Each year in Australia, over 1.5 million kilograms of foil goes to landfill, and only 1% of salons are recycling their foil.
This is just one of the things that makes Bob different. Their salon is proudly 100% waste-free with five separate bins for different 'waste' products - hair, plastics, paper, foil and compost.
By working with partners such as Sustainable Salons they are able to collect and recycle 100% of their waste including foil, hair clippings, paper, cardboard and colour tubes.
When I first visited Bob I was amazed when I was told what they do with hair clippings as it was an area of waste I'd personally overlooked. Amanda explained on my first visit that my brittle, split-end ridden hair was now going to be sent to the great barrier reef to soak up oil spills. They are called hair booms, and it is something that now six months later I am still in shock by.
It's not the only thing I'm shocked by though with Bob. While unrelated to hairdressing, it's directly related to their holistic mission;
Bob does yoga classes.
On the first Monday of every month, Bob hosts a yoga class for $10 with the incredible Yoga Lane and they also provide you with a goodie bag. There's only 10 spots every month, which essentially means there's only nine because I email in as soon as they announce it.
All of the products Bob uses in the salon as not only better for you, but also for the environment and the animals that inhabit it. Most of the products at Bob are suited to both vegetarians and vegans alike.
They also use EcoHeads shower heads as they only use 5.5 litres of water per minute, which while it may sound like a lot it's 65% less water than regular shower heads.
Bob has encompassed who they not only in the space they've created but also in the products they use and those they also sell. From natural deodorant through to Who Gives A Crap toilet paper in the bathrooms, Bob has thought it all out.
Truth be told, it's taken me six months to write this review. Namely because I have had writers block because I cannot eloquently put into words my experiences at Bob without it sounding fake, when instead it is a place I am just so passionate about.
The vision behind Bob completely aligns with my own personal values, the fact that you can go there and take a yoga class because the environment is so natural is something I have pinch me moments from everytime I enter.
It's not often I find a place that I cannot fault, however Bob is at the top of that list. So, if you are in and around Melbourne add Bob to your list of places to go. Whether it's for a personal pamper, or for a yoga class on the first Monday of the month I promise 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 also run their business in an ethical and sustainable manner as well as 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!