In this edition of ‘Salon Design Of The Month‘ we chat to the team behind the Buller + Rice salon, whose business focus is firmly on sustainable hair care and hairdressing. Sustainability in the salon industry is something we’re exploring more and more here at Salons Direct and so we were very keen to find out how this Newington Green based salon is pushing forwards within the sustainability scene.
How did the Buller + Rice business begin?
Following the success of our first salon, Ralph & Rice, I decided to partner with my long-time friend and fellow stylist, Stephen Buller to launch my second salon – Buller & Rice. The result of a combined interest in environmental awareness and eco-conscious hairdressing saw the launch of Buller & Rice in Newington Green last summer, where we will be continuing to evolve the ethos created at Ralph & Rice. We want to continue to further challenge the wastage that exists within the hair category and innovate with the latest building materials to the most effective energy systems. We want to educate our clients – showcasing that you do not have to compromise on experience OR end result, whilst giving back.
How did you decide upon the aesthetic of the salon?
Working with other local businesses is a key part of our ethos, so for the design on both salons we partnered with Hackney based design studio Lozi, who used the latest innovations in sustainable design – primarily such as bio laminate – a surface material made of grass cuttings and Smile Plastics – surface material which consists of 100% recycled yoghurt pots producing a luxury marble-like finish. We want to create an aspirational aesthetic, whilst showcasing you can be kind to the environment whilst doing it!
How do you stand out from your competitors?
We strive to evolve and continue to challenge the industry norms and input new and exciting initiatives. Solely using products from eco, sustainable and biodynamic lines is at the core of the salon but Buller and Rice will take this a step further. We will have non-branded re-fill bars, allowing eco-conscious consumers to bring ANY empty pot, tube or tub into the salon to be re-filled with their choice of product, which will be charged by ml – we’re the first salon to offer this, encouraging our clients to re-use all of their packaging, not just the ones from brands that offer this service – making it affordable for consumers to make the right choices with the products that they are using!
We’re also launching Paper Not Foil – a New Zealand based company that produce colour foils out of recycled paper that has a chalky texture, allowing them to easily grip the hair AND that are reusable, either by rinsing by hand or placing them in the washing machine. This is a key next step in making the necessary changes to reduce waste – plus partnering with Who Gives A Crap toilet tissue to make all the changes that we possibly can!
Working with like-minded businesses will be key to grow the awareness and inspire, so from summer 2019, Buller and Rice will be partnering with Matter of Trust to recycle hair clippings and donating them to aid oil spill clean up, as human hair has the natural ability to absorb huge amounts of oil.
How do you think social media has influenced our industry?
It’s great if used in the right way! Instagram has allowed a window into small independent salons to a much wider audience. It has allowed neighbourhood salons to become destinations.
How do you keep up to date with the latest industry trends?
Social media, our incredible clientele – continually researching new products, and initiatives to ensure we always stay ahead of the game!
What do you think makes a successful salon?
A strong team, who have a shared ethos and ability is key and ensuring you create a really strong point of difference!
What advice can you give to others wanting to open a salon?
You have to work REALLY hard, but the hard work will really pay off!
What are some of your favourite products and tools to use in the salon?
We work with OWAY and Davines colour and products, and my go-to tools are GHD curve and straightening hair tool, Cloud 9 irons and we have just launched Paper Not Foil – reusable hair foils!
What can we expect from you in 2019 and beyond?
New and exciting initiatives in how to reduce, reuse and recycle. Creating experiences to educate consumers and the wider industry on best practice in how to minimise their impact on the environment. As well as helping people to understand how to do this without compromising on producing the best results!