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4Oceans founders, Andrew and Alex, were shocked to discover the sheer magnitude of ocean waste plastic pollution along the coastline of Bali, Indonesia.
"They asked a local why such a popular, and otherwise beautiful, shoreline wasn’t kept clean, and were told that the beaches had been cleaned just hours earlier. The trash they were wading through had only just washed ashore."
Kevin Murphy, renowned stylist and founder of the ecologically-minded Kevin.Murphy line of hair products, realized early on that the salon industry has contributed - in the worst way - a large portion of that same oceanic pollution.
“I have always been passionate about environmental issues, but it wasn’t until I created my first line of products that I really became aware of just how much harm the production processes of any product can have upon the environment.”
In a year fraught with disaster after disaster, riots, violence, and a global pandemic, paying attention to ecological distress feels more than a little exhausting. It's true that water pollution has been a serious problem for decades and it won't go away overnight. But another, more immediate threat has come to light in the midst of COVID-19:
The resurgence of single-use plastics.
CBS News recently reported that supplies used to ward off infection, from N95 masks and gloves to now-required plastic shopping bags (even in cities where they were once banned), are showing up in fields, lakes, rivers, and oceans across the world at an alarming rate. Food deliveries are also contributing, and while the necessity for added precautions is obvious and unavoidable, this has raised concerns among environmental experts.
How We Can Help
The old saying, "A small leak sinks a great ship," can be flipped around to show just how much impact small changes at home, and in salons, have on the environment. At Salon Vie Rebelle, we immediately ensured our Water Footprint would be minimal by installing EcoHeads, a conservation-focused showerhead system that reduces water usage from 150 gallons per day/per bowl, to only 52.5 gallons (without sacrificing that super-relaxing water pressure)!
And the alterations keep going: As of January 2020, we use completely cloud-based software for all our technical operations, from scheduling appointments to maintaining a strong retail presence (and keeping our artists supplied!). This reduced our paper usage by over 70%, and completely eliminated paper receipt waste - while keeping us prepared for the unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic and all contactless needs. As a Session.Salon, our washes and rinses (shampoo/conditioner) come in 100% recyclable packaging that is also designed to minimize the carbon footprint that shipping usually causes. And, with the recent debut of Kevin.Murphy's Ocean Waste Plastic (OWP) packaging, the containers are now made with plastics pulled from the ocean - cleaned, sanitized, and repurposed for a continual ecologically-sound lifecyle!
Our efforts continue: we are constantly looking for new ways to reduce waste and maximize change, from reusable and/or recyclable bags for your goodies, to talking with Green Circle Salons about ways we can safely dispose hair clippings, color chemicals, and plastic gloves. We also track our energy usage for heating and cooling with the Google Nest system to ensure we keep you comfortable and our usage responsible.
If you're wanting to become part of the change, check out any of these amazing companies to learn more about ways to recycle, volunteer, and get involved - and don't forget to come visit us for some eco-friendly pampering!