This month Sustainable Salons came together for our annual conference, this year’s theme being “Rebranding Sustainability”. Together we recognised many milestones achieved since our last conference, such as new innovations in closed-loop products and our network’s impact. We also celebrated a bold new digital-first direction that the company as a whole is taking over the next few months. 

Hosted at Q Station on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, our team came from all over Australia and New Zealand to celebrate the milestones achieved, and to look forward to where we’re headed next as an organisation.

Why Quarantine Station

The transformation of Q Station from a quarantine station’s harsh reality to its present-day peaceful lodging and conference centre is an inspiring story of sustainability in action. North Head, where Q Station is located,  is home to varied flora and fauna. Endangered populations of eastern long-nosed bandicoots, penguins, sunshine wattle and eastern suburbs banksia scrub all make their home amidst the built environment of the Quarantine Station. The original buildings on the venue grounds have all been repurposed. For example, the main conference room used by Sustainable Salons was originally a General Store & linen room. 

So it was without a doubt the perfect venue for our Rebranding Sustainability Conference 2023, not only aligning with our values but an inspiration to live those values daily. 

What happens at a Sustainable Salons Conference?

We kicked off our conference by reviewing our organisational accomplishments, including our biggest wins, which were calculated up until the end of February this year. Some of these significant achievements include:

🗑️ Together we have diverted over 1,686,709+kg of waste from landfill 
🧪 67,928L of excess chemicals have been recycled 
🍽️ 255,840 meals have been donated to OzHarvest & KiwiHarvest
💻 71,763 people have visited our Salon Locator

👱‍♀️ 222,791 ponytails have been collected to help make wigs for those in need 

We unveiled our newest innovation in closed-loop products. Team members had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with this product which will be shared with everyone very soon! In our efforts to maintain a digital-first company, teams throughout the organisation had the opportunity to display new technologies and platforms. This will improve our network’s experience and contribute to our mission of making sustainability reality. This new direction will not only allow members to have more control, but new products and services will be at their fingertips and available with the click of a button.  

We also strongly encourage team bonding at conferences. Being a remote-first company, we don’t always get to see team members in person. These team-building exercises and activities allow staff to interact with different teams across the company. Team members also get to showcase skills they may not know they have! Some of the amazing activities we included this year were:

  • Ghost Tour – with the history of Q Station, we thought it fitting to kick off night 1 with a good old-fashioned ghost tour. There were laughs, screams and a whole lot of fun.
  • Short-Form Video Creation using company branding and props, team members were tasked to work together to create a short-form video that showcased what we do, that can be used across multiple social platforms.
  • Sea Shepherd we were lucky enough to hear from two volunteers from Sea Shepherd who shared their key mission. Not only did they begin their journey by saving the whales, but they also fight to defend, conserve and protect our ocean. Much like Sustainable Salons, they are using direct action to protect and conserve our world’s natural resources and driving change. 
  • Company Values Workshop – team members were put into groups and tasked with exploring each of our company values. Teams brainstormed one small step they could take to turn that value into a behaviour, how they will then measure that behaviour and how it can be applied day-to-day. This workshop consisted of both personal goals as well as goals Sustainable Salons can implement. This was followed by a Q&A where one of our core values, “We Grow Together” really shined. Each team member was given the opportunity to share their ideas and contribute to the growth of Sustainable Salons. 
  • Team Dinners – Day 1 ended with a casual pizza dinner with sunset welcome drinks down at the beach. We then finished Day 2 with a final sit-down meal at Q Station’s Boilerhouse Restaurant and Bar to celebrate our achievements as an organisation. 

We wrapped up Conference 2023 with a big thank you to all of our team members that made these three days a reality, and the broader team that attended and contributed their fullest attention and energy to each and every one of our activities. We can’t wait to share more conference photographs with you very soon captured by Oneill Photographics. We look forward to another successful and impactful 12 months ahead of our next annual conference.