HAIR; most of us have it and we invest a lot of time and money into taking care of it, creating a booming $89.7 billion dollar industry that creates a huge amount of waste.
Paul, a former hairdresser, saw first hand how much waste his salons produced, and wanted to do something about it. Paul and his wife started Sustainable Salons, and have managed to recycle a tremendous amount of waste and create a sustainable business out of things that others would throw away.
Sustainability is possible on all levels of society from a personal level all the way up to global corporations such as L'Oreal who are leading the charge for sustainability in the highest reaches of the industry. Key figures from the industry share their stories, dreams and contributions to a better planet. HAIR explores what sustainability looks like on all these levels and highlights what each of us can do to create sustainability in a disposable world.
BEHIND THE SCENES
BEHIND THE SCENES
A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing
Living sustainably is one way that we can all make a difference for future generations, but many people just don’t know where to start. And rather than asking questions or searching for solutions, they typically just continue with their lives as normal. But we know by now that business as usual will eventually make our planet uninhabitable, so something has to change.
Plastic is one of our biggest ocean pollutants, and unreliable recycling programs make those who do recycle feel as if it isn’t worth it. Oil spills constantly threaten the fragile ecosystems of the ocean, but our world relies too heavily on it to stop billions of barrels being shipped around the world every year. The soil our primary producers use to grow our food is running out of nutrients and there are very few clean sources of these nutrients available to replenish them.
All of these problems can be solved with one infinite resource: Hair.
What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?
We want to see a more sustainable world, led by innovative Australian companies and ecologically conscious consumers. A world where people think critically before they invest their money in unsustainable and unethical businesses. We want Australian companies to become an example of realistic sustainable business practices and lead the global markets into a better future.
What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?
The simplest outcome is for the public to become aware of all the small changes they can make towards sustainability in their own lives. In this case, by choosing salons which divert their waste products to eco-friendly programs such as Sorbent Hair Booms, carbon dots and medical wigs. We also wish to make them aware of where their money goes when they buy haircare products and which companies are taking steps towards sustainability.
We hope for this to be the start of a revolution in the beauty industry, changing the destructive norms into a clean, sustainable pathway forward for the whole sector. If more companies choose sustainability, more customers will too, and the footprint of the entire industry shrinks.
The grand scheme outcome of this would be a spark that ignites an overhaul of global business practices and policy towards sustainability and innovation.
How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?
We have partnered with Sustainable Salons, a social enterprise which works with salons themselves to manage their hair waste, including collection of hair waste for solvent hair booms and wasted plastic and aluminium for recycling.
We have also involved L’Oreal, who are taking steps to operate more sustainably, and Australian brand Di Lorenzo, who have been leaders in sustainable hairdressing since their inception almost 40 years ago. These
These partners are assisting us in finding all the different ways hair can be used and reused to benefit all sorts of ecosystems.
Audience Engagement and Social Impact
What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?
By explaining the options that consumers have when choosing salons, they will be in a better position and be encouraged to make choices that benefit other people, small businesses and the planet. They will be armed with the knowledge that their actions can make a difference and that sustainability only takes a small conscious effort.
We hope that any salon owners who see our documentary will take steps to improve their own business practices in the pursuit of sustainability, either by joining Sustainable Salons, or finding a new way to divert their waste.
Industry leaders will see a successful global brand using sustainable business practices and understand that they too can change for the better. This will create a better market for consumers to make good choices about where their money goes.
Measurement and Evaluation
What is the projects indicators for success?
Our success will be measured by the changes the industry goes through over the next few years as salons and patrons change their habits and practices and make more sustainable choices. Hair booms will become a common way to clean up oil spills and there will be systems in place to get them to the spills as quickly as possible. More salons will join the sustainable salons movement and those who do not will either find their own sustainable systems or lose patrons as they take a further interest in sustainability over convenience. The quality of agricultural soil will be improved through the use of carbon dots and crop yields will improve.