Melanie Tudor at En Route salon

Be Like Melenie!

In Uncategorized by Lilly Cox

Melenie Tudor of En Route salon

Melenie Tudor

The conversation on sustainability is hotting up with hairdressers and brands showing concern, and we’re urging you to ‘be like Melenie’! Yes, we’re full of admiration for salon owner Melenie Tudor who is really making a mark on her local community, despite not being in ‘the big city’ and battling some entrenched resistance to the idea of recycling and regard for the environment.

Be like Melenie

At her salon, En Route Hair & Beauty in Walton near Wakefield, south Yorkshire, Melenie has launched an offensive against single-use plastic waste generated by sales of shampoo and conditioner bottles in her salon. Today she’s installed a refill station to invite customers to reuse, recycle, and refill their empty product containers so that as many plastic items can be averted from landfill as possible.

Motivated by a recent survey of more than 100 En Route Hair & Beauty customers, Melenie found that 75% indicated that they would be very likely to bring their bottles back for refill. Within 2 weeks, some 25 customers used the new refill station to give fresh life to 48 shampoo bottles and 30 conditioner bottles.

Why it’s important?

“Hairdressing isn’t the kindest industry to the planet,” comments Melenie. “With all the product waste, water and electricity usage. I’m changing things to reduce my business’ waste and its negative environmental footprint. The refill station is more of a planet decision rather than a business decision, but I keep thinking that 1,000 of our product bottles laid out top to tail would cover two lengths of Wembley Stadium. If we continue diverting these bottles away from landfill, that’s a big difference to the environment. Multiply all the waste every consumer produces and you’re talking stadiums full of waste per year. It’s shocking when you picture it in those terms. That’s why I’m adopting alternative solutions and making supplier changes. I’m not an eco-warrior, but I’m being an influence in my sphere and hopefully sparking others to reduce their waste too.

Sustainability promise

Further raising awareness of each person’s responsibility towards the planet, Melenie also has launched a ‘Sustainability Promise’ where staff and clients have been invited to commit to adopting one new environmentally friendly act a day that they didn’t do before. “It’s a great visual reminder that if we all make small choices, then together they all add up to make a difference,” Melenie says. “I never set out with an ‘I know it all stance’, but rather a ‘let’s do something about this’ invitation.”

Melenie Tudor left with NIcky Pope & Karine JacksonWorking on a theme

Visiting London recently to join Karine Jackson in a podcast for the hairdressing industry; guests of ‘Respectfully‘ the fortnightly podcast conversation for hairdressing. Melenie, who is a seven times North West Hairdresser of the Year finalist, found her green passion after visiting an Orangutan sanctuary in Borneo for her birthday. There she cared for orangutans who had been displaced by large areas of rain forest destroyed by palm oil plantations. Since that life-changing trip, Melenie has been set on making noticeable changes in her business.


Action points: 

• Lose the salon washing machines and tumble dryers and use compostable towels that disappear in 12 weeks, leaving no footprint in landfill
• Upcycle furniture, install energy-saving LED lighting, change to recyclable paper bags
• Use ‘green’ cleaning products and vegan-friendly washing up liquid with no sodium laureth sulfate – an alternative name for palm oil  
• Stock products with the RSPO (Round table for Sustainable Palm Oil) certification
• Avoid offering individually wrapped biscuits…. maybe try freshly-baked biscuits delivered to the salon each week, with no transport footprint!



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