Trend Alert – Going Green in your Grooming Business
Natural & Organic Products gaining momentum
In recent years, it’s been no surprise to me that the pet industry has embraced the same food and personal care trends that humans love. With more variety than ever, we can now find grain free, paleo, low carb and single protein kibble on the shelves of pet stockists nationally. Natural and eco-friendly grooming products are also increasingly popular. After turning their backs on chemical laden products personally, everyday consumers are now choosing to do the same for their beautiful pets.
As pet owners, we tend to treat our pets like children (guilty as charged!). This humanization means that we are highly receptive to pet products similar to the ones we use for ourselves. However while humanization is often considered the number one influence, worldwide pet care recalls have also had a significant impact. These recalls have caused global concern about the origins of food and other mainstream pet care products. To ensure pet health is not compromised, Australians are more frequently turning to Australian Made products.
Perhaps the single biggest driver of eco-friendly practices and the rising popularity of natural and organic products has been our unprecedented access to the internet. This access to information on a global scale has made it easier than ever to increase awareness. With the click of a button, we can educate ourselves about products, ingredients, their effects and the living conditions of workers. Coupled with the fact that Millennials are a retailer’s largest demographic, consumers are now more likely to support a business that has strong ethics and contributes to the greater good.
How can you tell if a product is really natural?
Did you know that worldwide there are currently no regulations or requirements to list ingredients for pet care products on labels? This really annoys me and it means that pet care products can list as many or as few ingredients as they like. Products may state they are ‘natural’, however consumers have no way of verifying this claim, particularly when maybe only one or two key ingredients are listed. It’s no secret that today’s consumers care about the environment, transparency and eco friendly products. If you are anything like me, you want to know what ingredients are in the products we are using on our pets.
When I created Organic Pet Pharmacy I made the decision to do things completely differently to any other brand on the market. Transparency of course was one of the first items on my agenda and I have ensured that all ingredients are listed on our labels in accordance with human skincare standards. You will always know what is in our products, which means you can make an informed decision about what you are purchasing.
What can you do to go green?
An example of an Aussie business that’s embracing eco-friendly practices is Pawsh Pet Spa, operating from the Gold Coast. While Ashleigh has been a groomer for nearly 15 years, her salon has only been operating for the past 18 months. Since opening, Pawsh Pet Spa has grown considerably with 2 full time staff members (and looking for a 3rd). Their spa is constantly booked out 2 weeks in advance and they are now looking to expand to a larger premises.
According to Ash, Pawsh Pet Spa’s ongoing success is due to forging her own path. She doesn’t compare herself to anyone else and ensures that everything she does, from customer service to dog grooming, is done to the absolute best of her ability. “Every dog that comes into my salon is treated with the utmost care and respect” Ash says, “I personalise the experience for all my customers. I take the time to get to know them, I take the time to get to know their dogs, the skin issues that certain dogs may have and their delightful peculiarities”. If a very old or anxious dog comes in for example, Ash will have them alone in the salon and always without a cage. It’s this careful listening and reassurance that has her loyal customers coming back each and every time. Ash has also seen many new clients heading her way because of her eco-friendly practices.
Top 5 tips for going green
- When it comes to turning your business green, it’s really important to do your research. Having a basic understanding of things like surfactants and the difference between synthetic and natural fragrances is always handy. Being able to spot a true natural product will mean your customers can rest assured their pets are being treated by the very best. For more info you can read my blog on how to spot a natural product in an unregulated market here!
- One of the best ways groomers can reduce their environmental impact is to manage their use of shampoo, conditioner, colognes and of course be mindful of water use. This means always looking for products that contain ECOCERT approved ingredients, are silicone free, petrochemical free and have environmentally friendly practices. This covers everything from packaging and recyclability to the ingredients used and whether the manufacturer gives back to the local community.
- I always appreciate when groomers provide customers with natural options, even if this might be just one or two products Many times you’ll find that a client is willing to spend just that little bit more to support products with eco friendly practices.
- It can be difficult to do, but I recommend searching for suppliers and manufacturers that can be trusted. It’s important to know where your products are coming from, the ethical practices during production, how much they know about the products they are producing (or selling). I also truly believe, if products are produced off shore that it’s important to know how their workers are treated.
- Finally, don’t forget about packaging! As a society we go through so much plastic each day which is detrimental to the environment. Say no to plastic wherever possible and don’t forget to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’. Of course, I have to point out here, that this was another issues I wanted to address when I created Organic Pet Pharmacy. Our products are packed in glass with paper labels because once plastic is created it can never be removed from the environment.
With customers wanting the safest experience possible for their pets, going green is a fantastic way to increase the trustworthiness of your business. From understanding ingredients to recognising the need for transparency, these simple steps are a surefire way to ensure your grooming business is green.
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