By Paul Frasca & Ewelina Soroko, Sustainable Salons Founders

At the beginning of 2020, it seems we accidentally made a prophecy. In our Founders message in The Green Chair #7, we wrote:

Sustainability is a ‘living thing’; the needs under People, Planet and Progress are constantly evolving. So we have to be adaptable, cohesive and brave, three things we think our growing movement aces every day.

A month later, all hell broke loose and the needs of the people, our planet, and the progress of all economies and communities across the globe ‘evolved’ dramatically into something we didn’t see coming. 

What we believed about our Sustainable Salons members then, couldn’t be more accurate now. Adaptable? Holy shit did they ‘pivot’, and still their eco-actions followed. Cohesive? Our network banded together and gave each other the support and stretchiness we all needed. And brave? When times got rocky, our members did not run from the bigger picture of what the sustainability mission is all about, instead, we actually feel like they became more determined and stubborn in their fight to uphold these values. It’s been incredible to watch.

With 2020 now coming to an end, we thought it was the perfect time to celebrate and highlight our 20 takeaways from the strange, hard, interesting, enlightening year that was.


Toilet paper is important to people. Very. Important.


Video may have killed the radio star, but now it’s building businesses (ours included) and connecting families and friends.


To all those who said it would never take off, the inventor of the QR code is finally saying “I told you so”. Therefore, if you believe that your business is valuable to your community, be relentless, be patient, and stay passionate.

Source: ABC


It’s important to stop and celebrate the small wins. No exceptions.


Despite our reputation for being stuck in our ‘paper appointment book’, the hair and beauty industries can successfully operate, innovate and thrive in a digital world (think shiny, new online shops and social media tutorials – amazing!).


It’s possible for one month to feel like it’s taken a year to pass, and a year to feel like it’s gone by in a month… all at the same time.


Only when all salons can’t open, are the true blondes finally revealed. And box-colour fails reach an all-time high.


The planet CAN be healed. By incorporating new habits like more people working from home, less travel and a focus on local instead of global, we tread lighter on our dear Mama Earth and preserve her valuable resources.


We think we want to live the carefree life (you know, Netflix on the couch every day), but home improvement sales and sourdough photos suggest differently. We’re hard-wired to have purpose.


On the flip-side, we now know that R&R is just as vital.


Necessity IS the mother of invention… and entrepreneurship and leadership and collaboration. Don’t ignore the signs and just ‘make do’; create what you need.


Greeting each other awkwardly is the real new normal. Are we still elbow-bumping? Do we just stand and wave at each other? A smile and a head-nod? We still have no idea. 


Mental health is an incredibly significant part of sustainability. We’ve been reminded again that empowering strong communities is about providing for physical needs AND enabling inclusive, meaningful connections. Social distancing, ‘lockdowns’ and cancelled events could be our reality for the foreseeable future, so we must get smarter about reaching out and staying connected.


On that note, we’ve also been reminded that the hair and beauty industries are a powerful resource for human connection and wellbeing. And now our governments know this, too.


Even though it might feel unnatural, adding a ‘positive spin’ to a crisis can be effective. The pandemic brought businesses to a halt, but it also forced space and clarity for fresh, new growth.  The struggle was real for so many of us, but we hope that your business, like Sustainable Salons, is emerging with renewed vision and a super exciting horizon!


Fashion will inevitably follow function; nothing is off-limits, even PPE.

Source: The Guardian


The urgency for a solution to single-use hygiene products has reached critical levels. BUT, there’s always something we can do to lessen the impact in some small way… maybe it’s choosing the biodegradable option or opting for refillables instead of individuals.


Be useful. If it’s not possible for you to do what you’re best at, then just do something useful. This simple concept ticks so many boxes!


It’s okay for the focus between people, planet and profit in sustainability to shift. We’re often preoccupied with thinking the environmental problems should always be our priority, but 2020 forced the entire world to bring public health and economical smarts to the forefront.

Keen to join the movement? Register your salon details HERE.