COMMITTED BEYOND BEAUTY

At Wella we believe in the beauty of everyday commitment – the little things that, over time, can have a big impact – both in the salon and outside. For this reason, we launched, Wella’s sustainability program to partner with those who inspire us every day – all of you – and, together, challenge the way we think about our impact on the planet.

ALL TIPS VIRTUAL SALON A WORD FROM THE STYLISTS MANIFESTO

DAVID THURSTON
(BUTTERFLY LOFT SALON & SPA)

LOS ANGELES, CA (USA)

We found a faucet from Japan that produces twice the water pressure using half the amount of water. This has saved us a lot of money on water.


WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BE SUSTAINABLE?
WHAT LED YOU TO BECOME A GREEN SALON?

Honestly, I’m surprised that not everyone is inspired to be sustainable. I’m not willing to sacrifice quality, but in today’s day and age, there are so many sustainable products available that there’s no need to break the bank or sacrifice results in the name of going green.

HOW DID YOU ENTER THE HAIR INDUSTRY?

I began my career as an environmental litigation consultant at an international consulting firm, specializing in cases involving oil spills, ground water contamination and asbestos contamination. I felt like a left-brained person in a right-brained person’s world, so I made the switch to a more creative field. I’m not a hairstylist, but I have a passion for the industry which is why I opened a hair salon with my wife, Alexis, who is a hairstylist and has been instrumental in helping to design and implement our environmental policy.


WHY ARE YOU EXCITED THAT WELLA IS LAUNCHING THE SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAM?

When we were in the process of designing our salon, it was very difficult to find information about which sustainable materials and equipment were best. Without a dialogue between like-minded individuals and organizations there can be no progress or growth. I’m hopeful that Wella’s Sustainability Program will be able to guide others who are trying to build sustainable salons and practices as well as continue to advance the cause.

WHAT ASPECTS OF YOUR SALON ARE SUSTAINABLE/GREEN?

We installed a custom exhaust system, designed to eliminate the fumes and chemicals caused by today’s specialized hair straightening treatments.

There are nine restaurant-grade fans on a ducting system, and stylists can easily activate the exhaust system over their individual stations by simply turning a timer switch.


We spent a long time searching for an organization that would certify our salon as a sustainable salon. We finally found Florida Association of Beauty Professionals which gave us our certification that we proudly display in our salon.

We purchased shampoo bowls from Milan in Italy for $2,000 a pop, but when they arrived we realized they had traditional faucets. We wondered if we could find an alternative. Sure enough we found a faucet from Japan that produces twice the water pressure using half the amount of water. This has saved us a lot of money on water.

We purchased orange bicycles for the salon that stylists can use at lunchtime. With 50 employees in the salon, this cuts down on the number of cars on the road significantly.

I’m not willing to sacrifice quality or shell out an enormous amount of money for an inferior product just in the name of sustainability – but I’ve found that all of my energy-efficient appliances perform as good or better than their regular counterparts, for the same amount of money.

Our salon is surrounded with windows that soak the room in light. This allows us to turn off any irrelevant lighting throughout the day, which minimizes our electricity costs.

We use Terracycle in our salon to help recycle many of our items.
It was important to us to use sustainable materials when building our salon because salons get a lot of wear and tear. Think about the number of people walking on the floors every day, using the cabinets, etc. Durability was key! We didn’t want to waste materials or money so we used materials that will last.



WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THE FUTURE?

There are so many innovations happening all the time. One that I’m really excited about is these new “nest” thermostats that hookup to Wi-Fi and learn the habits of the space they’re located in to more efficiently regulate the salon’s temperature. 

We’re opening a second salon later this year, and we hope to be able to take what we’ve learned with our first salon and innovate even more. 

I hope to be able to connect with salon owners whose sustainable ambitions align with mine so we can learn from each other and continue to innovate.