Hard Look At Very Personal Business
Permaculture strives to design a healthier environment and society. Regenerative farming has come along quickly but social permaculture designs have been a bit slower to emerge. Peaceful societies are less destructive to the environment. Good business models, valued workers and clean work environments are good for everyone.
One fundamental permaculture strategy is to make small changes where they are most effective. Lets take a peek at an industry that could do with a little greening: the beauty industry. The beauty industry touches everyone. It has been slow to move on social and environmental issues yet, these small changes can have a huge effect. Freeing people of toxic chemicals, and poor work conditions has resounding benefits.
Ecological and Social Style
In salons around the world, customers pay a small fortune to look good. Unfortunately the average hair stylist is poorly paid, often earning less than the minimum wage. This glamorous carer rarely gets a meal break, is standing all day and exposed to horrendous chemicals including formaldehyde. The beauty industry is not famous for the way it treats the workers or the chemicals is pours into the environment. But change is in.
Lloyd KK took the plunge and opened the first eco-hair studio in his region. He “wanted to use chemicals that have a low environmental impact, that were plant-based and renewable. ” He noticed “the green chemistry colours also have a shinier, more natural feeling results…Previously, I used to have chemical reactions to other colours, ie itchy hands/skin, skin peeling and puffy itchy face. These colours do not cause any of these reactions”
How To Avoid ‘Environmental’ Smoke and Mirrors
For the rare business owner who wants to improve their environmental credentials there are very few models to follow. On the other hand, there are a lot of ‘green’ imposters.
Firstly, Lloyd set about retrofitting old furniture, researched composting systems and trailed low-toxic products. Then he researched and assessed environmental costs of consumables and how to recycle them. He also chose green power and low-cost lighting. Finally he set up systems to minimise waste in the business.
In summary, the process of greening traditional businesses like the hair industry will become easier. As customers demand ecological responsibility and value healthy practice, the suppliers will adapt.
For businesses wanting to lead the change and reduce environmental costs we recommend international Quality Environmental Systems [EMS]. You can achieve self-assessment or simply use the system as a guide.
Ultimately, being prepared to up-cycle, retrofit and adapt equipment will reduce environmental costs, build a better culture and save your business money.