Let's make hair and beauty a LEADING  industry in sustainability!   

Our Objectives

ADVANCE knowledge 
of the impacts of our industry's waste on people and planet

DEVELOP products

made from waste materials or else help combat waste

ENHANCE services 

for our industry which bring waste materials back into the loop

  • Salon Towels

    Lead Researcher: Stephanie Hodgson
    Assistant Researcher: Eoin McQuone
    Project Consultant: Raechel Kelly 

    We have witnessed rising uncertainty and concern in the hair and beauty industry about disposable towels. So we decided to conduct an objective study comparing the environmental (and financial) costs of disposable and reusable salon towels.

    Read the Report Here 
  • Benefits of Hair for Houseplants

    Lead Researcher: Stephanie Hodgson 
    Assistant Researcher: Ryan Crawford 

    Using hair felt samples produced by our very own felting machine, we are testing the effectiveness of what we call potting felt for retaining water at the base of potted baby monstera plants. We are also testing the potting felt as a top layer for water retention and deterring pests.

    Read the Report Here 
  • Chemical Waste within hairdressing

    Lead Researcher: Jess Rigg
    Assistant Researcher: Stephanie Hodgson

    This report focuses on the impact of chemicals, both to our health and the planet’s, as well as exploring ways to reduce chemical waste. 

    Learn more here 
  • Hair Rope Workshop

    Lead Designer: Sanne Visser 
    Event Coordinator: Stephanie Hodgson 

    Working with hair as a material for over seven years, our very first R&D partner is an expert at hair rope making. This unique workshop allows hairdressers to make hanging planters from hair rope using Sanne's Rope Machine 2.0. We hope to inspire people to consider human hair waste not as rubbish but as a useful and perhaps aesthetically pleasing material.

    Learn More Here 
  • Circular Economy for Hairdressing

    Project Lead: Professor Ian Williams
    Academic Institution: University of Southampton
    Project Assistant: Stephanie Hodgson 

    Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the module Sustainable Resource Management have been given an assignment to consider new ways to create a circular economy within the hair and beauty industry. Students were given a presentation with all relevant background information about current capabilities and limitations as well as the opportunity to meet with and bring their questions to our head of R&D, Stephanie. Noteworthy and exceptional submissions will form the basis of an official recommendation to GSC to trial new services or to improve current ones. 

  • Hair in Architecture

    Lead Researchers: Deborah Lopez and Hadin Charbel 

    We are supporting Deborah and Hadin, leading architects at Pareid Architecture and lecturers at the Bartlett School of Architecture, as they explore new applications of hair in architecture. A notable example of their use of hair as an architectural material is their "Hairy Pavilion" installation (pictured) at Bangkok Design Week in 2019. 

    Learn More Here 
  • Hair Fibre Spinning

    Project lead: Stephanie Hodgson
    Collaborators: Natural Fibre Co.
    Special mention: Beki Gilbert 

    We are working with Natural Fibre Co. to test yarns that are comprised of 40% human hair and 60% wool and is spun to a chunky, rope-like thickness. All wool sourced for this project is undervalued and destined for composting and meets the highest ethical standards. The resulting yarn is soft, durable and beautiful.

    Learn More Here 
  • Biomanufacturing with Hair

    Lead Researchers: Biohm 

    We are collaborating with London-based regenerative biomanufacturer, Biohm, on an exploratory study to trial human hair waste in both their "orb" and "mycelium" processes to produce alternative wood-based sheets and other 3D objects. We are both keen to see whatever product(s) we co-create to be that for the hair and beauty industry. 

    Learn More Here 
  • Recycled Plastics

    Project Lead: Stephanie Hodgson
    Recycling workspaces:  Relic Plastic // Brothers Make // vanPlestik

    We are looking to give local recycling businesses the opportunity to use GSC member salon plastic to create products for the hair and beauty industry. Our 12 month CE4P campaign will be built on GSC member ideas which we will then bring to local Precious Plastic workspaces to prototype. Promising designs will then be brought to market with profits going to member-selected charities.

    Learn More 
  • Mirror Talkers

    Lead Researcher: Professor Denise Baden
    Assistant Researcher: Stephanie Hodgson
    Associated institution: University of Southampton
    Funding: UK Research and Innovation
    Support: L'Oreal // Wella // Toni & Guy 

    We are working with Professor Baden on a 12 month study to explore ways to reduce individual carbon and water footprints related to haircare routines. In particular, we will be looking at the effectiveness of 'Mirror Talkers', small messages on hairdresser mirrors, for engaging clients in conversations around sustainable haircare.

    Read the Report Here 
  • Hair in Soil

    Lead Researcher: Stephanie Hodgson
    Consultant: Professor Ian Williams, PhD
    Consultant: Kevin Bryan, PhD
    Associated institution: University of Southampton

    We currently send the majority of hair waste to our composting partner and so far we have only received positive feedback from them. Commercial composting is heavily regulated and batches of the final product are regularly sent to approved labs for testing. As we receive more and more hair we will continue to monitor and test this new feedstock, and explore new opportunities to exploit this nitrogen-rich material for agriculture. 

    Read the Report Here 

We cannot solve the many sustainability challenges of our industry alone.

We collaborate on various research and development projects that are helping to create a circular economy within the hair and beauty industry.

We work with: 

  • Researchers
  • Academic Institutions
  • Designers
  • Product Companies
  • Product Developers
  • Charity Organisations

Our research partners work with us on target-focused, longer term tasks that result in the creation of new knowledge, products or services which measurably improve our industry.

  • Pareid

    We are supporting leading architects, Deborah Lopez and Hadin Charbel from Pareid, in their development of hair-based architectural and building materials. They will be experimenting with our felting machine as well as helping to produce prototypes for our Potting Felt study.  

  • Natural Fibre Co

    We are collaborating with Natural Fibre Co, a British mill supported by the Rural Development Programme for England, on a project to upscale the use of hair in yarn and rope. We are currently trialing a 'chunky' yarn comprised of salon hair waste blended with near-waste wool.

  • Biohm

    We are collaborating with Biohm on an exploratory study to trial human hair waste in both their "orb" and "mycelium" processes to produce an alternative wood-based sheet material (pictured) or other 3D objects. We are also exploring the possibilities for creating products specifically for the hair and beauty industry. 

  • Jenni Dutton

    One of the ways that we reuse and recycle hair is through supporting artists interested in waste and hair, by giving them hair waste and allowing them to turn it into something totally new. One of our partners who we are planning to work with to create a whole dress covered in waste salon hair is Jenni Dutton, an artist working in Somerset.

  • Alix Bizet

    As part of our research and development work, we often work with artists and designers to find new ways to utilise waste human hair. One designer that we've been working with is Alix Bizet, who has been using GSC's very own felting machine as part of her process to make a material out of hair.

  • Sanne Visser

    We are supporting Sanne's PhD which seeks to better understand the limitations as well as innovation opportunities for using human hair waste as a material. We are also collaborating with her design studio to bring hairdressers together to explore making and use human hair rope.

  • Denise Baden, PhD

    We are collaborating with Denise to explore the effectiveness of using Mirror Talkers to get conversations going between hairdressers and their clients around sustainable haircare.

  • Relic Plastic

    We are collaborating with Relic to bring new recycled plastic products to market for the hair and beauty industry using plastic waste generated by the same industry. We are also commissioning Relic to produce a limited series of 100% recycled pots for an upcoming R&D event.

  • Raechel Kelly

    We consult with Raechel on our Disposable Salon Towels project. Raechel was integral to initiating this investigation and she also collaborated on our Accreditation process. 

  • Ryan Crawford

    We are collaborating with Ryan on a number of hair felt projects. Ryan is replicating our Potting Felt project to ensure our data is robust. 

  • Ian Williams, PhD

    We are collaborating with Professor Williams to co-create an assignment for students to propose opportunities for developing a circular economy for hair or other salon waste streams in the UK.

  • Eoin McQuone

    We are collaborating with Eoin on our Disposable Salon Towels project. Eoin is carrying out Life Cycle Assessments for various salon towel types and visiting GSC member salons in order to better understand how these towels are actually being used, laundered and disposed of.

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