Gordon Salon has been an Aveda lifestyle salon for 23 years. Throughout our entire development (and Aveda's) we have been committed to reducing our ecological impact on our environment and regularly apply direct action act to reduce our carbon footprint locally. The beauty industry is ever evolving and constantly shifting. New product lines come out, new ideas spring up, and there is new technology that makes it’s way to the forefront of consumers' minds as well as people in the hair industry. Through the years, Gordon Salon has been committed to Aveda, not only for their amazing vegan products, but for their environmentalism and humanitarianism. I want to talk about and highlight what Gordon + Aveda do to give back to their communities and environment.
“At Gordon Salon we are an Aveda lifestyle salon. What that means is we use everything Aveda here. If it’s not the Aveda brand, we have done our research into brands that are 100% ethical and natural like our S4TEC Keratin treatment and VoMor extensions.”
Who and what is Aveda?
Aveda is a company that does not test on animals and is fully vegan that makes not only hair care products but makeup, skincare, body care items, stress relief items, brushes and combs, candles, and other items that are plant-based and vegan. Aveda started from an Austrian-American man named Horst Rechelbacher and he broke onto the hair and beauty scene when he was 17 years old. He was a fabulous hairdresser who wanted to create a brand like nobody had ever seen before - one that was science based in plants and not with toxic chemicals and synthetics. He is the ‘father of safe cosmetics’. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horst_Rechelbacher)
Aveda’s/ Gordon Salon’s mission statement: Our Mission At AVEDA Is To Care For The World We Live In, From The Products We Make To The Ways In Which We Give Back To Society. At AVEDA, We Strive To Set An Example For Environmental Leadership And Responsibility, Not Just In The World Of Beauty, But Around The World.”
Aveda is sustainably & ethically sourced with their ingredients - helping the environment, using 100% wind and solar power when they create their products. They are the “first company to use 100% post consumer PET. When we can’t use it, we are starting to combine PCR with bio-plastic. The bio-plastic they use is bio-polyethylene derived primarily from sugarcane. Bagasse is the fibrous byproduct that remains after sugarcane stalks are crushed for sugar production. The bagasse is used as fuel for the production of ethanol, a main ingredient used to produce polyethylene. Sugarcane is a quickly renewable, and thus sustainable, resource.”
When it comes to resources, Aveda has some of the best stats of any of the beauty players in the game. “Traceability matters when it comes to botanical ingredients. It can help track And ensure ingredient quality and responsible sourcing practices throughout the supply chain. Aveda is using transparency to help drive environmental and social improvements as well as organic certification and third-party fair wage verification for farmers.”
“At Aveda, the art and science of pure flower and plant essences, we believe that nature is the best beauty artist of all this is why we continually strive to increase our use of naturally derived ingredients whenever possible. Elevated uses the ISO standard 16218 when calculating the naturally derived percentage of its ingredients derived from plants, non-petroleum minerals, and other natural sources, including water. Naturally derived means that over 50% of the ingredient is natural (by molecular weight).
Aveda‘s main takeaways are that it is naturally derived, certified organic, sourced from sustainable or renewable plant-based origins and does not negatively impact the ecosystems from which they are sourced. Aveda has established soil to bottle traceability for certain key ingredients. All of the Aveda essential oils are processed in an environmentally responsible manner through steam distillation.”
What is soil to bottle? Aveda develops close working partnerships with certain communities and/or suppliers and seeks to use them as a primary source for specific ingredients. We frequently reference these relationships that are non-promotional materials. However, sometimes due to conditions beyond our control examples drought, purse, and capacity limitations these communities and/or suppliers are unable to meet our needs for an ingredient, including being unable to supply some or all of it. When such a situation occurs, Aveda uses additional suppliers to provide High quality alternative sources until we are able to resume sourcing from the primary supplier.
Aveda says that They “save over 600 tons of virgin plastic each year - HDPE or PET”.
“Bottles with 80% or greater PCR make up nearly 90% of all retail and professional plastic bottles for Aveda. The remaining packaging is either glass, which is frequently recyclable, or plastic tubes that are not yet accepted by municipal recycling programs.” (https://www.aveda.com/living-aveda/natural-ingredients?gclid=Cj0KCQjw06OTBhC_ARIsAAU1yOWIzaySiMRCIvHvsp8BgPWxJ7IIjZbbFSyoYFwXpDzORYwimryC99oaAm7lEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds) (https://www.aveda.com/living-aveda/responsible-packaging)
Speaking of recycling programs, at Gordon Salon we made it easy to recycle not only Aveda products, but almost any beauty product that you are ready to recycle! We have the beauty bottle recycling program which you can read more about in this blog post here: (https://www.gordonsalon.com/post/beauty-bottle-recycling-program)
Great Things happening at Gordon Salon:
Gordon Salon a carbon-negative salon, we recycle everyday, we upcycle, we planted 1,137 trees last year alone in protected forest preserves, we cleaned about 675 pounds of debris and trash from the Chicago Lake Michigan shoreline, we do annual foods drives a few times per year, we are partnered with The Alliance of the Great Lakes which is a non-profit organization which fights against pollution in the Great Lakes and shoreline, we have a recycling program which earns you points you can use to retail, and we are partnered with Aveda. (https://www.gordonsalon.com/impact) Gordon Salon was also recently named one of the Top 200 salons in the country again for the 18th year in a row and the salon also an Intercoiffure salon which is the highest prestige that a salon can have. (https://www.gordonsalon.com/post/salon-today-top-200)
We have raised $120k in donations throughout the years & beach cleanups for the Alliance for the Great Lakes during Earth Month (April) which is more than any salon in the Midwest!
We use digital ads for our promotional materials which saves over 400lbs of paper production annually.
We use bamboo pens which prevents 790+ pounds of plastic waste and production. We also replaced the bleach paper business cards with our plantable seed paper cards which we utilize.
6th Annual Catwalk For Water or as we call it a “Trashion” Show in 2018 raised $15,000 for the Alliance for the Great Lakes.
”Trashion” Show? It plays out like a regular show and all the proceeds to the Alliance for the Great Lakes. Stylists and volunteers create pieces of clothing out of recyclable material such as newspaper, cardboard, color boxes, plastic containers, newspaper, etc. After the show, the pieces of ”clothing” are auctioned off and proceeds, again, go to our partnered alliance.
We partner with local artists to sell their inspiring work and creativity in our salons.
What Can You Do According to this website I think is helpful:
If you must buy something packaged in plastic, favor the more recyclable plastics (#1 and #2) and buy in bigger containers. (Smaller containers or single-serve pouches mean a lot more plastic comes with your personal care products).
Demand better from the companies whose products you are buying! Call them or email them and let you know you want to be able to buy their products without a side of plastic.
Glass is infinitely recyclable without being compromised so products that come in glass can be a viable solution. Metal packaging like steel or aluminum is also truly recyclable.
Consider recycling your mascara wands this company here: Wands for Wildlife (https://www.wandsforwildlife.org)
Bamboo toothbrushes are also an excellent option instead of buying the plastic versions when you are in need of more.
Cardboard and cork are good biodegradable solutions, and there are lots of innovative solutions in the works, like packaging made from seaweed or mushrooms. (https://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/blog/the-cosmetics-industrys-plastic-packaging-problem)
I am working on doing a Project Pan with my current makeup in my drawers. That means I do not purchase anything for any reason until I’ve gone through the makeup items I have — unless I run out of anything like foundation or mascara. It’s really made me feel so much better about using up the items I already have, knowing about the items I need and not feeling overwhelmed at the store for my purchases, and it cuts back on products going bad and waste when I throw them away/ recycle the products.
As you can see, Gordon + Aveda are really working their hardest to create a wonderful environment with sustainably sourced products and lots of giving back to their communities. I challenge you to change up some beauty items/ shift to more sustainable brands in the future!