Gwen Fisher

Gwen Fisher

A beauty salon with a conscience

Pure Elements is recycling hair to be used for oil booms

Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair…

There’s something green happening at Pure Elements, and it’s getting stylists and clients excited. The salon will now be re-purposing its hair clippings for oil spill cleanup, while simultaneously diverting 95 per cent of its waste from landfill. The move means that the business is now a certified ‘Green Circle Salon’, and officially one of the greenest salons in the world.

“It used to be that we had no choice but to put our hair and foils and colour tubes and other salon specific waste into the landfill. Now, we’ve changed that and we’re a certified sustainable salon”, said salon owner Gwen Fisher.

Until now, there has been no recycling program in place that encompasses all of the specific salon chemicals and hair clippings that come off the cutting room floor. The new Green Circle program now in place at Pure Elements means the hair clippings will be going to aid in oil spill cleanup in the event of a West Coast spill. The clippings will be made into oil booms (nylon tubes filled with hair) known to be highly effective in oil spill clean up. Hair has the same properties as an animal’s fur or feathers, which makes it an ideal spill response material. Interestingly the oil booms are made at a women’s prison on the Lower Mainland. Fisher would like to see they made locally out of nylons (and hair) and have boat owners place them beside their boat engines in Sooke Harbour when they are moored.

The foils, color tubes, plastics, excess chemicals and paper will be separated in-salon and collected by Green Circle Salons’ Vancouver branch. Green Circle Salons is a Toronto-based company on a mission to make the Canadian salon industry sustainable by 2020.

“At our salon, we know our clients have a green mindset. It’s prevalent on our island. We pride ourselves on the beauty we create every day in our salon and we want to protect the beauty of the place we live and work in. Now, our clients can look good and feel good too. They can leave knowing they’ve contributed to a positive environmental initiative with their hair and that we are taking care of all of the waste from their visit. It’s a look good, feel good experience.” says Gwen. “Green Circle is also helping us to take a look at our next steps for making the salon more efficient… there are always more and better ways to become even more sustainable even beyond recycling.”

“We’re proud to be a salon that our clients love to support and our stylists love to work in. In today’s ecologically sensitive world, that means taking care of the carbon footprint of each client who comes through our doors.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for Greater Victoria, with winds expected to get up to 70 km/h Friday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Wind warning promises blustery Friday for Greater Victoria

Winds up to 70 km/h expected Friday morning

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 from Vancouver to Victoria Feb. 28 were exposed to a case of COVID-19. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
COVID-19 exposure found on flight from Vancouver to Victoria

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 Feb. 28 affected

Crews deal with a rock slide on the Malahat section of Highway 1 in 2017. (Black Press Media file photo)
Rock work closes Highway 1 in Langford for spurts

Friday closures could delay drivers up to 20 minutes

Low interest rates have acted as a catalyst for the pandemic real estate market. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)
Real estate sales surging across Greater Victoria but risks lie ahead

Single family home prices jump nine per cent over past year while condo values remain stable

Protestors against old growth logging gather in front of the courthouse in Victoria on Thursday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Fairy Creek protesters gather at Victoria courthouse

Logging company seeks injunction to remove blockades near its Port Renfrew operation

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read