Sustainability within Hairpal
Progress comes from sustainability. We decided to make a series of interviews on how companies, like ours, are working towards sustainability to bring the goals from 2030 Agenda closer to realization. Today we talked to Christian Falck, co-founder of Hairpal. Hairpal is working towards creating a better work-life balance for hairdressers and more convenient appointments for people with very busy work schedules. By doing this they positively contribute to SDG 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages), SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth), and SDG 14 (Life below water).
Tell us more about your business
“In Hairpal, we bring hairdressers to companies for employees to get a haircut in the office. So we take an empty meeting room or a massage room and then decorate it as a hair salon with chairs and mirrors. Once the room is ready, all the employees can drop in and get a haircut.
It is beneficial for the hairdressers because they can work from 9:00 to 5:00 instead of having to work evenings and weekends. This is even more relevant for hairdressers that are above 39 years old and with a couple of kids waiting at home. They would have more free time for themselves and their families and hobbies instead of having to go to work in the evenings.
For the employees it is a great benefit as well because they do not have to book a hairdresser appointment in their spare time, they can just have a haircut at the office. We are doing it regularly so they can fix their hairstyle every fourth or fifth week or whatever suits them. Therefore, they do not have to think about finding the right time every now and then. Hairpal alleviates the stress of squeezing the evening calendar with another booking and definitely saves the burden of the commute.”
How is your service sustainable?
“Let’s say we are very focused on the hairdressers.
The way we are sustainable is that we are giving them a better life than what they had before. With us, they are able to work whenever they want to and not whenever clients have time. So they get more regular working hours. The hairdresser’s community is one of the hardest working groups. However, whenever the government does ratings, the hairdressers always end up in the wrong rating due to the lack of information.
Hairdresser’s life is stressful, but governments don’t have that overview. So what we are doing is we are giving them that overview. We want to provide them with a better work-life balance. Additionally, we also look at the SDGs because we do not do coloring and we do not wash people’s hair. Normally, in a typical salon, you usually get a wash for 30 minutes. We’re not doing that. We save at least 90% on water consumption, we save 90% of the CO2 emissions from commuting, avoiding unnecessary pollution, as well as contributing to the well-being of both hairdressers and employees. Furthermore, since we are not doing coloring, we are not using any chemicals.”
Do you think that sustainability is important?
“We are fortunate enough to have the planet, and we have to do what we can to sustain it. Otherwise, my children or my grandchildren will not be able to experience the same thing I have. Global warming is causing terrible damage. You can see areas in Norway, for example, which are totally gone or changed compared to 5-10 years ago. So that is why I think it is very important that we look into sustainability and include it in our business practices.”
What are your next steps for making Your company even greener?
“Right now, we use plastic bottles for water and we are using plastic brooms. I think we could change that at some point towards some more organic materials. In addition to that, our team is riding bikes back and forth to the office and us as co-founders also at clients’ meetings.”
Do you have any tips for other companies that want to work with sustainability?
“Yes, use Hairpal so your employees do not have to commute back and forth to the hairdresser. Moreover, do not always buy the cheapest cups for your coffee but use something you can reuse. I see many companies using plastic containers like coffee cups instead of just using something that they can reuse multiple times. I believe this is a small step that can be taken and not that difficult to implement. Overall, more conscious behavior.
The way you get companies to be more environmentally friendly is by showing them the economic benefits. Let’s take Carlsberg as an example. Recently they improved their plastic usage. Instead of wrapping all six cans in plastic, just use a small glue in between. In this way, their plastic usage decreased by 90 percent, which let them save a lot of money and reduce the negative impact on the environment. The same applies to the Apple case. By economizing the space packaging they manage to ship more products at once and, therefore, use way less fuel. This resulted in cost-saving and a lower carbon footprint.
To sum up, just look at your company from a different point of view and see if there is anything you can do to reshape it and be sustainable. In this way, you might save up money and help the environment.”