Sustainable and eco-friendly options for every lifestyle eventuality is fortunately becoming more prevalent as the world collectively begins to take the necessary steps towards taking care of the planet they know as “home”.
When it comes to hairdressing choices, London-based stylists Anita Rice and Dan Ralph have combined their industry experience to build a salon where haircare meets sustainability.
A sustainable hair salon from head-to-toe quite literally, Ralph & Rice in East London uses biodegradable disposable towels, made out of recycled and recyclable waffled paper, which lowers the use of energy and the amount of water waste. Ecoheads are also fitted to the taps in the basins to reduce water waste.
Located just off of Brick Lane, Ralph and Rice also supports fellow local, independent businesses (from the furnishings and flowers sourced to the coffee and tea served) and reuse product packaging for all in-salon planting and to serve salads or granola pots to customers.
The architect who designed the inside of the salon insisted on using cork – which doesn’t harm trees when extracted – for the surfaces and reception area. As for the furniture, it is all secondhand and has been upholstered by east London’s House of Twenty, while fixtures are all hand-made. And the wall hangings are by independent artists.
The UK’s hairdressing industry impacts CO2 emissions through high water and energy consumption and on the environment through the use of toxic chemicals and harmful waste.
For that reason, Ralph and Rice work exclusively with sustainable haircare brand, Davines, stocking and using their products throughout the salon. Davines is a family-owned business that creates sustainable products made from natural ingredients, using both renewable energy and recyclable materials to produce their products. The Italian-based brand has strong relationships with the farmers who harvest the products’ ingredients, and the company use as little plastic as possible in its packaging.
Ralph and Rice offers a full range of services from contemporary hair styling to more classic shapes for both men and women, and the colour menu includes traditional highlights, regrowth tints and Flamboyage – a low maintenance hair colour technique which is a beautiful combination of ombre and balayage, exclusive to Davines salons.
Customers can also buy products from the salon, and any empty packaging can be re-filled at a discounted cost to reduce wastage.
Aware of the power that hairdressers have in raising awareness among customers about the environment and their hair care, Ralph & Rice are neither preachy nor idealistic when it comes to their own approach to being sustainable and environmentally-conscious. Anita Rice explained: “We’re not mega eco-warriors, nor are we trying to force this belief down people’s throats. We want to showcase that you can have a premium service and help the environment by just doing a little bit.”
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea