In business, operating sustainably or in a more socially conscious manner doesn’t necessarily require grandiose declarations, complex activities or large scale transformation. In many cases, a few simple changes can make a big difference. In The Spotlight is a new regular feature that focuses on startups and small businesses, doing their bit on a grassroots level to support people, place and planet.
This month we spoke to Danielle Davies, founder of Manchester based hair studio ‘Industry’. Industry put sustainable business practices at the very heart of their operation, offering their clients a range of sustainable salon services and products.
Danielle, Industry recently opened up a new salon, that focuses on using sustainably sourced hair products for your customers, tell us a bit more about that?
Hey! I’ve always been interested in using natural ingredients, plus the wellfare of animals has always been a critical factor for me, I wanted to make sure I could do my bit to support the welfare of animals and support the planet, which led me to begin researching and reaching out to suppliers that could give me the best of both worlds. I find it super important to educate my clients in the products we use because many of the products in our industry are still tested on animals, this isnt nessessary and causes numerous social and environmental impacts – all negative! It’s great to be using a set of product that meets the same core values as mine.
Sounds amazing, why did you choose to focus on sustainable natural products?
In addition to my beliefs surrounding animal welfare and wanting to help the planet, many people don’t realise how polluting our industry can be, from the small things like molecules going down the drain and into the water system up to the larger impacts like chemical usage and water consumption. There is also the social aspect from the supply chain to consider too and the welfare of producers at the very edge. I wanted to be different from other businesses and by choosing to operate with a sustainable and socially conscious mindset at the core of my operation, it’s given me a real competitive advantage.
And, why Davines?
I use Davines products partly because they’re a family owned business that have been operating for 35 years, so I know their quality is fantastic but also because their attention to detail with sustainability at every stage of their production process is second to none. Everything is meticulously planned, from their own sustainable village to their methods of carbon reduction. They also provide a vegan friendly service throughout their colour and product range which is perfect for a number of my clients. There is so much to love about the brand and their ethos, to be frank, it’s a breath of fresh air when compared to most suppliers.
Finally, why would you say operating a sustainable business is important?
We are at a critical juncture in human existence. The planet needs our help and we can’t be blind to the changes that are taking place around us. In a bid to do their part, consumers are more socially and environmentally conscious in their buying habits.
As businesses, we have a duty to respond to this, to meet that need and also evolve beyond just looking at profit margins. We need to all develop our sense of purpose and have clear values that align with our customer base. Not because it helps increase our profits but because it’s also the right thing to do! Those that don’t and continue to operate in a traditionally capitalist mindset will quickly find their customer base dries up.
At Impact, we are huge supporters of anyone looking to make a difference. We work with companies who want to make the world a better place and help them organise their social value reporting so they can get on with doing the right thing. If you would like to find out more, please get in touch on 0161 532 4752.