BUSINESS BEAT: Environmental changes embraced by Victoria hair salons

Green Circle Salons does waste disposal of all kinds for environmentally minded operators

Stylist Megan Westaff

Stylist Megan Westaff

It’s about 10:30 on a Thursday morning and Carreiro the Studio is still rather quiet, outside of a couple of clients here to get their hair coloured.

The expansive hair salon, tucked like an underground lair beneath a deceivingly small lobby on Broad Street, won’t start going through chemical-based hair products in earnest until at least 11 a.m.

Owner/stylist John Carreiro, who considers himself a green thinker, doesn’t worry these days about colouring products getting rinsed down the drain, or other supplies going into the landfill.

Not since he signed his shop up with Green Circle Salons last month.

The Toronto-based firm, started by organic chemist Shane Price, is gaining a foothold in B.C. with its program of collecting and recycling hair care products and other salon waste.

The company’s once-a-week pickups are working great, Carreiro says.

“The foils used to get rinsed and thrown away,” he says of the rectangular tin foil sheets used in colourings. “Now they get put directly into these bins.”

Within a few steps from each stylist chair are a series of containers. Inside, separated by type of waste, are foils, colour tubes and other detritus leftover from salon appointments. Another bin holds swept-up hair, which is used in booms for oil spills, as well as other products.

Carreiro says his staff had been on him for years to do something about the amount of chemical waste the salon created. He was on board, but until Green Circle came along, the point was moot.

“We really wanted to take that ecological stance, but nobody would pick up our stuff,” Carreiro says.

Given the relatively low market price paid for such waste, it would take many salons’ material to make it worthwhile for a diversion company to bother.

Jennifer Hennessey, a former Vancouver hair stylist who now works full time for Green Circle, has been working long hours to get salons on the Island and Lower Mainland on board.

“I can’t sign them on fast enough,” she says of the demand for the service.

As of last week, the company had 24 clients in Victoria and Nanaimo, plus 68 in Vancouver and 115 in Toronto.

It’s not a free service. The model calls for salons to charge a $1.50 eco-fee per appointment, $1 of which goes to Green Circle, and the rest to the salon to put toward environmental upgrades to their space, such as lighting.

For now, the eco-fee is being eaten by Carreiro. While he fully backs the waste-elimination concept, he’s reluctant to increase his prices before his clients understand more about it.

Either way, he says his staff is really behind the move to green up the salon.

“It’s more than recycling, it’s a culture we have in here.”

Carreiro estimates that about 90 to 95 per cent of his salon’s waste is now diverted or somehow recycled.

On Sunday (Nov. 18) from 6 to 9 p.m. at Carreiro The Studio, 1215 Broad St., Green Circle is hosting an official launch of its Island program, with a focus on hair collection.

Salon owners and the public are invited to drop by and see how it works or visit bc.greencirclesalons.ca for a list of participating local salons.

Real estate firm’s philanthropy noted

Colliers International was honoured at the National Philanthropy Day event in Victoria last week with the Corporate Citizenship Award. In recent years the company and its employees have supported, both financially and through volunteering, the B.C. Cancer Foundation, Junior Achievement and other local organizations.

Home-grown grocers expanding up Island

Vancouver Island-based Country Grocer continues to grow, opening the largest store in its chain last month on Bowen Road in Nanaimo. The 50,000-square-foot store, the company’s second in Nanaimo, hosted its grand opening this week. It was constructed to green standards with eco-friendly features that include bio-swales to control rainwater runoff, rain gardens and a heat reclamation unit that captures waste heat to warm the building.

Trendy Swedish retailer coming to Uptown

Hennes and Mauritz, known to most of the world as H & M, has confirmed it will open a store at Uptown in spring 2013. One of the world’s largest clothing retailers, the company already has 61 stores in Canada.

Wilson’s jumps at busing opportunity

Saanich-based Wilson’s Transportation Ltd. has added 11 highway coaches and six double-decker buses to its fleet, after Gray Line parent Horizon Coach Lines decided to withdraw service from Vancouver Island. The expansion solidifies Wilson’s position as the Island’s largest motor coach company.

Business names in the news

Roger How, a former member of B.C.’s Top 40 under 40 entrepreneurs, has joined marine industry software developer Edoc Systems Group as chief operating officer, after a stint as interim president CEO of Victoria technology company Terapeak … University of Victoria engineering student Jeremy Brooks won a $2,000 CarCareerBC bursary from the New Car Dealers’ Association of B.C … Tina Jubenville has joined the tutoring team at eGurus Technology Tutors, which provides training for seniors and others on hardware and software.

Send your business news to editor@vicnews.com.

Just Posted

Steve Mann and Tim Hackett consider Marigold Lands their finest development. (Rendering courtesy Marigold Lands)
Marigold residences grow more townhouses and condos in Central Saanich

50 condos, 14 townhouses up next for project adjacent to Pat Bay Highway

Norman Mogensen sets up strings for his beans in his plot in the Oak Bay community gardens. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay gardener spends decades cultivating, improving daddy’s beans

85-year-old vegan part of the community gardens scene

The Pool at the Esquimalt Rec Centre. (Courtesy of theTownship of Esquimalt/ Facebook)
Esquimalt Rec Centre restarting everyone welcome swim times later this month

The 90-minute sessions will be on select evenings and weekends

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read