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:
BHBA SUSTAINABLE SALON OF THE YEAR 2022
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 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 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.
www.anneveckhair.com/salons-2/ 91,200 pages viewed per year
www.facebook.com/annevecksalon 4,504 followers
www.instagram.com/annevecksalons/ 6,888 followers
www.instagram.com/salonresourceuk/ 599 followers
www.youtube.com/user/anneveck/videos 779 subscribers
Anne’s Secrets 5,960 subscribers .
Each month we invite clients to post reviews on reviews.co.uk. 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
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
Shop fit £73,440
Ceramic Fuel Cell (CRC) £17,500 . Return on investment through savings 8 years or 5 years factoring in
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
Show us your business in numbers.
Please provide: Retail figures for the same period (in
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! bit.ly/SalonReSourceUK
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
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
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).
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 https://www.faiabrava.pt/en/ .
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