Attainable Sustainable Beauty

The Cob Salon, beautiful and good, puts the environment first in every way. The focus is on attainable sustainable beauty: making people feel amazing, while respecting the natural environment. The Salon will be 100% sustainable, from solar-powered hair dryers, to “breathing” walls made of clay and hemp, to recycling colour waste, foils and cut hair



Beauty for the benefit of nature: After working in mainstream salons I began asking myself, could I be daring? What if I pursued my passion to open my dream salon – one that put the environment first in every way? What if every aspect of the salon were beautiful and good? I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and so I left behind conventional salons to pursue my vision of building a salon that would be 100% sustainable, from solar-powered hair dryers, to “breathing” walls, to composting toilets.

My vision: Making people feel amazing, while respecting the natural environment is the main goal of the Cob Salon. When people come to the Salon I hope it is a unique experience from the moment they walk through the door, and that it changes how they see the world around them. I embrace Davines’ vision that our work should be a thoughtful balance of substance and style, nature and science, people and spirit.

The Cob Salon will be approximately 60 square metres, and have 3 chairs. The blueprints for the building are complete. It will be situated on my 1.1 acre property on Saltspring Island, Canada. Saltspring Island is the perfect location for such a life-enhancing project because the Island is inhabited by easygoing, green-oriented free-spirits and everyday folk of all ages who share one thing in common: they’ve opted out of the fast lane for life in a largely unspoilt paradise rich in community spirit and brimming with forests, beaches, and wildlife.

September 2016: pour cement foundation
Winter 2016-2017: put up wood frame and metal roof
June/July 2017: fill in frame with hemp crete and cob (which is the only time of year that this is possible in British Columbia Canada)
August/September 2017: plaster walls and install interior fixtures
October 14, 2017: the Cob Salon opens!

Environmentally friendly from exterior to interior – the details:
Framing/roofing: the building frame will be made partly of reclaimed wood, and a metal roof will be made from reclaimed metal roofing. All logs that will be used for timber framing have fallen naturally.
Walls: Three of the wall will be made of hempcrete, and the fourth will be cob. Hempcrete is made from a mixture of hemp and lime, and is one of the best performing, non-toxic, ecological and renewable materials available. It has a negative CO2 footprint thus alleviating the Greenhouse effect. It improves air quality, and energy consumption for heating and cooling, providing an environment that is cool in summer and warm in winter.
To demonstrate another sustainable building option, the front wall of the salon will be made of cob. Cob is a natural building material made from subsoil(clay), water, straw, and sometimes lime, that has been used for building since prehistoric times. All walls will be plastered and no paint or dry wall will be used.

Hair Products: The Cob Salon will be an exclusive Davines salon and will feature a Davines wall.
All colour waste, hair flamboyant & foils, cut hair, etc will be recycled. The cut hair will be used to help clean up oil spills in waters worldwide.

Power and heating: We will use solar panels to generate the electricity needed to run all equipment and lighting. Skylights will enhance the lighting. These solar panels will also be used for power tools in the building process. An energy-efficient wood-burning stove will heat the Salon in winter.

Water: To start, there will be rain barrels attached to the gutter system that will be used along to water the inside plants as well as the landscaping outside. Community water will be used inside, but when budget allows we will switch over to a rain water catchment system that’s been fitted with a laser filtration system, making our water usable for washing hair and laundry.

Interior: No plastics will be used. The two sinks will be constructed of cob, shelving and cupboards will be made of Hemp Crete and or cob, and the salon chairs will be reclaimed beauties from a previous salon.

Composting toilets: These use the natural processes of decomposition and evaporation to recycle human waste. Waste entering the toilets is over 90% water, which is evaporated and carried back to the atmosphere through the vent system. The small amount of remaining solid material is converted to useful fertilizing soil by natural decomposition.

The Building Process: Sharing Knowledge
The building of the salon will be a hands-on learning opportunity for others who want to learn how to build with hempcrete and cob, as well as the earth clay plastering process. We intend to hold three building-workshops of up to 30 participants each.

In Conclusion
The birth of my first child in August 2016, delayed my plans a bit, but we are back on track now and set to begin construction. I want more than anything to make sure that my daughter grows up seeing that real sustainable beauty is possible and that she doesn’t have to settle for anything less. And when you think about it, neither should any of us! If like minded people get together, and work together, and continue to educate people and empower each other along the way, we can achieve our dreams of a cleaner sustainable world for our children.

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