Zazou Salon Academy’s Journey to Slashing Waste
The team at Zazou Salon and Academy in North Vancouver are masters of waste management; they produce the minimum possible and make sure it is disposed of without damage to the planet. But in 2018 they still produced more than 3,000lbs of liquid waste, an enormous and unnecessary cost to the salon. And even though it was disposed of responsibly, it was still exasperating.
“We could see it all as it was collected, which isn’t nice,” says Heather Hui, salon manager. “And we knew exactly how much thanks to Green Circle Salons, which disposes of our waste in an environmentally careful way. We could see it was a lot of color that we had paid for.”
By 2020, after the salon had been using Vish for more than a year, the waste saved per service brought cost per ounce spiraling down. Comparing the cost per service before and after implementing Vish color management, the team has saved the salon $10,000 in six months. Considering what a year 2020 was for the industry, that’s a very timely saving.
The salon has always been proud to be community-focused and globally minded since it opened in 1992, and was one of the first salons to sign up to Green Circle Salon way back in 2009, when it launched. But it still couldn’t avoid color waste. Then owner Bruce Peters and his management team read about Vish in an email from their salon software partner, Phorest, with its promise to slash color waste and over-mixing.
“We loved it and introduced it immediately into the salon and academy in October 2018,” explains Janine Cannon, Zazou’s Business Development Lead. “We prepared the team and did onsite education with Vish, so there was little resistance from anyone. They all embraced it, especially as it does the math for them. One stylist actually halved the amount of product she used on one regular client. We saw color waste plummet. Then lockdown happened.”
The salon was shut for two months and when it reopened, Covid protocols meant it could only function at 70 percent capacity. Clients had to wait longer for appointments, and when they did come in, they arrived with much greater regrowth, which required more product. For many salons, already hit by closure and increased cleaning costs, the additional color costs have been crippling. But using Vish, Zazou has been able to track the additional product costs and pass that cost on to the client.
“We are very transparent with our clients, who are already used to paying the Green Circle Salon fee,” adds Heather. “There was no pushback from them about the additional color charges for the extra product required. And being from Vancouver, which is very environmentally focused, they appreciate the reduction in waste that we’ve been able to achieve.”
In December 2020, Zazou enacted the first step of its projected growth plan of 10 new locations in 10 years, opening its second salon, manned entirely by graduates from its academy. Vish is installed and the entire team well-versed in its benefits. Now the team knows that as the company expands they will be processing a fraction of the chemicals per person they did pre-Vish, and that any waste will be disposed of safely by Green Circle Salons. It keeps everyone devoted to best practice at the color bar.