Q: When did you start to take sustainability in your business seriously?
A: Foster & co. has been operating for 3 years, but in January this year we moved to our brand new purpose built home. This is when sustainability became a serious part of my business. We had been using and recycling Refoil already as a part of the 2014 pilot project and continue to use it now in our new location. The program was a real catalyst for our other sustainability initiatives that were to follow under the guidance of the incredible team at Sustainable Salons Australia. The new salon space has been fitted out with LED lighting to reduce our energy consumption, and because of our huge glass front windows which fill the salon with natural light, we need to use even less artificial light. I made sure that our lights were on separate switches when they were being installed so that I could control and minimise our power usage further in this area. We have cut our water and energy usage at the basin by installing Ecoheads shower heads and temperature controls on our taps. We are virtually paperless, and any paper that we do come in contact with is recycled. Sustainability at Foster & co. has definitely been a process and one that continues to evolve.
Q: What are the most important environmental considerations in your business?
A: Like most salons, we need a lot of water and a lot of energy just to conduct our day-to-day business. Sustainable Salons Australia have provided us with a lot of guidance on how to cut our usage in these areas. Ecoheads are such an easy way to cut water usage and I’d recommend that every salon install them. The LED lights are also an absolute must have. If you have the option of using natural light, make the most of it. Such simple initiatives make such a big difference to both the environment and our power bills.
Q: How do you get the staff involved and make them participate in your strategies?
A: Team Foster & co. are so supportive of all the initiatives I have in place. The culture that I created here has really helped to attract the right like-minded people. You really can’t force people to care about the environment, so it’s so important to find people who love our planet and our industry and are committed to making a difference. Sustainable Salons Australia have provided such great education both on their website and in person, which makes it really easy for my team to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing and how to better educate our clients.
Q: What’s your advice for other business owners who don’t know where to start with recycling and sustainability? A: Call Paul!!! That’s definitely the best place to start. Jump on the Sustainable Salons Australia website as well, all the help you need is only a click or a phone call away. This blog also has great ideas from other salon owners who have implemented the sustainability systems in their own salons. Why not go and visit a sustainable salon in your area and have a chat with the owner? At Foster & Co. we’re always happy to have visitors and share our ideas. We all have so much to learn from each other and sustainability is such an important goal that we need to work towards together.
Q: What are your business goals in terms of sustainability?
A: Our next goal is to save enough points to earn a compost bin on the SSA Rewards Shop. We are so excited about putting in a little garden in our courtyard so we can grow our own mint for our summer mojitos!
Thank you to Christie Foster of Foster & co. Hairdressing for these incredible responses & for your continued efforts towards sustainability. Find Team Fosters & co. Hairdressing on facebook!