Get your hair cut and save the planet!

Get your hair cut and save the planet!

We are facing combined emergencies in climate and nature – so what can we do?

To find out, visit your hairdresser or barber!

Hairdressers play a key role in spreading information, so a new project aims to encourage them to help raise consumer awareness about the environment. It’s called “Mirror Talkers”.

Created by Professor Denise Baden of Southampton University Business School, it involves eco-tips that salons stick to mirrors which prompt conversations about sustainable haircare practices. Mirror Talkers has been rolled out to the UK’s salons by specialist hair and beauty waste management and recycling experts Green Salon Collective.

The stickers placed on salon mirrors pose questions like: ‘have you tried leave-in conditioner?’ or ‘do you agree most of us use too much shampoo and shampoo too often.’ A study with 21 salons found hairdressers enjoyed using them. Clients also loved them, with 73% saying it was very likely or likely that they would change their haircare routines as a result.

“It is hard to think of an occupation which involves more general conversation with a wide variety of people, and which involves behaviours so relevant to people’s everyday routines, than hairdressing,” Denise explained.
Each week, millions of people in the UK get haircuts and, in the process, come into contact with key environmental issues, ranging from water and energy use and carbon emissions to toxic chemicals. Running hot water is one of the most expensive and energy consuming things done in salons and our homes, so advice such as shampooing once, rather than rinse and repeat, saves time, money and energy all whilst benefitting the condition of your hair.
And the industry itself has a massive environmental footprint.
The 41,000 UK hair salons and barber shops turn over around £7 billion annually, with 274,000 people working in them. They use huge amounts of energy, water, plastic, card, paper and chemicals and produce large amounts of chemical and other waste. UK salons produce more carbon emissions than many small countries! (source

That means that hair salons have the power to make a real difference by following the three sustainability Rs : Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Most businesses in the sector are micro businesses, run by caring people who care for the planet as well as their clients. They are agile, taking decisions quickly and effectively and more and more salon owners and freelance hairdressers are trying to run planet friendly businesses.

Encouragingly, there is is significant movement in the beauty industry as a whole to both support its small businesses and to take the lead in business’ role in tackling the climate and biodiversity crisis. The British Beauty Council have published two groundbreaking reports on a sustainable future for beauty and green washing, respectively and have set up the Sustainable Beauty Coalition whose 2023/24 priority is tackling waste. The world’slargest cosmetics company, L’Oreal , has created a tool to help salons track, monitor and reduce their carbon footprint with the ultimate goal of being certified Net Zero. Green Salon Collective offer a range of support and information in addition to their circular economy waste recycling. Including “Salon RE:Source” a sustainable hairdressing tool kit written by salon owners Anne Veck and Keith Mellen which has been downloaded 1,500 times.

Salon owners and freelance hairdressers can choose from a range of product manufacturers who aim to put planet at least along side profit. Davines, Oway, Tabitha Kraan Organics, Organic Colour Systems, Easydry, Scrummi, to name just a few.

Hairdressers are creative, talented, energetic, knowledgeable, sociable, sympathetic and highly skilled. They are experts and professionals. Their best work is art. And increasingly they are concerned about the future of the planet.

Hairdressers talk to millions of clients each week. What if every appointment included a chat about climate and biodiversity and what we can do? Next time you are at the salon or barbers, make sure you have that conversation!

Mirror Talkers
Green Salon Collective
Anne Veck Sustainability
Salon RE:Source
British Beauty Council reports


UK Business and Biodiversity Forum

Author’s bio.

Keith Mellen is a director at Anne Veck Limited. Our hair salon in Oxford was refitted in 2013, aiming to combine sustainability with the Anne Veck brand to create a stylish, green, destination salon. The focus was on on reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions, together with using products which are manufactured using renewable energy, recycled packaging and naturally derived ingredients. Anne Veck was the first U.K. salon business to be certified Carbon Neutral (by Carbon Footprint Limited) in 2019. The salon’s CO2 emissions were reduced form 14 tonnes p.a. in 2012 to 8 tonnes in 2022.
Keith is also a director of the UK Business and Biodiversity Forum CIC, a business lead initiative exploring ways businesses can act to reverse the decline in nature.
This blog was originally written for Ecohustler .

All about Anne!

A L L A B O U T A N N E!
Hair artist, international educator, brand ambassador and champion for sustainable, ethical and diverse
hairdressing, Anne Veck has been a hairdresser and salon owner for more than 30 years. In 2023, Anne sold her salons and realised a long-held dream, launching Anne Veck Education, a varied and exciting prospectus of hairdressing training courses.

Multi-award-winning, Anne is one of the industry’s leading authorities on sustainability (Anne Veck Oxford was the first UK salon to achieve Carbon Neutral status) and is also a creative powerhouse, producing breathtaking
collections that support her passion for ethical and diverse hairdressing.
Trained in Paris, Anne has an extensive classical hairdressing skillset, rooted in waving, braiding and hair-up. Combined with her creative vision, this technical dexterity has produced a unique and highly respected voice within the hairdressing industry.

Anne has won countless hairdressing awards at home and internationally for both her creative work and her
sustainability initiatives.

But her story doesn’t end here! For much more do read here!

Have no fear: overcoming self doubt

Have no fear: overcoming self doubt. In which Anne Veck discusses imposter syndrome and how to manage it.
Thank you to Professional Hairdresser for featuring this article.

Despite being a multi award-winning hairdresser and founder of successful sustainability initiative, Salon RE:Source, Anne Veck is all too familiar with ‘imposter syndrome’. Like many of us, she is constantly battling with those creeping feelings of self-doubt paired with the fear of being exposed as ‘a fraud.’
Sound familiar? ‘I think at some point we all self-sabotage’ says Anne. ‘For instance, we’ve all referred to ourselves as “just a hairdresser”, when we are so much more than that implies! I want you to start tackling these feelings of self-doubt, in turn allowing you to realise your full potential and go after your dreams – with confidence!’ Anne’s ‘Have No Fear’ manifesto is about focusing on small and simple changes that can impact the future, encouraging a positive mindset that eliminates thoughts of failure or inadequacy.

‘A few years back, I was approached by a big brand to deliver education on curly and coily hair. Despite having worked in salons and on shoots with textured hair many times, as well as having won awards for my Afro work, I turned the job down due to not feeling ‘good enough’ to work with such a prestigious company. I used to suffer hugely with imposter syndrome, but I have now learnt ways to manage it. I hope my experience will be helpful to others experiencing similar feelings of self-doubt.’

Anne first spoke out on the subject for International Women’s Day back in March, expanding on her thoughts for the hairdressing audience ‘I can’t believe I’m alone as a female hairdresser feeling this way!’. ‘Have No Fear’ asks stylists to examine the way they think about themselves, deploying tactics to help reverse negative thoughts and move towards a more positive way of living.

‘Mindset is everything’ reveals Anne. ‘It will affect everything you do in your life – your career, your homelife, your relationships. It will affect how other people perceive you and whether you can or can’t do something.’

‘If you don’t believe in yourself, you are limiting what you can achieve’ says Anne. ‘It’s restrictive; subconsciously you will be looking for any sign to prove yourself right and say to yourself, “I told you so!”’ Anne explains that growing older has helped her to stop ‘torturing’ herself and to understand that it’s ok to not be an expert in everything. ‘Every skill can be learnt, but how good you become at it depends on how much you believe you can do it.’

Here, Anne shares eight simple steps we can all take in a bid to increase our self-confidence:

Recognise imposter feelings when they emerge. Awareness is the first step to change, so ensure you track these thoughts: what are they and when do they occur?
Question your thoughts. Are they rational? Does it make sense to see yourself as a fraud, given everything that you know?
Break the silence. I now talk about these feelings much more openly, it’s made me realise that I’m not alone in experiencing self-doubt.
Concentrate on the positive. Be a ‘Yes Person’, embrace challenges and see them as an opportunity to grow.
Forgive your mistakes. When I get something wrong, I try not to beat myself up too much and instead try to learn something from the experience.
Stop comparing yourself to others. The best way to do this is to regulate your use of social media, these platforms can often make your feelings of being a fraud worse.
Rewrite the rules and decide on the script. No matter how much you feel like you don’t belong, don’t let that stop you from pursuing your goals. Keep going and refuse to be stopped.
Don’t let the past define you for the rest of your life. When I was thirteen, a teacher told me that I would never speak English properly. If I had believed him, I certainly would not have achieved all that I have today.
‘When I launched Anne Veck Education, I heard that little voice saying, “There are plenty of people already doing education and they’re much at it better than you!” But I stopped and rationalised, I have years of experience and I’m still getting shortlisted for awards, so I must be doing something right! I decided to ignore the little voice and just go for it – and I’m so pleased I did!’

Find out more at or follow Anne on Instagram @anneveckeducation

Get Nature Positive! Anne Veck Limited’s Nature Positive Business Plan.

Get Nature Positive! Anne Veck Limited’s Nature Positive Business Plan.

We thought it would be a good idea to share our plans to reduce our impact on biodiversity. Both for transparency and to encourage others if they would like to take action but are unsure of what to do. So this is quite rough and ready but we hope it will help you and your business to be kinder to nature! For many more ideas do check out our sustainable hairdressing toolkit Salon RE:Source !

1. Commitment
Anne Veck Limited (AVL) has signed up to the Nature Positive Business Pledge. AVL aims, as much as a micro business can, to contribute to The Global Goal for Nature – to halt and reverse nature loss from a baseline of 2020, achieve net positive by 2030 and full recovery by 2025.
We shall report on progress annually (1streport due May 2024, after end of 23/24 trading year 30/4/24).

2. How can a hairdressing business be nature positive?
As a service provider (hairdressing, presentations, shows, training courses, campaigning, consultancy), AVL’s impact is mainly about indirect impact drivers rather than direct impact. E.g. reducing amount of paper used is a driver for reducing deforestation which is a driver for reducing biodiversity loss. Reducing colour chemical waste is a driver for reducing ocean and freshwater pollution which is a driver for reducing aquatic wildlife loss.
Or another way of addressing this, is that sustainability, climate and biodiversity are interacting, holistic, part of a whole global crisis, with negative and positive circularity and feedback loops. Biodiversity and climate change need to be tackled together. Arguably the biggest positive impact on biodiversity the business will have, will come from reducing its CO2 emissions.
(Anne Veck Limited has also signed up to the U.N..Race to Net Zero and has a Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan).

3. Baseline.
AVL has attempted to identify the impacts it has on nature and biodiversity, in order to set baselines from which progress can be measured..
Anne Veck Limited operates from Kelly’s Hair Oxford (KHO) and 77 Barton Road, Headington, Oxford (77BR).

Direct impacts on site:
KHO is a ground floor retail unit. There are no opportunities to change legacy direct impacts.(e.g. destruction of nature when site built on) or do anything significant new.
77BR is a residential bungalow with a 500sq/m back garden and 100sq.m front garden. Front and back are gardened mainly for wildlife with no artificial inputs to soil for at least 30 years. However there is no additional positive action for nature and biodiversity by AVL, because this would take place anyway by the householders (who are the directors of AVL).

Indirect impacts from site:
Water from roof drains to general sewage.
Water use in salon involves chemical waste from hairdressing products into sewage. Most but not all chemicals are organic.
Grey and black water to sewage.
Water used by AV whilst hairdressing at KHO, estimated at 20m3 p.a.(salontotal 276m3).
Chemicals waste generated by AV whilst hairdressing at KHO = approximately 310g per day.(measured using Vish software).
Energy consumption by Anne Veck (AV) whilst hairdressing at KHO, generates CO2 emissions estimated at 1.5 tonnes p.a. (10% of estimated total salon emissions of 15 tonnes, based on worst case of 2 X 2019/20 emissions when ceramic fuel cell was operating, resulting in low emissions.)
Grey and black water (inc. business use for refreshments and washing towels etc.) goes to sewage.
Water used by AV whilst hairdressing at 77BR, estimated at 3m3 maximum p.a.(house total 136m3).
No paper used for communications with customers, education materials, brochures, etc., except Salon RE:Source/Green Salon Collective flier. 100% recycled paper, non toxic ink. Approx.100 left.
Paper based system for books and accounts.

AVL both sites and other
Travel by foot, bicycle, public transport whenever possible. Several long distance and short haul air flights each year. Business travel @ around 2.3 tonnes CO2 emissions p.a. of which 1.7 is air travel.
B2B awareness raising: Campaigning, educating, presentations, toolkit (SalonRE:Source) may have some positive effect. 80% users of toolkit report positive benefit (surveys 2021, 2022) but small sample (10 each time ).
AVL campaigns continuously for sustainable hairdressing including nature positive actions.
Including sustainable hairdressing training course which will be delivered minimum 5 times in 2023.
Website & social media features UK Business & Biodiversity Forum, Nature Positive Business Pledge, Oxfordshire Nature Recovery Network and rewilding.
B2C awareness raising: customers’ awareness, understanding and engagement with nature not assessed but conversations with clients about nature and sustainability are frequent. Also impact of website & social media.

The value chain: supply chain/upstream
This data is missing for now.

4. Plan
AVL believes that taking action on nature makes business sense. In particular for a service based micro business, being seen as nature positive (integrated with sustainable and ethical values) attracts and retains customers both B2C and B2B.

The Mitigation Hierarchy and Smart Targets
Action will follow the mitigation hierarchy,in other words, in order of importance:
Avoid negative impact/ Reduce negative impac t/ Restore nature/ Compensate and offset residua limpacts.
Targets are Smart, that is they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound.

Direct impacts
Direct impacts on site.
Actions: continue as currently doing at 77BR.

Indirect impacts.
Reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions by Anne Veck (AV) whilst hairdressing at KHO. Anne to review personal practice e.g. turn equipment off, switch off lights, hot water use) and identify opportunities for action, then implement.
Target: from estimated 1.5 tonnes to 1 tonne CO2 emissions by 31/4/24 .
Continue to source electricity and gas from renewable suppliers. (Ecotricity at SHO, Good Energy at 77BR.
Offset carbon emissions annually (May, after year end measurement).
Reduce chemicals waste generated by AV whilst hairdressing at KHO. Use Vish software to measure reduction.
Target: 50% reduction(from10.6 to5.3%wasteby31/4/24).
Reduce amount of water used by AV whilst hairdressing at KHO. Anne to review personal practice e.g. turn taps off,use of ecoheads, and identify other opportunities for action, then implement.
Target: from to 20m3 to15m3 by31/4/24.
Water use at 77 BR at 3m3 is insignificant but action as at KHO.
Reduce all business travel CO2 emissions.
Target from 2.3tonnes (2020/21) to1.5tonnes by 31/4/24
Avoid UK air travel and travel by train instead.
Target:avoid 100% by31/4/24
Avoid Europe air travel where rail alternative e.g.Eurostar.
Target:avoid 100% by31/4/24.
Reduce long haul air travel. Avoid unless business opportunity is compelling. Target:2 trips/year maximum (in total both directors) by 31/4/24.
Fly economy.
Target 100%all flights by 31/4/24.
Avoid paper communications with customers,education materials, brochures, etc.
Target: zero paper used by 31/4/24 including all existing fliers used up.
Avoid paper book keeping and accounts. Change to software e.g. Xero.
Target: in place for 2024/25.
Deliver sustainable hairdressing courses to salon owners and hairdressers.
Targets: 5 in 2023/24; 7 in 2024/25.

Action in the value chain: supply chain/upstream
Investigate if our suppliers take nature positive action. Do our suppliers compensate for/off sett the residual, unavoidable impacts on biodiversity caused by operations, to ensure at least a no net loss of biodiversity and, where possible, a net gain.
(Can we use their data? Do they hold nature positive certifications,such as RSPO for palm oil,FSC for card and timber) To what extent are these certifications credible?)
Investigation to include indirect impacts such as product content, packaging, cruelty,human rights, energy use, compensation/offsetting and direct action to restore nature.
Depending on results of investigation, AVL will retain or change to other more nature positive suppliers.
Target: Investigation complete by31/12/23.Any changes required by 30/4/24.
NB results of this investigation may need to be confidential

Action in the value chain: services/customers/downstream
What impacts are there by our customers when using our products and services? Work out what this means and what we can do. Target 31/12/23

Compensate and/or offset residual impacts
Investigate what is possible, CO2 offsets with certified biodiversity positive or biodiversity credits? If possible to be targeted to locations from which the raw materials are sourced. Target 30/9/23

Done 11/10/23
According to a research paper in Plants People Planet July 2023 called “Towards a co-crediting system for carbon and biodiversity”, there is currently NO co-crediting system available. The paper argues in favour of them.
However, there are several (numerous?) CO2 offsetting products available which emphasise their nature friendly nature. (in contrast for example to CO2 offsetting schemes which involve planting trees in plantations with chemical fertilisers).
Examples of “nature friendly” CO2 offset products are offered by
Carbon Footprint Ltd, EcoOffset, Ecologi , to give just 3 examples.
HOWEVER many offsetting products involve “afforestation” which means planting trees on land without trees. Unfortunately some times this land can be more valuable for CO2 sequestration before the tree planting than after AND the process of tree planting can damage biodiversity. So it is important to take great care when choosing how and where to offset. Most of the websites of consultancies offering CO2 services provide very little detail on exactly where and how they offset. AVL used Carbon Footprint Limited 2019-22 and they continue to provide clear and comprehensive information on their offsetting options.

Awareness raising to contribute to nature positive action in society
AVL will use our company network and wider sphere of influence to support and acceleratenature positive action in society. AVL encourages other SMEs in our network to join us by taking the Nature Positive Business Pledge.
Target: promote at events,, social media, Salon RE:Source tool kit & e- newsletter at least 6 x p.a. by 30/4/24
Collaborate with other businesses .Action:Keith Mellen is active (director) in the UK Business & Biodiversity Forum CIC. Target: continue this until end of director term (October 2025) at least.
Engage with government and NGO programmes such as the Oxfordshire Local Nature Recovery Network. Target: participate in 100% events organised by its business group during 2023/24.
Share our story by getting recognized for our work and by inspiring other SMEs by sharing our examples of nature positive success in the media and awards.Target::3 features about business & nature in hair & beauty media and 1 award final in 2023.

Investing in nature
AVL Directors have invested dividends in a nature positive project (rewilding NGO in Portugal).Invest further as required and requested, subject to affordability by 30/4/24.
Nb for tax purposes it is better to invest personally rather than through the company.
AVL has previously sponsored BBOWT, the local wild life trust. Considerdoing again. Encourage SHO to organise volunteering day(s) for BBOWT.

Keith Mellen Director Anne Veck Limited 17/8/23

The Race to Zero! Anne Veck Limited’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan.


We thought it would be a good idea to share our plans to reduce our carbon footprint. Both for transparency and to encourage others if they would like to take action but are unsure of what to do. So this is quite rough and ready but we hope it will help you and your business to cut your carbon! For many more ideas do check out our sustainable hairdressing toolkit Salon RE:Source !


Up to March 2022 Anne Veck Limited (AVL) operated a hair salon in Oxford with annual Scope 1 & 2 emissions totalling just under 8 tonnes (reduced from 14 tonnes in 2012, certified by Carbon Footprint Ltd).
Since the salon was sold in March 2022, the business has reduced its activities considerably, to those carried out by the 2 remaining employees (directors).

Previously, only Scope 1 & 2 emissions had been measured and actioned. This updated plan now includes action for Scope 3 emissions (value chain).

AVL has signed up to the U.N.’s S.M.E. RACE TO ZERO which sets businesses a target of net zero CO2 emissions by 2030. By offsetting, Anne Veck Limited has achieved this since 2019 for Scope 1 & 2 emissions.

The plan structure:

1. Measure emissions and set baseline
2. Set reduction targets
3. Take action to meet targets
4. Offset residual emissions
5. Communicate activity to encourage others to do same

1. Measure emissions and set baseline.

AVL has attempted to measure its current Scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions, using worst cases (i.e. maximums) estimated from 2020/21 emissions.
Anne Veck Limited operates from Kelly’s Hair Oxford (KHO) and 77 Barton Road, Headington, Oxford (77BR).

Energy consumption by Anne Veck (AV) whilst hairdressing at KHO, generates CO2 emissions estimated at 1.6 tonnes p.a. (10% of estimated total salon emissions of 15 tonnes, based on worst case of 2 X 2019/20 emissions of c.8 tonnes when ceramic fuel cell was operating and as a result emissions were low).

According to a 2022 EPC the property produces 3.6 tonnes CO2. So worst case 10% for AVL activity gives emissions of 0.36 tonnes.

AVL both sites and other
Travel by foot, bicycle, public transport whenever possible. Several long distance and short haul air flights each year. Business travel @ around 2.3 tonnes CO2 emissions p.a. of which 1.7 is air travel.

Value chain (Scope 3)
Products and services from suppliers, from our products and services when used by customers. Not yet measured.

BASELINE TOTAL CARBON EMISSIONS P/A 4.26 tonnes (Scope 1 & 2 only)

2 & 3.Targets and action

Reduce energy consumption by Anne Veck (AV) whilst hairdressing at KHO. Action: Anne to review personal practice (eg turn equipment off, switch off lights, hot water use) and identify further opportunities for action, then implement.
Target: At KHO from estimated 1.6 tonnes to 1 tonne by 31/4/24. At 77BR from estimated 0.36 tonnes to 0.3 tones by 31/4/24 (measured as 10% of household total).

Reduce all business travel CO2 emissions.

Avoid UK air travel. Target: avoid 100%, by 31/4/24
Avoid Europe air travel where rail alternative e.g. Eurostar. Target: avoid 100%, by 31/4/24.
Reduce long haul air travel. Action: avoid unless business opportunity is compelling. Target: 2 trips/year maximum economy class (in total both directors) by 31/4/24.

Continue to use public transport and bicycle whenever possible.
Target from 2.3 tonnes ( 2020/21) to 1.5 tonnes 2023/24


Reduce emissions form across the value chain, including products and services from suppliers and from our products and services when used by customers. Not yet measured.

List suppliers & partners
Contact each and/or check websites for information and accreditations
Assess information made available and measure emissions as best as possible
Continue with or change suppliers as appropriate


4. Offset residual emissions

Buy CO2 offsets for slightly more than annual emissions from fully accredited, genuine offset brokers.


5. Communicate activity to encourage others to do same

Join industry initiatives committed to CO2 emissions reductions:
U.N. S.M.E. Race to Zero / UKBBF / Nature Positive Business Pledge/ Green Salon Collective/ Sustainable Beauty Coalition.

Involve salon clients and help reduce personal / household CO2.

Promote sustainability and carbon emissions best practice through Salon RE:Source sustainable hairdressing tool kit, social media, website, workshops, industry networking.

Anne Veck’s Sustainable Hairdressing Workshop

are you a sustainability snail?

Anne has created a Sustainable Hairdressing work shop for salon owners and hairdressers, which brings to life all the advice contained in her sustainable salon tool kit Salon RE:Source. Working in collaboration with Davines, she has put together a fascinating and action focussed course structured around what you can do in your business to save the planet. Giving you practical advice that you can implement. Available as a full day or half day.

Two versions to choose from! 1. Anne’s course for independent salon owners and hairdressers or 2. The Davines Sustainable Salon Course, delivered by Anne or a Davines expert.

The courses cover
Reviewing your business
Making real change – don’t just jump on the bandwagon
Put your practices through a green lens – what could you be doing better?
Why being more sustainable will benefit your business (client expectations, bill saving etc)
Good places to start Energy & CO2 emissions : action to tackle global heating/climate emergency
Eliminate paper & card: reduce forest destruction
Use of chemicals and waste of water
Supply chain/ choosing your product manufacturers: make your money work to save the planet!
Who to trust/where to get more help and info
For more information and bookings, contact or call Keith on 01865 744612 and for the Davines Sustainable Salon course, contact your Davines representative. And in the mean time, why not have a go at our “Sustainability Snail”? Sustainability what? Find out here!

How to write a winning award entry and become more sustainable!

How to write a winning award entry and make your salon or freelance business more sustainable.
We thought you might be interested in reading our winning entry for the 2022 British Hairdressing Business Awards Sustainable Salon of the Year. Here it is in full:


Why should you win this award?
Tell us why you deserve to win in a 90-second video (can be filmed on your phone) or in 250 written words.
We believe that hairdressing should operate sustainably and ethically, in a world where being kind to people
and planet resonates with customers and is the key to success.
Anne Veck Oxford is an award-winning and profitable salon, a business model that is commercially successful,
because it is sustainable.
Our sustainable salon journey began in 2013 with a complete refit. Design was by Anne and green salon
specialist, Charlie Hearn. Since then we have reduced the salon’s carbon emissions by 48%, partnered with a
sustainable product manufacturer and signed up to the leading recycling service for the salon industry.
Over the same period, turnover and profit have increased by 72% and 84% respectively.
Turnover 2012/13 £361,276 2019/20 £620,521
Profit 2012/13 £60,618. 2019/20 £111,358
2019/20 last complete trading year.
We have gained several important accreditations and awards for sustainability (see final section) and we have
prioritised spreading the green business message to both the hairdressing industry and the wider SME sector.
Our user friendly sustainability toolkit for salon owners and hairdressers Salon RE:Source, now in its 2nd edition,
has been downloaded over 700 times.
In the future we shall continue to share our experience and knowledge about the actions salon owners and
hairdressers can take to reduce their impact on climate heating, pollution and nature. This is an important
challenge and we look forward to it.!
We’ll tell you more throughout the entry and we hope you will choose Anne Veck Oxford for Sustainable Salon
of the Year 2022.
Anne Veck & Keith Mellen, Directors, Anne Veck Limited.

Why is sustainability important to your business?
Tell us why you have prioritised sustainability and what prompted you to either make these changes or
incorporate them in your business from day one. (Maximum 350 words)
The world economic and financial system is addicted to unsustainable growth, which is threatening all of our
futures. Businesses should aim to thrive, rather than simply to grow. To make a profit, but also to make the
world a better place.
We believe passionately that the above is true and that everyone should do what they can to make positive
change happen. So in 2013, we decided to change the way we ran Anne Veck Limited (two salons and Anne’s
education programme back then) in order to walk the talk: to be as sustainable and ethical as possible.
From a business perspective, it was clear that there would be a commercial advantage in taking a “first adopter”
approach to being a sustainable salon. For us, being sustainable also includes operating ethically and
professionally. It is important to us that our employees are well paid and enjoy first class career opportunities;
that we can welcome all clients with all hair types and that we are as green as possible.
Clients choose us because of our sustainable credentials as well as for the excellence of our hairdressing and
customer service. These values also attract great employees who want to make a difference. And
operating sustainably reduces costs in the short and long term.
The salon’s reputation for sustainability is arguably the most important component of our marketing mix.
Sustainability = success.
As people who have always been passionate about the environment, it was something we had long wanted to
do . To be a sustainable salon we decided to be as green, as ethical and as professional as we could. It was
time to walk the talk!

How have you made your salon more sustainable?
Outline some of the ways that you are committed to sustainability in the salon, giving examples across all
aspects of the business (for example: suppliers, product partners, fit out, recycling and waste) (Maximum 350
The salon’s design and operations prioritise reducing energy consumption / carbon emissions and the
mantra reduce/reuse/recycle. At 7 tonnes per year, the salon’s carbon emissions are 50% to 25% of
average for salon with 10 styling positions and 80-100 sq. m. floor area.
Ceramic Fuel Cell generates electricity from gas at efficiency rate of 75%+and meets most (not all) of the
salon’s needs. (Electricity generated by commercial power stations efficiency rate c.35%.). Reduces energy
consumption by 50% and carbon emissions by 40%. 200 litres hot water daily bi-product, further reducing
energy consumption.
Energy from Ecotricity, who generate 100% own renewable electricity and 5% green gas. They offset the
All interior and exterior lighting is LED.
Motion activated lighting staff room and toilet.
Window sizes increased for maximum natural light.
Ecoheads at backwash reduce hot water use by 65%, saving energy.
Water pipes insulated reduce heat loss.
Doors draught proofed.
Efficient electric hand dryer reduces energy use.
Washing machine A-rated, runs at low temperature.
No energy hungry air conditioning. We open windows!
Redecorated with non toxic phosphate free paint.
Retained Amtico floor from previous refit.
Davines supply most products. Manufacture with renewable energy, recycled packaging, naturally derived
ingredients, carbon neutral. Shampoo bars, no plastic packaging. Most products vegan.
Offer clients product refills.
Colour waste reduced 10% using VISH app.
Grey water filter downstream of backwashes.
Team use biodegradable nitrile gloves..
Easydry biodegradable towels and gowns reduce energy and water use. Towels used three times: first
clients, then cleaning and finally local garage cleaning.
No printed price lists or new stationery – available online/airdrop etc.
Recycling paper, card, glass, plastic, product waste, metal and hair by Green Salon Collective.
Non-recyclables collected by Oxford City Council for incineration, zero landfill policy.
Good quality hair to Little Princess Trust.
Who Gives a Crap recycled bamboo loo paper.Install toilets in developing countries.
Organic soap not hand wash.
Eco-friendly cleaning products, mainly Ecover.
No single-use cups or bottles; clients bring own for our Fair Trade drinks.
Refill Centre, free drinking water to public, reduces single-use plastic.
No plastic bags; limited supply of recycled bags, clients encouraged to bring own.
Ecosia search engine salon and office. Plant trees to offset emissions.
Reduce emails. Not huge CO2 footprint but every little counts!
It’s a long list but we never stop looking for ways to improve our sustainability!

How do you promote your sustainability to clients and potential clients?
Tell us about how you market your green credentials and shout about your sustainability message through
marketing, in-salon activities and social media. (Maximum 350 words)
The Anne Veck brand stands for sustainability and hairdressing excellence for all, in a buzzing, fun salon.
Everything we do to market the salon is about these brand values. Sustainability is arguably the most
important part of our marketing mix aimed at the local community and the wider Oxfordshire region.
We influence our clients to make sustainable changes in their lives. Team members have completed the
Southampton University Eco Hair & Beauty certificate which helps them to talk about sustainability during
appointments. We have fact sheets at styling stations and at reception to remind everyone of our mission
and to spark conversations between staff and clients. Plus Davines and Green Salon Collective mirror
stickers which do the same. We provide refills for products and water and explain why we use the products
we do.
We celebrate Earth Day (22nd April) with a plastic amnesty “Plastic is the Problem”. Pop in and leave your
plastic for recycling, refill your old bottles and book an appointment!
We promote sustainability using our website, social media and Anne’s Secrets e-newsletter. 91,200 pages viewed per year 4,504 followers 6,888 followers 599 followers 779 subscribers
Anne’s Secrets 5,960 subscribers .
Each month we invite clients to post reviews on We get positive feedback
about salon sustainability and this is important in recruiting new clients.
With crossover between all these media we have created a community of loyal clients
engaged in what we are doing.
Louise Wood PR do a fabulous job promoting the salon as the sustainable hairdressing destination in
Oxford with coverage in the Oxford Mail, Oxford Times, OX magazine, Oxfordshire Living, Muddy Stilettos,
Oxford Community TV and BBC Radio Oxford.
We support local charities and community groups which is very effective in attracting new clients. In salon
activities include charity hair cut days and VIP appointments as raffle prizes. We sponsor BBOWT, the local
wildlife trust, which works for local nature and sustainability.
Choose Anne Veck Oxford to do your hair, reduce your own carbon footprint and help save the planet.

How have your sustainable changes impacted business?
Outline how becoming a more sustainable business has positively impacted your business. This might include
business growth and new clients or team members, local partnerships, or publicity and awards. (Maximum 350
Being more sustainable has raised the salon profile, contributing to an impressive increase in clients,
average bill, turnover and profit since the 2013 refit.
Clients 2012/13 8,683 2019/20 9,407 Increase 8%
Average bill 2012/13 £45 2019/20 £63 Increase 40%
Turnover 2012/13 £361,276 2019/20 £620,521 Increase 72%
Profit 2012/13 £60,618. 2019/20 £111,358 Increase 84%
2019/20 last complete trading year.
Being sustainable includes operating ethically and professionally. We are an accredited Living Wage
Employer and our stylists are State Registered Hairdressers. Paying well, supporting professional standards
and being sustainable maintains a positive team ethos and reinforces our efforts to be a good employer.
We share decision making with the team, which helps build confidence in the salon. They made a group
decision to travel to work by foot, bike or public transport. They decided to outlaw single-use plastic and junk
food in the staff room. This “buy-in” on sustainability means they enjoy discussing it with clients.
We partner with local businesses which is usually more sustainable than the alternatives (e.g. lower delivery
miles = lower CO2 emissions) and attracts new clients. For example:
Seacourt (possibly world’s greenest printers) for salon literature using waterless printing technology and
closed circle recycling. We are using up supplies now we have gone paper free.
La Cucina (neighbouring restaurant for coffee, cakes, meetings and events),
Niki Peach Design (our web designer and IT problem solver)
Indigo Oxford (natural lifestyle shop with reciprocal marketing)
Oxford Artisan Distillery (hand sanitiser)
Wild Boor Ideas (creative partnership with this local puppet theatre company)
Denton’s Garage (maintain our cars and use our Easydrys)
Becoming more sustainable has had a very positive impact on Anne Veck Oxford’s profile in
the hairdressing industry, which is evidenced by these award wins and accreditations:
Creative HEAD Most Wanted Sustainability Hero 2021
NHBF Community Awards Helping the Environment 2020
Salon Business Green Salon 2019 & 2017
NHBF Best Environmentally Friendly Business 2017
Davines Sustainable Salon Certified Visionary Level
Green Salon Collective Accredited
Good Salon Guide Eco Salon
Southampton University Business School Sustainable Stylists and Salon Certificates
Carbon Neutral Certified by Carbon Footprint Limited in 2019,2020 and 2021. 2022 pending.
Our intention is that these activities encourage other businesses to become more sustainable and reinforce
the message that the hairdressing industry is a major player which can make a significant impact to saving
the planet.

Show us your business in numbers.
Please provide: Estimated costs of any sustainability measures implemented
Costs of sustainable salon refit in 2013. All figures are exclusive of VAT
Design £5,350
Shop fit £73,440
Furniture £18,626
Ceramic Fuel Cell (CRC) £17,500 . Return on investment through savings 8 years or 5 years factoring in
sales increases.
Total cost £114,916
Costs of sustainability measures
Ecoheads £129 x 6 = £774 over 9 years = £86 per year.
Green Salon Collective £6,300 per year, recouped through “Green Fee” @ £1 surcharge per appointment.
Easy Dry towels box of 900 costs £175. 12 boxes =£2,100 per year.
Easy Dry gowns box of 300 costs £450. 24 boxes = £5,760 per year.
Replacement LED light bulbs 50 x 3.7 watt £6.50 each; 20 x 12.5 watt £4.45 each. Replaced once every 5
years.= £414 = £82.80 per year. ,
Most other sustainable measures are at similar cost to their non sustainable alternatives.

Show us your business in numbers.
Please provide: Estimated savings through sustainability measures for the last two years
Salon owners often say that it costs too much to go green. This is a myth. Think about the “3 Rs” :
reduce/reuse/recycle. The key is “reduce”. By using less, you buy less, you spend less, you save money!
The most obvious example is energy. Gas and electricity prices are increasing massively. So by reducing
energy use through sustainable actions your save money. Another is doing away with paper and card
stationery (price lists, appointment reminders, gift vouchers etc.) and going 100% digital. Who needs them?,
They cost money and destroy forests!
Here are some examples of what we have saved at Anne Veck Oxford:
Energy The salon’s energy consumption has reduced by 50% since 2013. Electricity generated by the CRC
gives annual saving £3,000. Attracts government Feed in Tariff funding and 50% is sold to the grid,
generating £2,500 income annually. Total saving per year £5,500.Spoiler alert! With increasing gas prices,
the money savings from the CRC will be less, however the CO2 benefit remains.
Savings from LED lighting, Ecoheads and better housekeeping (switching things off!) accounts for about
Water EcoHeads at the backwashes reduce water use by 65%.according to the manufacturers. We use 16
litres of water for each shampoo, approximately 153,500 litres per year. So we save 236,154 litres per year
which @ 0.2p per litre = £472.
EasyDry tell us that the salon saved 83,250 litres of water in one year by using Easydry towels. Saving @
0.2p per litre = £167.
Stationery. before going 100% paper free, we spent on average £1,000 annually on stationery. Savings
£1,000 per year.
Total savings per year £7,639
Over two years £15,278.
By retaining (reusing) the Amtico floor in 2013 we saved £15,000.

Show us your business in numbers.
Please provide: Turnover of the business for the last
two financial years (in graph form)
Show us your business in numbers.
Please provide: Gross profit for the same period (in
graph form)
Show us your business in numbers.
Please provide: Retail figures for the same period (in
graph form)

Please provide Three client/business partner testimonials, relating to sustainability.

Had my hair cut and coloured here. Absolutely love it. The attention to detail in the colour is amazing, every
time I move my parting new shades and patterns are revealed. I spent several days checking it out in front of
the mirror, it’s so mesmerising! Had lots of compliments too. My hair feels like a work of art now! I’m really
pleased that Anne Veck is a sustainable hairdresser as well, and uses and sells sustainable hair products…
Fantastic haircuts and planet-friendly; I really couldn’t ask for more!! Sarah Louise
Love visiting Anne Veck. Always very friendly staff and a nice welcoming vibe in the salon. Love the way they
are supporting the environment by doing as much as they can. I’ve kept my cape for almost 18 months now
and reuse it each time, which helps to stop the volume of plastic waste, just one small thing on top of all the
salon does to be so eco-friendly. And of course, I always get a great haircut. Nicola Williams
Your Salon Re:Source tool kit is awesome, so user-friendly and really well thought out and presented –
absolutely love it! We are due to restart our sustainable salon courses in July and I wanted to ask how you
would feel about us either giving it as a take away or encouraging salons to sign up to
receive the tool kit? Dayv Metcalfe, Regional Sales Manager,Davines UK & Ireland

Add anything else you feel appropriate that supports your entry
We share our experience and knowledge with the hairdressing industry and beyond to help
others change their organisational practices in a planet positive way. This has resulted in a
step change in our industry profile. We aim to have a positive influence on our industry’s
progression to a more sustainable future.
Our main activities.are the Salon Re:Source toolkit, our Big Green Issue newsletter, Anne’s creative work
and influencing through industry events, media, networks and organisations.
Salon RE:Source is a user friendly toolkit designed to help salon owners and hairdressers run their
businesses more sustainably. It’s in three parts: Baby steps/ Next steps/ Big steps. Over 700 salons and
stylists have downloaded it and it has been shared by numerous organisations, manufacturers and industry
bodies. Get it here!
The Big Green Issue is an e- newsletter sent to more than 280 subscribers, mainly salon owners and stylists
but also industry organisations and manufacturers, in which we share the latest developments in
Creative work Anne’s first hair show in 1997 was at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital,
fundraising for maternity equipment. Today she focuses on sustainability and diversity,
notably photo collection/video/show Toxic Fashion and collections A Murder of Crows and Le
Femme Fatal.
Influencing. In the last three years we have presented at Creative HEAD Salon Smart 2021
and 2022, Phorest Conscious Hair & Beauty 2020, Davines Community Congress 2022,
Professional Beauty London 2022, Marie Claire sustainable hairdressing panel 2022 and (we
hope) Kao Hub Network conference 2022 (to be confirmed).
In January, we organised and chaired a UK Business & Biodiversity Forum webinar on Beauty
and Biodiversity (featuring contributions from Kao, Davines, Natura, Scrummi, NHBF, Green
Salon Collective and Karine Jackson). We featured in a Respectfully podcast 2021and two
Davines Instagram broadcasts in 2020.
We have advised several organisations and manufacturers on sustainability. We worked with
Davines to troubleshoot their Sustainable Salon Certification and to give feedback on their
Sustainable Salon course. We advised L’Oreal for their Sustainability Savvy Toolkit. We have
discussed sustainability and hairdressing with the NHBF, Fellowship for British Hairdressing
and VTCT.
Anne is a Green Libertine for Green Salon Collective and Ambassador for biodegradable
salon product manufacturer Easydry. Keith is a member of the British Beauty Council’s
Sustainable Beauty Coalition Advisory Board and both Anne and Keith are founder members
of the British Beauty Council’s new Hair Taskforce, a group of salon owners who discuss
sustainability issues and share best practice.
Beyond hairdressing, we have shared our message with a wider business audience. We have showcased
the ceramic fuel cell at a green business conference at Oxford University and to academics and investors in
the salon. Keith is member of the UK Business and Biodiversity Forum steering group, we are founder
members of Get Nature Positive and Keith is a Business Ambassador for the Oxfordshire Nature Recovery
Network. We have signed up to Low Carbon Oxford and The Race to Zero committing to CO2 neutral by
Bag for life
We sent a “Bag for life” to each of the leading hairdressing media editors and journalists. Made from 100%
post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, each one contains a collapsible reusable coffee cup, a reusable
metal straw, a lavender straw, a beechwood toothbrush and eco-friendly toothpaste tablets, and disolvable
laundry strips. It’s our way of saying thank you to them, and introducing them to some of the brilliant
alternatives out there. (All our employees got one too).
Personal note
Anne began her interest in sustainable and ethical business with her first salon in 1991. She
realised the importance of welcoming clients with all hair types and from all ethnic groups
and the salon today welcomes a diverse clientele and employs a diverse team. Keith’s
previous career was with environmental and community charities from 1980 to 2001. He has
been a volunteer with The Wildlife Trusts and The Conservation Volunteers since 1975 and a
member of Greenpeace for 30 years. Anne and Keith are involved in a rewilding project in
Portugal .

We recognise that becoming a truly sustainable salon is a journey that we haven’t yet
completed. We hope that our efforts will inspire other hairdressers and salon owners to join us to
help save the planet.
Anne Veck & Keith Mellen
Anne Veck Limited
April 2022

So you think you are off setting your CO2?

OK just when you thought you’d done the right think by a) reducing your salon’s energy consumption and hence its carbon emissions to the minimum possible and then b) off setting those pesky emissions so as to be “Carbon Neutral” or even Carbon Positive or Carbon Negative (these seem to mean the same!) by buying more carbon credits than you need to, along comes some very bad news!

The Advertising Standards Authority is to ban the use of terms such as “carbon neutral”, “net zero” and “nature positive” where these are based on the purchase of carbon offsets. But why?

Well, it appears that some carbon off setting schemes are little more than hot air!

The ASA has been investigating misleading environmental claims for 6 months and it has decided to crackdown on misleading environmental claims.

This was reported by The Guardian on 15th May 2023 citing the example of Gucci and other users of rainforest off sets marketed by Verra which were found to have had little impact in practice on the ground. Under the new ASA regime any claim based on the purchase of offsets will have to be able to demonstrate that the offsets really work.

Gucci, Italy’s most valuable luxury brand, announced it had become “entirely carbon neutral” in 2019 in part using Verra’s rainforest offsets. It has deleted the claim from its website and said it was no longer working with South Pole, the Swiss carbon credit consultancy it partnered with on the commitment.

Verra, which operates one of the world’s leading carbon standards, and has had the major oil companies as purchaser’s of its carbon credits has strongly disputed the findings of The Guardian investigation which was first published in January.

Large companies can ill afford the brand equity damage that public climbdowns like this bring with them and as the image below shows there is now an increasing tendency to take highly visible action against what are felt to be misleading claims.

Amid concerns about credibility, companies are increasingly being encouraged to say they are making climate contributions when purchasing carbon credits instead of claiming they have offset their emissions.

Whether we call them “contributions” or “off sets” it is still the case that purchasing kosher carbon credits will be a necessary part of achieving net zero for most if not all salons and other businesses between now and 2030. So what to do?

We think the solution is simply to be very careful in your choice of carbon emissions broker. Some worthy examples appear to be those accredited by one of the other major carbon standards, The Gold Standard . It’s not always easy to identify which certification any particular broker is using but, as far as we know, (but do your own research), the following seem to be good guys: Carbon Footprint Limited, Climate Impact Partners and Ethiotrees. Some display the logos of both Verra and Gold Standard amongst others and there are a lot of cowboys out there, so be careful!

Anne Veck has a new Education brochure!

Join Anne for real hairdressing education!

Anne explains: “I have created a programme of old school face to face education. Escape the digital world and join me in a real life hands on educational experience. Engage with and learn from other hairdressers too, at my workshops and courses. We can work together anywhere – at your salon, academy or venue or at the Anne Veck Academy at Bicester near Oxford. Enjoy some real me-time with other hairdressers and/or your own team.”

Anne’s passion is sharing her skills and creativity with her peers and she is a member of the select Alternative Hair Master Educators. She holds the HABC Level 3 Award in Education and Training and is a master colour educator for Davines. She works two days each week at Kelly’s Hair Oxford, so you can be confident her teaching is grounded in practical salon experience to help you motivate your team, retain more clients and increase sales! She will tailor her teaching to meet your exact requirements and, despite what she says above, she does teach one to one and to small groups on Zoom and Instagram, pre-recorded or live!

Anne’s workshops are informal, relaxed and fun and participants receive a certificate of attendance as well as new skills and increased confidence! She is an expert educator in all aspects of styling and long hair. Cutting and colour too and her latest specialities: Understanding textured hair (Afro hair for beginners) and Sustainable hairdressing.
“Anne Veck is one of the most inspiring women in our industry. I felt so privileged to spend the day in her company. Her energy is infectious. What a great investment in my time and attention.”

Now you can get your own copy of Anne’s new Education brochure, free of charge, here!

For more information and bookings, call Keith Mellen on 01865 744612 or email

Innovation for sustainable hairdressing

Anne Veck continues her winning streak for sustainable hairdressing!

Anne Veck and partner Keith Mellen are celebrating after being shortlisted for Innovation of the Year, at HJ’s British Hairdressing Business Awards 2023. This sustainability focussed duo have secured their finalist place with their innovative Salon Re:Source sustainability tool kit which is freely downloadable for salons. So far it has aided 1,500 salons to take steps towards sustainable practice. Get your’s here.

Widely regarded as one of the industry’s most prestigious events, the awards recognise the names that have achieved business brilliance, helping uphold Britain’s reputation as a world leader in hairdressing expertise.

As current holders of these awards’ Sustainable Salon of the Year Award 2022, Anne and Keith have reached the finals 2023 after submitting an attention-grabbing entry, detailing the inspiration and development behind an industry-related innovation. Following an intensive judging process, they will now attend the 25th British Hairdressing Business Awards, held this year on Monday 3 July 2023 at London’s Park Plaza Westminster Bridge.

Anne Veck commented: ‘We are delighted that Salon Re:Source has been recognised as a leading innovation, for us the only goal is spreading the word and the work to salons to help them to take those first baby steps, then bigger steps and then sizeable steps to make their businesses sustainable. That was why creating a tool kit to encourage and come alongside people was so important to us. To ensure there were no obstacles, we made it entirely free, as all we want is positive change.”

Keith Mellen added: “The awards are so respected across the industry, so just to reach the finals is a huge honour. We are up against some incredible competition but just hope that the judges see our drive and passion and mainly we hope it encourages more salons to engage with easy steps to work in greener ways.”

Jayne Lewis-Orr, Executive Director of the British Hairdressing Business Awards says: ‘HJs British Hairdressing Business Awards are an annual celebration of business acumen, and the people and companies going the extra mile to ensure that creativity and commercial success go hand in hand. Once again, our judging panel was overwhelmed with the standard of entries. To make the shortlist for this category, nominees need to demonstrate how they turned their vision into a reality, as well as proving how it fills a gap in the market. Anne Veck and Keith Mellen should feel incredibly proud of what they have done with Salon Re:Source, they are leaders for positive change in both sustainability and hairdressing.”

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