What One Small Business Is Doing For Sustainability

By Annabel Pickens on August 6, 2021

Key Points:

  • Consumer reaction to sustainable methods
  • Why sustainable partnerships are important
  • The cost of ignoring sustainable initiatives

In a Neilsen study, 81% of global respondents strongly felt that companies should help improve the environment. As corporate responsibility concerns increase, more businesses are becoming invested in their effects on our planet. Companies are committing to sustainable efforts and curating sustainability initiatives for the overall culture at the company.

Companies using sustainability methods show that they hear potential customer concerns and want to be a part of the solution, bringing an emotional connection between them. Brands are reaping the benefits of using sustainable methods. Based on the CSB Sustainable Market Share Index, sustainability-marketed products delivered 54.7% of CPG market growth in 2015-2019 despite representing only a 16.1% share of the category in 2019. Customers want to purchase from companies that are a part of the solution, and buying from them allows them to feel like they are also doing their part.

Both big and small businesses are investing in sustainable methods. Below is a local Raleigh, NC business, Salon Synchronicity, which has set itself apart with its sustainable practices.

Interview with the owner of Salon Synchronicity

SPECTRAFORCE: What kind of sustainable methods do you practice with your business?

Synchronicity Owner: We are partnered with Green Circle Salons, a paid partnership that allows us to recycle and repurpose 95% of our day-to-day salon waste.

SPECTRAFORCE: Tell me more about how it works.

Synchronicity Owner: Every day behind the chair, stylists produce various waste from hair trimmings to used color tubes to used aerosol cans, single-use items like gloves and masks. Before the partnership, all these items could not be recycled locally, ending up in the trash and landfill. But now, every day, we collect and sort through all the waste items and, at the end of the month, we package up and send them to Green Circle, and they send them off to various companies that they are partnered with that can use/repurpose or recycle them.

SPECTRAFORCE: How long have you been doing these?

Synchronicity Owner: We have always recycled standard recyclable materials, but about a year ago, after coming back from being shut down due to COVID, we started the Green Circle partnership and have never looked back.

SPECTRAFORCE: What made you decide to become an eco-friendlier/sustainable salon?

Synchronicity Owner: Sustainability was always something I cared about. The Green Circle partnership was expensive, but I took some time away from the salon to reconsider principles. I realized I wanted to make sure the business aligned with my vision and priorities. Covid shut down also gave me the time to put this in motion.

SPECTRAFORCE: Do you think this has impacted your client base (i.e., do people come to you instead of a competitor because of your process)?

Synchronicity Owner: Yes! We have had clients find us precisely because of our work with Green Circle Salons and have also had clients look for more sustainable practices that have stayed with us because of our partnership with Green Circle Salons.

SPECTRAFORCE: Is there any cost savings due to your environmentally friendly processes?

Synchronicity Owner: No direct cost savings. The environmentally friendly process can be an added expense. However, it is a differentiator to other salons that drives business and helps us retain business.

SPECTRAFORCE: Why is sustainability important to you?

Synchronicity Owner: A couple of different reasons. 1) it is the moral and ethically right thing to do to be conscious of my business’s footprint. Climate change and waste are significant global issues, so being sustainable and environmentally conscious is important because it aligns with my values. Making people feel beautiful is excellent, but if I leave behind a trail of harmful waste, does that beauty come at a cost to the environment? I cannot feel good about what I do daily, knowing that I could be doing more to prevent this waste.

If you’re looking for more sustainability information, check out our latest blog post, The Future of Work and Corporate Sustainability.

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Image from Canva.com

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