We caught up with Toronto’s Salon Mod, an environmentally conscioushair salon that is working to fight global warming, use more eco-friendly products and partner with like-minded companies, such as Green Circle Salons. From green retail bestsellers to colour lines that won’t harm the planet, here’s what owner Christopher Raposo has to say on going green.
Q: Why did Salon Mod choose to adopt a green focus?
When I decided to open my own salon four years ago, one of my main objectives was to become as green as the industry would allow. With the growing concern for the environment, I think it should be everyone’s responsibility to do their part wherever and whenever they can. I want the next generations to enjoy this beautiful planet like we do.
Q: What are your eco-friendly best sellers in the salon?
We carry Kevin.Murphy products exclusively. Kevin Murphy is an environmentalist. He makes every effort to do his part to help the environment by using packaging that is recyclable or biodegradable. He uses natural ingredients from sources that are sustainable and renewable, and that are harvested using methods that do not cause any harm to the environment. Plus, Kevin.Murphy products are not tested on animals.
Q: When considering a green partnership with other organizations, what do you look for?
I look for authenticity. One such company is Green Circle Salons (GCS). I became a member in 2009 after Shane Price, president and CEO, explained his vision: to create a sustainable salon industry in Canada by 2020. What I admire about this company is that they truly work towards finding solutions to help the environment.
GCS recycles all that the blue bin recycles and much more. With their own collection trucks and working with Turtle Island Recycling, GCS will collect this waste and ensure that it is ready for recycling, and ultimately re-purposing. GCS pays a carbon-offset fee for the trucks to make sure that they are not producing additional carbon emissions in the process.
GCS is also working with Matter of Trust from California and the University of Guelph to re-purpose hair. Those new purposes will include hair and recycled nylons for the creation of oil booms, used in oil and chemical spills. Hair can also be good compost material once the necessary chemicals are removed it, and GCS is developing other innovative horticultural and agricultural uses.
GCS’s latest endeavour is their Chemical Waste Diversion Program. They take away all excess colour mixtures from the salon and dispose of it in a safer way, keeping it out of are water system. New strategies for glass, aerosol cans, polystyrene (Styrofoam) and compost collections also started this year.
Q: It can be tricky to find eco-friendly colour systems. If a salon is considering an effective colour line that doesn’t harm the environment, what are some features to look for?
I would definitely make sure it is low- or free-of ammonia, and that the ingredients in the colour are plant-based with as little chemical content as possible. Another important factor is that it has conditioning agents included so it can maintain the integrity of the hair.
At Salon Mod, we exclusively carry a colour line called Davines because it features all the attributes of the points I mentioned above. The company itself is environmentally conscious. To offset the environmental impact, Davines has been using the renewable energy of the sun, wind, water and soil to supply its plants and offices since 2006. Davines also offsets their carbon footprint by planting trees.
Q: How can salons get started in becoming more green?
Since the hair industry does create a lot of waste, I personally think every salon should do their part in trying to minimize, if not eliminate, all the waste it creates. A great way to start is becoming a Green Circle Salon member. You’ll know that you are making a change.
Hair by Natasha Singh, colour by Christopher Raposo, Salon Mod, Toronto; Photos by Michelle Clarke and Maya Tavera