Category: Environment, Diversity, Humanity
Stunt Dolly: Ethical Hair Salon
582 Kingsland Road, Dalston
London E8 4AH UK
+44 (0) 7780 933 868
The Principles of Sustainability – social, environmental, economic and human
We believe there is no other choice than to be an ethical, sustainable and cruelty free salon. We’re at a point in time when the world is breaking, the cogs aren’t turning quite how they should be, and we’re at risk of total engine failure.
The principles of sustainability – be that social, environmental, economic and human – have been embedded into the fabric of Stunt Dolly from day one. But as anyone trying to put humanity first will know, it’s an ongoing, daily, weekly and yearly task that will never be truly complete.
But we have to try – not only for the wellbeing of our planet and its animals, but for the health of our stylists and clients in the here and now. Every element of the Stunt Dolly journey has been considered through this lens. Every decision we’ve made and continue to make has this goal at its core.
But where to start? Well, why not with the fabric from which our salon is made. Opening in 2012, our salon is kitted out with upcycled furniture and reclaimed materials. We fought hard to keep as many of the original features of the building as possible, and have some truly unique pieces in the space that would have otherwise been destroyed. Our favourites are the 1950’s cabinet from the Natural History Museum, and the panelling made from antique Victorian attic doors. We even have lighting from an old high school gymnasium and department stores – and all of it makes for a truly unique environment steeped in history.
But we didn’t stop there. Our walls are painted with low-VOC paints, to minimise toxic chemicals in the air. We use Ecoheads on our basins to reduce water usage and our towels are made from 100% renewable bamboo, making them biodegradable and compostable. All our cleaning products are eco-conscious too, and we only serve organic and Fairtrade coffee and tea in unbleached bags and only oat milk.
Equality and inclusivity are at the heart of what we do, and this is reflected in our gender neutral pricing structure. Seeing as not everyone with a vagina identifies as a woman, and not everyone with a penis identifies as a man, we see no reason to apply gendered terms to our services. A haircut and colour is a haircut and colour – regardless of what’s going on between your legs. Introducing this pricing 5 years ago when we were one of only a two or three salons to do so in London.
We are also now incredibly proud to say that we’re a 100% cruelty-free salon, but it hasn’t been the simplest of journeys to get here. When we first opened our doors, the world wasn’t as it is now. We always knew that we wanted everything in our salon – from haircare brands to cleaning products – to be completely free of animal testing, and it took us years to find a roster of brands that we were happy to shout about. One of the biggest challenges was finding cruelty free brands with no parent company. The reason this was important to us is that a cruelty free brand might we part of a bigger beauty conglomerate, one that sells some of its brands in countries where animal testing is mandatory. One that has one or two cruelty free brands on its books and many many more that aren’t. This, to us, is not a true cruelty free brand, and to feel genuinely good about what we’re doing we needed to find brands that have the exact same vision of the haircare industry as us. Kevin Murphy was the first brand we found a true affinity with, and we’ve held all other brands to its standards ever since.
Finally, the issue of recycling. Recycling infrastructure across the world is severely lacking, especially when it comes to the conscious disposal of salon waste. It’s more complicated to dispose of than everyday house waste, and we haven’t always been able to do it the way we wanted to. We have always done our best to recycle what we can. Until 2020 that is, when we finally became a Green Salon Collective certified salon.
What does that mean? At present, 99% of global salon foil ends up in landfill, but by partnering with the GSC we can now recycle 100% of our foils thanks to in-salon separation kits and daily collections. Hair foils are made from aluminium, an infinitely recyclable material that when captured can be transformed back into a ‘raw’ material and used to create new products. Why we’ve been throwing it away all these years we’ll never know. We can recycle hair now too. Our new waste collections include cut-off unwanted hair that is either used to absorb oil in waterways, as a compost additive or, if long enough, donated to wig making charities helping people dealing with hair loss from illnesses such as cancer. It’s just such a positive thing to be a part of, and truly demonstrates how waste is never really waste. Everything can have a second purpose. But already know Kevin Murphy know these statistics!
While we know our sustainability journey is an ongoing one, and something we need to work hard at every day, it’s the only one we want to be on. We can honestly say that setting out in this manner from day one has inspired many other salons in the community to adopt the same principles, and we couldn’t be happier to have helped move the dial in the right direction. We’re all in this together, and if we can inspire just one person to be slightly more conscious, then we’re winning.
18.104.22.168 | 30/08/2021