As consumers, we are so lucky to live in a society where more and more businesses are adopting ethical and sustainable practices in an attempt to minimise their negative environmental and social impacts. This is obvious in the fashion sphere, but it has also made its way into another industry: hair. Bob Melbourne is one of these eco-friendly studios, and our hair and our environment are extremely thankful for them.
Did you know that over 1.5 million kilos of foil end up in landfill every year in Australia, and only 1% of salons recycle their foil? No, neither did we. We do not often think of the harmful effects a trip to the salon can have, but what we are also unaware of are the positive impacts that can come from choosing a sustainable salon. Bob Melbourne is one of these salons, and by supporting them you will actually be helping the Great Barrier Reef. Yep, your brittle, split end-ridden hair will be sent by Bob to make hair booms that will soak up oil spills in the GBR.
Here’s a few other super awesome ways Bob is helping lead the way in sustainable hair practices:
The cruelty-free products they stock are better for you and the environment, and most are suited to vegetarians and vegans;
Their EcoHeads shower heads only use 5.5 litres of water per minute, which is 65% less water than regular shower heads;
They partner with Sustainable Salons: an organisation that finds repurposing solutions for rescued salon resources; and
With five separate bins for different waste products—hair, plastics, paper, foil, and compost—Bob is proudly 100% waste-free.
Bob have even chosen their toilet paper to fit in with their ethos! Who Gives A Crap toilet paper is made from 100% recycled materials like books and office paper, and has made its way in the Bob bathrooms. By paying a $3 green free each time you visit you will be helping this incredible company continue the work they’re doing for both the environment and your hair. As well as taking care of your hair—very well might EME’s amazing founder add—Bob takes care of your mind by hosting a yoga session on the first Monday of every month. Is there nothing this hair salon doesn’t do?
If you live in Melbourne and are yet to find a hair salon that aligns with your own personal values, we recommend getting your locks over to Bob. Whether it’s for a Christina Aguilera circa 2001 to 90’s Julia Roberts makeover, or just for a Monday night yoga sesh, Bob Melbourne is your place. Trust us; you won’t regret it.
Behind the Brand:
An interview with Amanda Berry and Charlotte Archer, the founders of Bob.
What made you start Bob?
Bob is the creation of Charlotte & Amanda, born off the back of being frustrated with an industry that remains predominantly unaccountable for the waste it produces. We found the way we lived in our personal lives was contradicted by working in an environment where no f!*k's were given for all of the chemicals and foil being thrown into landfill and down our drains. We wanted to either get out of the hairdressing industry or change it.
Tell us more about the meaning behind the name Bob.
I wish we had a more poetic answer to this question! Bob came about after the realisation that our original name felt off-brand & just not us!! Bob is strong and simple, The Bob is the most classic haircut - always being re-invented and made new, but a classic at its core. We wanted to create a space that felt comfortable, unpretentious and warm. I think Bob encapsulates that.
What is something others wouldn't know about starting a sustainable salon that you think they should?
It’s not difficult to be sustainable! Sustainable Salons Australia has made recycling 95% of salon waste as simple as putting foil, hair and other waste into the correct bins - we’ve taken it a step further with composting food scraps but ultimately, as long as everyone is on board, there’s no excuse to be creating unnecessary waste.
What has been the most challenging thing you have uncovered since the beginning?
Big companies hiding behind clever marketing, trying to convince us to stock their brands (often very convincingly). We are constantly researching and updating the products we stock as well as our practices to be as clean and green as possible.
Within the ethical fashion community, there's a big question that we ask which is 'who made my clothes?'. In the scope of Bob, can you tell us a bit about the products in your salon, and how you decide which ones to stock?
We have curated a selection of products that sit under our anti-crap ethos. It is important to us to only have brands on board that have little to no crap in them, but that also run their business in an ethical and sustainable manner, as well as providing great education so that Bob staff are armed with knowledge to embrace our anti-crap philosophy.
Best piece of advice you have ever received?
“Walk to the beat of your own drum.” This keeps us focused on our true values and not worry about what anyone else is doing.
One tip you'd give to others who are wanting to start their own business?
Stay true to your values at any cost! It can be tough at times but sticking to your guns makes every success feel authentic and worthwhile.
Where do you envision Bob in the future?
Our immediate goal is to build Bob into a successful and respected sustainable business. Being less than a year in, our focus is on being the movers and shakers of the hairdressing industry - demonstrating to other salons that it is not only possible to have sustainable and ethical practices but that it’s imperative that we do.
Do you have a morning routine? If so, what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?
We both have young children and it is all go in the mornings to get everyone out the door. However, when we walk through the Bob door we make a point of connecting with one another over a coffee. Being co-owners means there is a constant need to stay connected and nurture our relationship, much like a marriage! So in the morning you’ll always find us huddled around the coffee machine checking in with one another and setting up for our day ahead.
One book everyone should read? Why?
Slow by Brooke McAlary. We both read this over summer and found it to be a timely reminder to keep life simple and find pleasure in the little things. Her message is simply that possessions do not equate to happiness, which is so important in the age of instant gratification and constant marketing.
Are there any other Movers & Shakers our there in your world that you think people should know about?
Stacey Burt, Founder of The Little Company, Cremorne; Stace has a fresh approach to the world of skincare & The Little Company thrives on the philosophy that natural, simple skincare and sustainable beauty is the key to great skin. Her super-cool warehouse space is always humming and her staff are full of knowledge without making you feel like you need a million different products. We love everything about that place!