This salon helps you reduce your carbon footprint with a hair wash!
While hospitality giants like ITC Grand Chola have been winning awards for their take on responsible luxury, where they have harnessed wind power for all their electrical energy requirements — it has made terms like eco-friendly practices and sustainability easily familiar to us. However, when Vikram Mohan, CEO and co-founder of Spalon India Pvt Ltd, speaks about being conscious of our ecology, it sounds like charity. It has to begin at home, he says. Vikram opened his latest store, the Bounce Salon & Spa, down OMR, a fortnight ago. With 31 outlets under his belt, what caught our attention with his new place was that the 2,500 square foot space was 70 per cent run on solar power and claims to be the country’s first eco salon.
Solar ’n’ sustainable
It all gets that much more pleasurable when your indulgences are supporting green practices — be it swimming in the solar heated pool at the Dune Eco Village and Spa, Puducherry, or enjoying a stroll at Sheraton Grand Chennai Resort & Spa’s 10-acre grounds that is watered by recycled sewage water. Now we are telling you that you are a mere hair wash away from reducing your carbon footprint on Earth! At the new Bounce salon, they have incorporated a system which treats the water that has been used at the hair wash stations, so that it can used for the toilets. With no paper on board, your bills will leave no paper trail and instead of print magazines, expect Wi-Fi enabled digital gadgets at your disposal. Do note how reclaimed roof tiles make for an aesthetically designed reception table, while scraps from granite factories give you a feature wall. “It is a matter of time before we will incorporate these practices at our other salons,” assures Vikram, who opens at least six new stores in the country every year.
Vikram’s top moves towards eco-friendly sustainability, targeting energy efficiency, water efficiency and waste management:
■ Using disposable biodegradable towels — that is a nod to hygienic practices as well.
■ Using disposable biodegradable drinking cups.
■ Harvesting the water from the hair wash section for using in the restrooms.
■ Harnessing solar power for energy.
■ Using LED lights to save energy.
■ Say no to (plastic) bottled water, instead use purified tap water for drinking.
■ Upcycling industrial scraps for the décor.
Vikram admits how the biggest challenge was to create something that did not exist — at least in India — a fully eco-sustainable salon. “I was inspired to attempt this when I attended the convention at the Davines Village in Italy, last year,” says Vikram. The Italian hair care brand believes in ‘Sustainable Beauty’ to the extent that even the printing ink used was from vegetable dyes, we are told.
Not just a biz module
Having now tied up with Davines for the hair care products, Vikram tells us how looking out for our planet is not a business module. It is a personal belief. “When we had to decide between cloth diapers and disposable, synthetic ones for our baby son, my wife was adamant about using only the washable cloth ones. Though it was more work — the fact that a disposable diaper takes up to 350 years to decompose was unacceptable!” says Vikram, adding how at Davines, they are conscious about using high quality plastic containers for the products, besides ensuring that the suppliers for the same, compensate for their carbon footprint by planting trees in lieu.
Vikram signs off with, “Paris Fashion Week saw a green instead of red carpet, airlines are doing away with disposable plastic cutlery — it is high time we join this bandwagon and made a difference.”