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Salon's sustainability system helps win hairdressing award

powder room

ECO-FRIENDLY: Owner Lisa Ussher in her Cuba St salon The Powder Room, winner of sustainability and new entrant awards at the 2013 Kitomba hair industry awards.

Cuba Street salon The Powder Room has been named the most green and eco- friendly place in the country to get your hair cut.

It won the Wella Sustainable Salon of the Year and JustBookMe Best New Entrant awards at the New Zealand hairdressing Oscars, the Kitomba NZARH Business Awards.

The Powder Room uses shampoo from Italian family-owned Davines, a carbon-emission-conscious company that contributes to reforestation and uses sustainable ingredients like cherry oil and dandelion phytoceuticals.

It recycles its magazines by sending them on to local hospitals for patients to read once new issues come in for customers.

The salon strives for a zero waste policy, serves organic Fairtrade coffee, plants seedlings in leftover product containers and even has a veggie garden in its courtyard. Clients are taught how to use their own hair cuttings in compost at home.

Owner Lisa Ussher said it had been committed to a vision of an ethical, earth-friendly business for some time.

"This award gives enormous pride in the salon for our staff and clients. It was a great opportunity to look hard at our systems and think about how our sustainable initiatives are supporting our business vision. Every salon should enter to just be aware of their environmental footprint."

The salon uses repurposed vintage items such as old glass shower doors in its front desk and a chandelier from the 1930s. It is located in an historic building that was saved from demolition during the construction of the Inner City Bypass in 2005. The Powder Room had its sign locally made and commissioned bespoke pieces of furniture like deco-style mirrors, a coat rack and coffee table.

"When things are locally made it keeps local crafts people in work, saves on freight costs and fuel," The Powder Room's website states.

"Wherever possible, the salon uses recycled treasures and furniture but some salon fittings need to come from overseas. By purchasing high-quality items, these become less likely to end up in the landfill."

Judges said the hairdressers' takes a holistic view of sustainability in its brand and the everyday activities of its business.

"With a clear long-term vision for the salon, The Powder Room has an authentic social conscience and sees sustainability as a smart financial decision, not a trend," Kitomba chief executive Tom Murphy said. "They are the benchmark New Zealand salon for sustainability in my view."

Cheryl Fafeita, from Newtown's Mane Salon, was named Schwarzkopf Business Stylist of the Year as a passionate all- round stylist. Her employer Mane Salon won the Kitomba Excellence in Marketing Award.

La Villa Hair & Beauty in Lower Hutt was named Wella Fastest Growing Salon for its growth in revenue, client numbers, client spend and ultimate profitability.

Jomp Hair Design on Kapiti Coast won Fudge Boutique Salon Of The Year, for salons with annual turnover of up to $600,000.

BY Jazail Crossley

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