Tired of finding products with poor quality and unethically sourced ingredients, managing director Louis decided to make a sustainability pledge. He wanted to bring to market ethically sourced grooming products that were kind to hair and planet. Initially he aimed to create a vegan friendly range, this however proved difficult in practice.
The team found it a struggle to be 100% vegan or plant based, without compromising on the efficacy of the product. “right now we’re a mix of science and nature, that’s probably the easiest way to describe it,” Louis explains. Whilst trying to create 100% vegan products, the Daimon Barber team were frustrated at fast-changing legislation, meaning that months of product research and formulation could deem their new product “non vegan” without warning. So frustrating!
”ASK THE BRANDS THAT YOU WORK WITH IF THEY HAVE A SUSTAINABILITY PLEDGE OR POLICY. JUST ASK THE QUESTIONS, IT’S ALL ABOUT RESEARCH”
Ensuring that products are free of sulphates, parabens, hydrogenated fats, alcohols and mineral oils is now key for a lot of brands. “traditionally these are a cheap bulking method and used as a preservative,” he explains. Louis began looking for a way to make ethically sourced products, whilst being kind to the environment and the hair or skin they are being used on. “we use plant based extracts such as jojoba, coconut oil and bergamot, but we are still striving to create a full range of vegan hair products,” Louis clarifies.
If you’re looking to be more sustainable, it isn’t just about the ingredients, you need to question the supply chain too. Louis ensures that his supply chain is entirely UK based. “we are very aware of what we choose to use and who we work with to achieve it,” Louis continues. “we won’t use a supplier that doesn’t share our ethos for EXAMPLE.”SIMILAR to the “farm to fork” trail, Louis ensures that he knows the journey of all ingredients as well as knowing the reason each ingredient is used. “we have been through and worked with a few manufacturers,” he explains. “we now work with two UK based manufacturers that work with us to achieve our goals. We know exactly who has made each product, when it was made etc… nothing sits on the shelf for years and we work in small batches for consistency”.
As we all know packaging can be a minefield when it comes to buying products for your barbershop. So, once happy with the product range, naturally Louis’ focus turned to packaging. Most products were already in recyclable glass jars, but the secondary cardboard packaging wasn’t recyclable due to the spot varnish used. Louis ordered for all spot varnish to be removed, and this is reflective in the new, improved and fully recyclable packaging used. “we even looked at our business cards to make sure they are made from recycled card. Our brochures also have no spot varnish so you can easily put that into paper recycling,” Louis continues.
The brand’s ethos is that, with small changes being made often, the impact will be greater to the environment. The cost will rise, but by absorbing some of that cost, the impact will be bigger.
For any brand to be truly sustainable, Louis says that education is KEY…“PERSONALLY, we want to educate barbers that are buying our products on why we have used each ingredient and how it helps the hair. We aren’t saying our products are the best, but we want to show not only the finish of the product, but why the ingredients will benefit the scalp and hair,” he explains.
“my advice to barbers is to look at the product line you have, look at the values that stand behind it,” Louis says. “ask the brands that you work with if they have a sustainability pledge or policy. Just ask the questions, it’s all about research. You don’t have to go the whole hog, but make one part of your service sustainable. It could be just stocking one sustainable product line, such as recyclable packaging.”
Later this year, Daimon Barber are launching a Tiktok channel to provide education to barbers and consumers, in the hope that viewers will make more conscious decisions about which products they choose. As Louis alludes to, it can be a minefield out there so engaging with where your products have come from is a step in the right direction.