Going green has helped independent hairdressers Dogobees attract and retain eco-conscious customers who are willing to pay more for sustainable products and services. Their green USP also means they’re able to win new business without big marketing budgets.

Read their story, and find resources and tools to implement similar changes in your own business.

About Dogobees

Dogobees Eco Hairdressers brings style and sustainability to York. The salon uses sustainably sourced products, has swapped plastic bottles for reusable glass ones, and is reducing waste water with eco shower heads. It also cuts waste and maximises the amount it recycles through membership of the Green Salon Collective.

Industry: Wellness and Beauty Services

Location: York

Laura Shackleton, Owner

Laura Shackleton, Owner

"There’s no question that banks will be pushing us harder than government to decarbonise. It will get to a point where businesses can’t borrow, or get insurance, if they are big emitters."

Customers will pay more for green brands

We ask our customers if they’re happy to pay a small extra charge to have the waste from their appointment processed sustainably – every one so far has said yes.

As a business, we’re not out of pocket at all. People coming here are happy to pay a little more, because they know why they’re paying a little bit more. If we can afford to do it, as a new business that started in the middle of the pandemic, others can too. Some of our customers are dead passionate about sustainability.

Others are less so, but this is maybe their way of doing something publicly – we all want to be seen to do the right thing.

Most business carbon emissions are created through supply chains outside your ownership or direct control. Reducing these emissions can lower costs and help progress towards net zero.

Recycling materials such as paper or plastic helps you reduce waste and lessen the impact on the environment. It will also save you money on landfill tax and waste disposal rates. Find out what recycling measures are available and what the advantages are.

Without a marketing budget, green gets us noticed

Social media and word-of-mouth are crucial to our success. The work we do to be sustainable brings more customers through the door, and helps us stand out.

We rely on social channels to get customers and recruit staff. But I’ve never done paid advertising on them. Sustainability is our USP, and we know it’s something people are looking for.

Knowing how much carbon you produce is an important first step in taking action to make your business more sustainable and create a more powerful and desirable brand.

Anonymous, uncaring brands are going out of fashion

The world is changing. Customers are more concerned about sustainability – and the more people want it, the more businesses like mine have to respond. In the future, I don’t think you’ll be able to get ahead in the industry without being conscious of this stuff.

During lockdown people got more interested in their local high street, and thought a lot more about the impact of how they spent their money. In my industry, there’s a move away from big chains to smaller, independent salons that have a personality to them.

Once your business has checked its carbon footprint and started to take action, the next step is sharing your progress. This will give customers, employees and other businesses confidence that you’re reducing carbon and moving toward net zero.

Resources to help your business go green

Whatever business you’re in, our free resources show how you can use action on sustainability:

Or use this handy tool from Zero Carbon Business to get a bespoke net zero plan tailored to your SME's sector and location.

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