Sustainability is becoming an increasingly global issue, so it’s not only important to recognise the changes we can make within our industry, but it’s equally as important to encourage the next generation of hairdressers to play their part too. But are they onboard? We spoke to four hairdressing apprentices to see what they really think about sustainability in hairdressing…
A recent study found that 45% of Gen Z plan to prioritise sustainability over price. But is sustainability important to apprentices within the hair industry? The answer is categorically yes. "I want to help the environment as much as I can when I’m working," says Tom Rowley, HB Boutique. "I don’t want to be causing damage to the environment."
“As hairdressers, it is easy to play a massive part in the downfall by using things such as plastic capes and gloves, and not disposing of these correctly,” says Lacey Pedley, Charlotte Paints Hair Studio. “If we all work together to use eco-friendly products and recycle, we can make a massive change for the future.”
Likewise, for Abbie Maguire, TONE Hair Design, making sustainable choices is the future of hairdressing. “I feel as hairdressers, we are in a unique position to combat climate change,” she explains. “Whether that is by using biodegradable towels to conserve energy, only mixing what we need to reduce waste, investing in energy saving lights, or even by chatting to clients, we have an opportunity to highlight practical ways people can sustainably change their lifestyle.”
As an industry we use a large amount of energy, water, and chemicals, therefore training the next generation of hairdressers on more environmentally friendly practices, is an essential step. Amelia Hurst, Alice and The Hair, believes in forming habits from the beginning of a career. “Learning sustainable practices during training should become a habit straight from the start, rather than changing the way we do things after we’ve been trained,” she adds.
But how, as an industry, do we knowledge share so the next generation of hairdressers feel empowered to take action? “I don’t think sustainability is talked about enough in the industry,” says Abbie. “I feel like educators and colleges should be educating us on the issues surrounding how large our industry carbon footprint it, and the next steps we can take to meet our needs and our client’s needs, without compromising the future.” Tom adds: “I would like more training around sustainability as I only have basic knowledge and I want to know how I can help the hairdressing industry to become more sustainable. With this, I can learn how to create a sustainable salon in my career and help inspire more people in the industry to be more sustainable.”
And it’s sustainable salons that apprentices are seeing in their futures. “I would definitely love to own a sustainable salon in the future – not only will it help the environment, but I hope to influence people to become more sustainable,” says Tom. The future is looking more sustainable already…For more sustainability content, check out our official schedule here. We'll be updating links daily.