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Retail Recycler of the Year: Élan

Élan Hair Design is an ultra-modern, eco-friendly hairdressing business in the north-east of Scotland. The successful family-run business, which employs 13 people, was established more than 40 years ago. The business recently introduced a large number of features, practices and systems in order to optimise its environmental performance; creating what is believed to be the UK’s most eco-friendly hair salon.

The refurbishment project started with the aim of reviewing all aspects of its everyday working environment with a simple mantra: can we make it green?

It adopts an innovative approach to recycling and waste management where every conceivable element has been given the ‘green’ treatment - either made from sustainable sources or recycled. Élan responsibly disposes of all paper, plastic, glass, aluminium, cardboard, batteries and WEEE. Even customers’ hair is sent for compost, along with compostable cleaning towels/capes, food and other biodegradable waste. The salon has also fitted self-cleaning bacteria-resistant floor tiles made from 40% re-constituted materials and recycles aluminium foils and empty colour tubes.

It actively sources recyclable products and engages with staff and customers to instil a genuine passion for all things green.

As a result of its green ethos, Élan is now more self-efficient and in control of its expenditure. Key to its growth plans are a significant reduction in costs achieved through improved waste management.

The judges said:  “This knocked me off my seat – it is a business that absolutely takes recycling and waste management seriously. They have thought about everything really carefully, right down the supply chain. It is involving both the staff and customers and is a great model for others to replicate.”

Crest Co-operative – Highly commended

Crest Co-operative in North Wales is the official local authority contractor for the collection of textiles, electrical items and bulky waste. Unwanted items are collected at kerbside from 50,000 Conwy residents, who can also call up to arrange collections of unwanted furniture and electrical goods.

Good quality items and repaired electricals are sold in two Crest Community Stores: a high street shop in the centre of Colwyn Bay and a new store located close to the town centre of Llandudno which has a bigger furniture and electrical showroom. As well as saving material from going to landfill and offering residents access to a range of low cost goods, the stores provide work for adults with learning disabilities and the unemployed.


  • Booker
  • BrightHouse
  • Drake Bideford
  • the green house
  • Turtle Doves

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