After working in the hair industry for a decade, Earth to Betty’s creative director, Madeline Frawley had well and truly seen enough.
Having watched the waste that was being produced, and how toxic the colours and products were that were being used, she wanted to do something different. That’s what led her to open Earth to Betty, an eco-salon based in Ascot Vale that and prides itself on being “as environmentally conscious as possible in every sense”.
Making sure ETB is continually eco-friendly is an ongoing process, Frawley says. Her and her partner focus on “reducing our ecological footprint while the salon is operating. As a hairdressing salon we carefully choose the products and services we use; researching new technologies, thinking of new ideas and processes that we can introduce into the salon to help achieve this.
“This includes making sure all our brands are committed to sustainability, are animal cruelty-free and are conscious of water and energy saving.” You can rest assured that no matter what product you buy from ETB, it’s good for Mother Nature.
With World Vegan Day just around the corner, the eco-salon is getting ready to celebrate. For any customers that make the trip to the eco-salon on World Vegan Day, they’ll receive a gift. ETB have promised to hand out baby tomato plants to anyone that strolls in and makes a purchase – it’s in the name of promoting “healthy gardens and plant-based choices”.
Frawley says there’s an immediate reaction from first-time customers, as they provide a different environment to most salons. Head along to ETB and you’ll know you’re in an eco-salon right away.
Frawley explains, “The difference people first notice is the smell. The products we use are ammonia-free, so there aren’t any fumes. We make sure we have lots of plants around to clean the airspace and have essential oils going all the time, so the smell is hugely different to regular salons.” If you’re not a fan of the fumes that go hand-in-hand with a visit to the hairdressers, then you’re in luck.
The commitment to being eco-friendly goes far beyond just the products used. You won’t miss out on the luxury salon experience at ETB, but you will get a treatment that is good for the environment.
“We use bio-degradable towels, plant-based products, loose leaf tea, iPads with magazine subscriptions, etc. so the whole experience has been thought out from start to finish, with the health of the client and the environment in mind.
“We separate our waste into sustainable salon bins throughout the service so that everything we need to dispose of is carefully separated into one of the four bins: paper, hair, metal & plastic.”
Part of the joy of running an eco-salon is the experience for the younger generations, Frawley says. Often, Earth to Betty’s customers will have travelled to them for the eco-salon experience, and they don’t leave disappointed.
“The best reactions are from little kids. Climate change is a part of the school curriculum now, so they get very hands on when mum’s having a haircut; they help us put things in the right bins to recycle … They are so excited about it all, and it just makes you feel like the message is getting through.”
Veganism is something that Frawley feels passionately about and for anyone considering a lifestyle change, “I think people can perceive a vegan lifestyle in a negative way, whether it be that they see it as an unhealthy diet or feel that a vegan product won’t work as well for them.
“In my experience with hair and beauty products, they perform just as good if not better. We all can start doing a little bit, lessening our meat intake, choosing vegan friendly products, choosing sustainably sourced and harvested plant-based products. If everyone did a little, it would make a huge impact.” That’s something we can all get behind.
Find Earth to Betty at 191 Union Road, Ascot Vale open Tuesday to Saturday. Book in for an appointment at their website.