months and when it reopened, Covid protocols meant it could only function at 70 percent capacity. Sustainability suddenly became just as much about sustaining beauty businesses as it was about sustaining the planet. Clients had to wait longer for appointments, and when they did come in, they arrived with much greater regrowth, which required more product. For many salons, already hit by closure and increased cleaning costs, the additional color costs have been crippling. But using Vish, Zazou has been able to track the additional product costs and pass that cost on to the client.
“We are very transparent with our clients, who are already used to paying the Green Circle Salon fee,” adds Hui. “There was no pushback from them about the additional color charges for the extra product required.
In December 2020, Zazou took the first step of its projected growth plan of 10 new locations in 10 years, opening its second salon, manned entirely by graduates from its academy. As the company expands, it still processes a fraction of the chemicals per person they did pre-Vish, and that any waste will be disposed of safely by Green Circle Salons. It keeps everyone devoted to best practice at the color bar.
Check out related stories in the Sustainability Series:
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.