Davroe Founder Mary Centofanti talks sustainability in haircare, natural versus vegan, and why salons need to stand up and make the change.
Dresslier Director Mary spoke with the Journal Magazine and shared her views and how DAVROE embodies our values.
TJ: Define the word sustainability as it pertains to haircare?
MC: Reducing our carbon footprint, using ingredients that are sustainably sourced and kind to our waterways. It also pertains to how we go about manufacturing, filling and distributing our products.
TJ: And what defines a natural versus vegan ingredient, and how can the two often be confused?
MC: I think there is a perception that because a product is vegan, it must be natural – but it’s not the case. You can still have a vegan product that includes many synthetic ingredients. Just like you can have a natural product and still include animal (or animal bi products) like honey.
TJ: What does it mean to be a sustainable-focused salon today?
MC: To me, it means putting thought and effort into how (the industry as a whole) can inflict the least amount of stress on the environment. For salons, this means the management of packaging and product waste. The products they choose to sell – are they vegan, plant based, good for the environment and the client? It also means educating clients on these matters and why they need to support businesses putting in the effort where it’s due.
TJ: How important is endorsing natural (and in Davroe’s case, vegan) ingredients in making a ‘sustainably focused’ claim both as an artist and salon?
MC: This is so important to us and we’re finding more and more stylists and salon owners choosing this path. It’s up to the professional to provide clients the resources required to make an informed choice; making it apparent that sustainability isn’t just about plastic straws and keep cups, but also how we can choose sustainability every day in the products we use and the businesses we support.
TJ: Was there a defining moment in time when you knew it was important for you as a business owner and industry leader to take a natural/vegan approach to haircare?
MC: Upon taking over the company we realised it was time to do something different. I had young children at the time and began questioning my impact on the world, and how to ensure the best possible future for our family. At the time it was radical, removing sulphates, parabens and becoming vegan, but it was the future. We knew it was the way to go, as the industry and consumer were pivoting towards wellness orientated products.
TJ: And what’s next for the brand – what are your five and 10-year goals around sustainability?
MC: We are always looking for ways to improve our products and processes. Sustainability is something we have been working on in the background through the likes of packaging, manufacturing and distribution, as well as d signing new products that are more natural, and eco-conscious from the ground-up. We strive to make positive changes sooner rather than later, however some processes take time and we can only move as quickly as the industries around us. We believe it’s important to persist with our end goals, rather than trying to cut corners for a quicker result.
TJ: Do you practice a sustainable lifestyle at home? If so, what are some easy ways people can follow suit (if they’re not already)?
MC: Yes, we actively try to be as energy efficient as possible. We have had solar panels on our home for over 15 years and make sure all panels are cleaned and serviced on an annual basis. We have effective insulation and double-glazed windows to optimise climate control, and are also currently going through a small renovation, allowing the opportunity to update appliances with better energy ratings. Some easy things people can do at home are: Update lights and fixtures to better energy savers, cook differently – use what we need and what we have first, to reduce food wastage. Be sure to use the correct bins and make the most of compostable items … the list goes on!
TJ: What are some instant changes all professional haircare manufacturers should consider for a more sustainable industry?
MC: I’m not sure there are many ‘instant’ changes a manufacturer can make, BUT, you can sit down right now, analyse each section of your business and create a plan to move forward. Much like in the home, reducing waste and managing its removal, changing to energy efficient lighting and reducing carbon footprint via shipping and transport changes is a great start. Some things will take longer, like changing to sustainable materials and ingredients, but are worth the effort. One key thing I think all Australian brands should do is manufacture locally like proudly do… you would be surprised at how few brands actually manufacture here.
Originally pubished in The Journal Magazine