Ethos, Culture and Values
With the recent announcement that we are at Code Red with concern to climate change, and COP 26 happening in Glasgow, sustainability has moved much higher up the daily agenda and into people's consciousness. However, for me, it's always been a concern. Right back to when I was seven years old and I put posters on lampposts in my local hometown of Wollongong, Australia, trying to raise awareness and make people think about what they did with their rubbish; living sustainably and minimising our impact on climate change has been a priority for me. It was natural therefore, that I continued to focus on sustainable practices throughout my career. We were thrilled to be the first recipient of the Good Salon Guide's Eco Salon Award and now it is an integral part of my business model and (I hope!) one of the main things I am known for.
Hopefully, we're all more aware of the need to reduce our waste these days, whether we’re recycling our bottles, using a reusable bottle for our water and any drinks, or doing our best to reduce our plastic use. Some of you may be aware of my ‘Plastic is Not Fantastic’ campaign that I launched in conjunction with the fabulous journalist Lucy Siegle, author of ‘Turning the Tide on Plastic’ to reduce and ultimately eradicate single-use plastic both in the salon and beyond. Now is the time we all need to be doing our bit, so why not consider that when you're using your hair products as well? Think how frequently we throw away a plastic bottle, could you possibly reuse or refill it? But it’s not just about the containers – there is so much hidden plastic in our lives and other chemicals too, for instance what are your shampoo and conditioning treatment made from, is there a high plastic content to it? Are your substances just biodegradable, or are they compostable too – and what even is the difference? We all need to pay a bit more attention.
All the products we use in the salon are organic and contain no ammonia or nasties. This was in response to a client, who sadly was suffering from cancer and asked me to investigate whether there was something less chemical that could be used on her hair, whilst she was having chemotherapy. I did a bit of research and discovered Organic Colour Systems; a company whose ethos matches my own and whose products are vegan, cruelty-free, made from natural and organic ingredients and ethically sourced. Designed to work with the natural biology and structure of the hair, the range includes colour, care and styling products – so you and we can look after your hair in as guilt-free a way as possible.
In addition, we are also members of the Green Salon Collective, an organisation dedicated to ‘finding circular solutions for salon waste’. They do this through several avenues such as using hair to clean up oil spills (has to be seen to be believed), using chemical waste to generate energy, composting hair towels and recycling all salon foil and metals to name a few. With more than 45,000 salons in the UK creating more than 4.5 million tonnes of waste each year, anything salon owners can do to reduce the impact on the environment is essential so I’m proud to be a Green Libertine. You can find out more at https://www.greensaloncollective.com/.
Here at KJSH we celebrate diversity and equality, are LGBT+ friendly and employ people from all walks of life if they have the necessary skills. Our talented team of stylists and salon staff reflects this as we believe in giving everyone an opportunity regardless of their background, race or orientation. We know that creating a culture of belonging will drive innovation and that inclusive, happy teams produce 20% better results, which will ultimately benefit you, the customer.
We value our wonderful team as without them, there would be no KJSH! With the cost of living constantly rising, especially in London, we’re determined to provide them with a living wage as they work so hard providing hair services. This has led us to devise a new pricing structure and a unique way of charging that's fair for everyone, where we charge by the hour with additional costs based precisely on the amount of colour and treatment used (you may hear your stylist refer to Vish – that’s what this is) We are also conscious about not adding to the waste in landfills, and as such have sourced plastic-free PPE. Unfortunately, at the moment, being environmentally friendly is not the cheapest option but I feel our integrity is more important, and hope that our clients will understand this.