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Sustainable Salons: Karine Jackson

This Summer we're looking ahead to building a more sustainable future. We spoke to three salons to find out what they're doing to make their business more sustainable and responsible. First up, Karine Jackson.

We caught up with London-based salon owner Karine Jackson, who credits her long-term commitment to sustainability to her childhood in Australia. That commitment has led to Karine's salon becoming London's first certified sustainable salon. 

Your salon has always been known for it's use of organic colour products, but what made you fully focus on going sustainable?

Growing up in Australia in the eighties, we went through a water drought - an 11-year drought. So as a kid, we had to recycle everything. We just didn't have the resources. They've probably had worse droughts since, but they now have the resources. 
I remember when I first came to the UK, 27 years ago, and recycling was non-existent. I couldn't believe it! In Australia we would have a waste bin, a recycling bin, so it was drummed into me. Today, water wastage really bugs me. I really try and explain to my team, so that they don't just think we're trying to save money! I try to educate them on the fact that, the more water we use, the more space we have to create to store it, which means displacing wild life, removing forests, so these reservoirs get bigger and bigger. If my team understands why we're doing something, they're far more likely to get on board. This message is not new to my team; I've been saying it for years. 

What are the main forms of waste that the average salon produces?

Colour! Cotton wool, things like that - they all get mixed together and can create a kind of fur ball. We did an experiment a while back to see how much colour we wasted. We made sure the team could see and we've all since made a lot more effort, and many of the staff end up taking this way of thinking home. 

What's the biggest challenge you've faced?

My local council of Westminster! It's just not good at recycling. Other areas like Hackney are so good - you can recycle anything - but here, if you put one thing in the wrong bag, they just won't take it away. 

What other tweaks can salons make to save resources?

Use eco towels to clean up after you've used them on clients rather than chucking them straight in the bin. Honestly, switching to Easydry Towels has hlaved out water and electricity bills. Using these towels also frees up time, as no-one needs to fill up the washers and dryers. These towels also make great additions to your compost heap as they break down over time.
Turn the electricity off, use LED lightbulbs. Don't keep the lights on overnight. Our new thing is focusing on plastic - it's everywhere. We're slowly trying to change. We won't  be doing water bottles anymore; instead we'll supply filtered water alongside glasses that can be used over and over. If clients want sparkling water, we'll offer it in cans over plastic. 

What advice would you give to the manufacturers of hair and beauty products?

Stop using so much packaging! I saw a hairdryer the other day, packaged in so much plastic; it really wasn't necessary. The message needs to come from the product companies - they need to step up. 


If you want to know more about Sustainable Salon Certification, visit