BLOG - Disrupting the Hairdressing Industry

[March 2, 2017]

How La Unica Salon improved their reputation and brand equity by becoming more innovative and creative with their packaging, so their brand doesn't end up 'as garbage'…!

Companies spend millions on branding, promoting and advertising, but when a product ends up in the garbage pile, washed up on the ocean, or clogging gutters and drains, that brand equity isn't that high from the perspective of an ethically minded customer.

La Unica Salon, a start up company in 2012, Drummoyne NSW Australia came to the realisation that whatever is happening in the world is a direct reflection on how we ourselves conduct business. What we initiated inadvertently disrupted the hairdressing industry in Australia.

Susana Montero, Managing Director of La Unica Salon with over 35 years of hairdressing experience has help change the way the hair industry behaves ethically. La Unica Salon is an accredited sustainable business by The City Of Canada Bay Council 'ResourceWise' program Water Wise | Waste Wise | Community Wise | Energy Wise. The program helps local businesses reduce their environmental impact and build closer connections with the community. It also recognises and celebrates business's sustainability achievements.

As recent national Australian winners of the inaugural De Lorenzo ASPYA Green Awards 2015 and 2016. Demonstrating significant environmental achievements. Showing leadership by investing in time and effort into integrating sustainability principals and practices into La Unica Salon's business activities and reducing the organisation's footprint.

La Unica Salon's local community achievements include The City Of Canada Bay Council Sustainability Awards Finalists 2014 | 2016. Nominated  in the Environmental Business category, recognising economic, social and environmental sustainability achievements within the community.

What are the sustainable packaging options and features your business implements?

As a industry disrupter La Unica Salon went about aligning with Australian owned and made companies. That had a similar ethos of providing the highest quality and 100% guarantee on service and products. With a conscious responsibility towards sustainability.

Our preferred supplier De Lorenzo has always had an ethical approach to hair care. De Lorenzo's mission is to provide professional salons with the best quality, natural based hair care, manufactured in an environmentally responsible way.

De Lorenzo use certified organic ingredients that are sustainably farmed and wild-harvested wherever possible. Strongly oppose animal testing, are Choose Cruelty Free (CCF) listed and don't use ingredients of animal origin.

A unique symbiotic relationship that La Unica Salon instigated after completing a De Lorenzo factory tour in Silverwater, NSW commenced. La Unica Salon chooses to pickup stock from the factory and  also 100% guarantees that all De Lorenzo packaging is returned to the factory. Were it is either reused, upcycled or recycled. We swap our old empty cardboard boxes and air filled packaging for hair care awesomeness.!

No Foil In Our Soil, La Unica Salon have implemented a recycling campaign for all the aluminium  foil, colour tubes, aerosol cans and aluminium cans to be recycled. All our proceeds from recycling our aluminium is  donated to charity.

La Unica Salon is a Refoil Salon daring to care..! Not only do we save on our footprint by using Refoil, recycled and recyclable salon foil. We also recycle all of our used Refoil sheets. La Unica Salon saves the planet massive amounts of energy, water and carbon emissions and diverts all its foil waste from landfill. The aluminium is sorted from waste, stored in bulk and then personally taken with our environmental ambassador Bix, our salon fur child, Maltese Shitzu to the scrap yard.

Ensuring we have a positive contribution to the environment we are transparent in our ethical business. Another way we contribute is operating 3 composting worm farms at the salon. All green waste including other cardboard, paper and grinded coffee is feed to our hungry worms. Diverting 10 kilo from land waste. We also offer free worm tea which makes a for a great natural fertiliser.  In 2017 we will be making worm towers that will complement our many salon plants, and oxygenate our space.

Does the ethical packaging model you have add brand value and equity to your business

Sustainability is now synonymous with success for La Unica Salon a top Sydney multi award winning hair and make-up salon.  Accredited by the Australian Hairdressing Council AHC, as a 5 Star Gold Salon Select. La Unica Salon is ethically sound and meets the Australian national standards of service and quality.

La Unica Salon has certainly added brand value and equity to our business with an ethical packaging model. Our multi award success is recognised by our industry body the AHC. La Unica Salon is highly regarded with our affiliates TAFE NSW and Sustainable Salons Australia in February 2017, invited to the inaugural S-Event at the new International Convention Centre Sydney the event promoted TAFE NSW hairdressing and sustainability.

In 2016 Keep NSW Beautiful invited La Unica Salon to be a judge in the community sustainability awards. As a judge we had the amazing opportunity to see regional NSW community sustainability initiatives. As judging guests to the hosting city Orange, NSW we were treated to welcoming 3 day event of networking with like minded ethical communities, sharing their experiences in a look and learn workshop, personal tour of Orange by the Mayor and a beautiful awards ceremony.

Keep NSW Beautiful Awards, Sydney event 2016 concluded at Government House, NSW Ceremony. His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd). The Governor is also deeply involved in community organisations and events and praised our community involvement.

What do customers think of your ethical and sustainable packaging model?

La Unica Salon is proud of our ethical and sustainable packaging model and it has taken years for the hairdressing industry to act together as a community, but finally we're on a brighter future.

Ways in which we share our story with our customers, industry and educational facilities  is being part of the AHC Thinking Sustainability educational video. La Unica Salon is interviewed by the Co Founders of Sustainable Salons Australia.  This video is used in schools, TAFE's, hair product companies in  Australia and international salons as an education tool of salon sustainability.

A percentage of La Unica Salon's customers are very specific and research our digital online profile and choose us based on our ethical salon way. Certified organic is also becoming more popular in the hair and make-up industry and our customers will choose us over the competition.

It makes sense to cause disruption, we're it has a positive effect on the environment and community. Come visit us today at La Unica Salon, 208 Lyons Rd Drummoyne, NSW 2047 Australia, 02 9713 9010,

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