With years of research, reflection and relentless drive to be more sustainable, Tony and Pam...

With years of research, reflection and relentless drive to be more sustainable, Tony and Pam Gordon have reached carbon-negative status for their salon company with five locations.

Gordon Salons goes beyond what most consider achievable in the beauty industry. With a legacy dating back to the birth of Aveda, it has achieved legendary carbon-negative status, removing more CO₂ emissions from the atmosphere than the five Illinois salons produce combined.

It’s a staggering achievement, reached after years of research, reflection and relentless drive to be more sustainable every day. Alongside planting more than 10,000 native trees, reducing chemical usage, saving water and purchasing energy from solar farms, Owners Pam and Tony Gordon have waged war on single-use plastic. They’ve led the battle by providing solutions, rather than dishing out shame. Here their colleague and salon manager, Alexis Lopez, reveals five easy wins the group has made against non-recyclable plastics:

1. Choose your partners carefully

"We are an Aveda lifestyle salon, so everything is sustainably sourced and packaged in glass or recyclable plastic, which is rarer than you think. Same goes for our Gordon products, such as our bath bombs and bar soaps. We even think about this when investing in new equipment. Buying our ECOHEADS from Sustain Beauty Co ensured they came in cardboard packaging, that’s thoughtfully sourced."

2. Consider end-of-life

"Our industry produces millions of units of rigid plastic every year but only about 3% is recycled. So searching out partners that supply product in recycled and recyclable plastic must be done in tandem with finding an effective route with local partners or salon waste specialists."

3. Reward commitment

"We have an end-of-use program with loyalty points to reward customers who bring back their beauty product bottles for recycling. It’s our way of helping our clients escape the disposable culture that dominates our industry."

The newest Gordon Salon location in Highland Park, Illinois.

The newest Gordon Salon location in Highland Park, Illinois. 

4. Ban the bottle

"We make our own beverages, which we serve in glass and reusable containers. We also buy fresh, organic ingredients to infuse with water filtered through our Quench water system. There is no reason why any client would prefer or request plastic water bottles in our salon."

5. Make it easy for your team

"We provide utensils and silverware for the team so they do not use plastics for meals. Plus, as a manager, I bought my entire team tumblers so they have a refillable beverage container instead of buying plastic one-use bottles. Any new team member gets one when they start on the floor."

Need help navigating your way to a cleaner, more secure future? Download the Sustain Beauty Co Checklist for guidance https://sustainbeauty.co/pages/checklist-download  


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