We spoke to Rachael Kennedy, the owner of eco hair and beauty salon, Gronn which opened March 1st 2016. Gronn is described as “North Manchester’s own cosy & luxurious community minded Eco Salon with both hair & tea made with love”
So, tell us more about how and why you started your salon?
“I thought I had to really go the way with the sustainability and eco thing that I wanted to do, that I had to open my own salon. I had a tiny budget but making my values fit into that were really important to me”
She’s been hairdressing for 26 years, she started as a hairdressing assistant, worked her way up in one salon to be a salon manager and working for a few companies including Paul Mitchell as a salon consultant and that’s where she “gained the eco, cruelty free values that [she] works with now”. She continued to work at a number of different salons gaining a wealth of knowledge in the process, then she went self-employed as a micro business ensuring she frequently networked to learn and make sure all her products were cruelty-free.
Furthermore, Rachael noticed from her 26 years of hairdressing that there were a wealth of eco loving conscious consumers, she “didn’t want to leave anyone one out” so she adopted this into her salon.
So how did you hear about eco hair and beauty?
“I spotted you on twitter!”
Rachael was telling us how she engages in a lot of social media and if she see’s someone she really likes and connects with and has her values then she’ll interact with them!
She found Jerry bottles through us and she’s now got her own in the Salon and says it looks beautiful!
What products do you have? What products do you use?
Rachael uses Davines which is a boutique Italian brand owned by a private family from Italy. She states that one reason out of many for choosing this brand is because it reduces the footprint of her shipping as the products are from Europe as opposed to from America, for example.
Plans for the future?
“I’ve got so many plans for the future!”
Rachael explained that they will be having holistic beauty and alternative therapy coming upstairs – they’ll be doing regular beauty treatments but nothing will be chemical based, it’s all extremely natural products because “your skin is your biggest organ that absorbs it all”. Liz who’s coming upstairs works with natural companies such Neals Yard. At Gronn, they have an astonishing four floors – a main hair level, next up a beauty level, and the top floor an attic, they want to eventually have a hair and beauty eco training school.
Rachael of Gronn Salon is also the Project Manager for Incredible Edible – turning little spaces into community gardens for everyone to harvest so everyone has access to fresh vegetables. They’ve got a garden area and everyone meets at Gronn Hair, it’s their headquarters and they’ll be starting their garden soon.
All the mints and herbs grown from the garden will be used in the salon – “growing our own cuts down on packaging”. Also, they do not use plastic bottles – they have jars filled with water which they infuse with the greatest grown in their very own garden.
“Every step is a plan” all the lights will be replaced shortly with LED energy saving lights, we are also in the middle of going with ‘eco-tricity’ which uses wind energy and green energy.” Rachael stated that they are moving away from conventional energy supplier in order to be more eco friendly and that they are also “doing some more research into having water filters on the taps“
They are going to have compost and a system in place outside to collect all the rain water to re-use sustainably.
The majority of their towels are disposable which they try to get as many uses out of as possible! They put a washing line out at the back, and if they do use the washing machine “which is very rare” it’s washed on it’s coldest, fastest wash and things are hung out on the line to dry. All their cleaning things are plant based, sustainable, recyclable plastic and they’re all vegan “so there’s nothing nasty going into any water from us and that’s the same thing with all the products from Davines so there’s nothing nasty going into the waste outlet”
Tell us some tips you share with your clients!
“We encourage clients to re-use shopping bags, all Gronn Salon’s bags are paper and we have very conscious clients that don’t even use plastic bags anyway!”
At Gronn, they re-use bottles in a number of ways, including as plant pots and they encourage clients to do so too!
About Eco Hair and Beauty
Eco hair and beauty is all about embedding sustainability into the hair care curriculum; salons like Gronn are learning every day scouring the internet for sites like ecohairandbeauty.com and we appreciate the support!
“I’ve never heard anyone do it!” “To find out about you guys and what you do is really exciting because I thought I might be able to learn some new things from you too” “I’m completely open to learning new ideas” “Everyday is a research project to find more and more things that we can do in the salon”
It was absolutely incredible speaking to Rachael about her salon, values, sustainability, eco hair and beauty and more! We are completely inspired by her enthusiasm, values and willingness to learn. Look for more #SalonSpotlights in the future! Until then, follow our twitter account to keep up to date with everything – http://www.twitter.com/ecohairbeauty
Visit/Contact the Gronn Eco Hair Salon
64 Bolton Street
Tel: 0161 879 7023