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How to reduce your beauty business costs & environmental impact

By Rebecca Hitchon | 19 October 2022 | Business, Feature, Sustainability & the environment

Cut Costs & Conserve

As the cost of living crisis forces many of us to reflect on how we can cut costs in our businesses, we’ve considered how to do so in a way that takes care of the environment, too. Here, we highlight simple ways to reduce waste as well as spend across a number of areas of your business, to help you thrive in the long-term.

⚡ Be energy efficient

Jennie Nippard, Glitterbels deputy head of education, tackles phantom energy (the energy that is still being used by equipment that remains plugged in but not in use) in her salon. She keeps electricals like lights and air conditioning units switched off when not in use or needed. She adds that renewable energy sources like solar are worthwhile investments, with solar panels eventually paying for themselves.

Jennie Nippard

Read salon sustainability authority, Green Salon Collective’s advice on how to be an energy-wise beauty business here.

? Pull the plug on paper ?

“Digital and social media advertising eliminates the need for printing, making it more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than paper marketing,” comments Jennie Nippard. “Using a digital admin programme can reduce hours spent working on administrative tasks, too, freeing up time for performing treatments therefore bringing in more money.”

Pure Nails Halo VIP, Cathy Lansbury-Palmer, adds that an online booking system has been the most valuable asset for running her business smoothly and going paperless. “All my consultation forms are done via email, too,” she says. “I also no longer offer paper receipts – if a client wants a receipt, they have a copy emailed or sent via text.”

Cathy Lansbury-Palmer

?️ Bulk buy ?️

“Purchasing in bulk reduces packaging use and trips to the shops, saving in fuel – which we could all benefit from at the moment and which reduces pollution” says Cathy Lansbury-Palmer. “A lot of items are available to buy in bulk, such as lint-free wipes, acetone, cleaning products, desk towels, gloves, and even hand and cuticle care products.”

“Opting for a bigger order is also a great way to get better savings and often free shipping,” adds Georgie Smedley Group educator, Amy Martin. “Stay in the know about when your favourite brands are holding sales, so you can do bulk orders and receive huge discounts, while being environmentally friendly.”

Amy Martin

? Wash wisely ?

Did you know that for a typical wash at 40°C, 75% of the carbon footprint is attributed to the drying phase? That’s why, as well as washing laundry in full loads on an eco-setting to save water, it is important to hang it out to dry when possible.

“Modern manufacturing techniques have allowed for the evolution of eco-friendly, recyclable, biodegradable and disposable towels to the level of being a viable replacement for cotton towels,” comments Abbas Vawda, managing director of Majestic Towels Ltd., who tells Scratch about the brand’s disposable towel offering for manicures and pedicures. “These can greatly reduce and eliminate laundering costs without sacrificing a client’s comfort levels, and also promote good hygiene practice.”

Abbas Vawda

But water isn’t just used in laundry; it is also a key part of pedicures – something that Cathy Lansbury-Palmer noticed before switching to the Elim MediHeel system. “MediHeel seems to use less water than other brands due to it involving a peel, and you can double up with the range’s mask and exfoliant, which saves refilling the pedi basin three times,” she says. Interested in becoming an Elim Pedi Pro? Get involved with the training here.

?️ Take care of temperature ?️

When you do have to use heating or cooling systems in your salon, ensure that you’re conserving and not wasting this energy. In the winter, Cathy Lansbury-Palmer advises keeping doors closed and offering blankets to clients to retain heat.

In the summer months, Jennie Nippard recommends placing ice in front of fans to cool air, as well as opening windows and doors (although if you are using air conditioning, keep these closed to conserve this energy!) She also advises utilising blinds to keep direct sunlight out.

♻️ Refill, reuse & recycle ♻️

“Buying refill bottles of nail treatment essentials is a great way to save money, as you usually you get a larger quantity of product for a better saving, and this cuts down packaging use,” reveals Amy Martin.

As well as using soak-off solution refills to reduce waste in the nail removal process, reusable clips are available as an alternative to single-use foils. “Personally, I find them a lot easier to use,” comments OPI Nail Boss, Dani Bailey. “With foils, if you want to check if the nails are soaked enough, you have to unwrap, and they never wrap around the finger the same after this. While with the clips, you can have a look and clip on again if needed. They are also easy to clean, only requiring a wash in soapy water and soak in disinfectant.”

Dani Bailey

And the environmental benefits of recycling are well-known, but did you know that you can also benefit financially? RecycLeBelle is a scheme from Louella Belle that collects and recycles old product bottles from any brand, including gel, nail polish and nail treatment bottles. By returning any four empty bottles in a prepaid envelope, Louella Belle customers receive 15% off their next order. Click here to find out more.