Beauty Industry: Why Should I Care About Social Responsibility?

The views expressed are those of the author only and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone editors or publishers.

Social responsibility is becoming a hot topic in the business world, with sustainable practices gaining more and more ground. While each company has its own unique mission and goals, making sustainable efforts is something I believe all companies should consider. Sustainable movement is not simply an external environmental effort, it is also a method of connecting with your team and customers on a deeper level.

Many people equate a trip to a beauty salon with gossiping about current celebrity lifestyles, receiving personal guidance on important issues, and hearing the news in our hairdresser’s life since we last saw them. While we eagerly anticipate and appreciate these special moments, what if at the same time we were contributing to something more meaningful?

I have seen the positive influence of sustainable endeavors through a sense of contribution since I started my green beauty business five years ago. Being socially responsible has changed the way people interact with us, knowing they are making a global impact when they come to our salon. For example, less time is spent gossiping with our customers and more time about how their recycled hair clippings will be used to absorb ocean oil spills or our commitment to animal rights through the companies we support.

Employees in an environment of philosophical existentialism feel pride, value and loyalty. Your work contributes to something bigger than yourself and it’s about being part of the team that makes you want to come to work every day. Rather than business profit being the # 1 priority, it’s about creating inspiring products or services that help people live a better life. Studies show that 93% of employees believe that companies should lead with a purpose rather than focusing solely on making money. Companies that take this approach can help their workforce feel more inspired, motivated and productive, and a loyal workforce shares their company’s purpose and story with customers.

My company’s sustainable efforts have led customers who were previously outside the “green world” to take an interest in sustainable practices as well. When asked about the best part of having a green business, I should say that it is the sense of pride we feel in seeing our actions inspire a brighter future for our customers, ourselves and the planet.

Do you feel turned on? Ready to act with new and innovative strategies that have an impact? Good. Because that’s what it will take to create a more socially responsible future. If you want your business to thrive, you need to be proactive and develop creative solutions for the world we live in now.

I am often asked how business leaders in the beauty industry can begin to identify areas of opportunity in their businesses to “go green”. Here are some first steps a beauty industry leader could take when developing more sustainable strategies or practices for their unique business.

1. Create a recycling program. Did you know that the beauty industry creates over 877 pounds of waste every single minute? IBIS World reported 904,718 hairdressing companies in the United States in 2022. The math tells me this is a great place to start. Try to start a recycling program within your company. When switching, encourage customers with old shampoo or conditioner bottles that can lead to laundering. This would give them the incentive to buy these items sooner and provide an opportunity for environmentalism.

2. Focus on community impact. Find a way to make an impact that aligns with your company’s values ​​but also evokes change in your local community. For example, if you partner with companies that distribute cruelty-free products, consider supporting your local human society with an annual dog and cat food campaign.

3. Go paperless. Buy reusable glasses and cutlery instead of disposable. Send email client receipts instead of printing and create your email list at the same time. Install a hand dryer in the bathroom instead of paper towels. Reuse old product containers as decorations and plant flowers inside them.

4. Switch to sustainable products. Your products should resonate with the values ​​you hold. When looking for sustainable brands to represent your business, I recommend that you clarify what their core beliefs and principles are, not only to support them, but also to ensure they align perfectly with your company’s purpose as well.

5. Involve your customers. Inspiring sustainable change is a great way to inspire others and help improve your community.

So get involved, get together with your team, and brainstorm how your unique company can positively impact the world. Let’s work together to create a better tomorrow.

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