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Businesses working together towards zero-waste

Sustainability is no longer just a fancy word, but rather a guiding principle for all businesses. Local businesses are teaming up to achieve one important goal: zero-waste. As communities recognise the need to lessen their ecological footprint, these businesses are working together, sharing resources, and coming up with new ideas to make less waste, save resources, and support a circular economy.

Embracing the zero-waste ethos allows local businesses to not only demonstrate their commitment to the environment but also to creating a sense of community resilience. By teaming up with others, they are combining their strengths to tackle waste-related challenges in a bigger way.

Recognising the connection between businesses, consumers, and the environment is an important part of this movement. Meet some of the local businesses who demonstrate the zero-waste ethos by prioritising sustainable practices. These businesses are not just reducing their ecological impact, but are also leading by example and inspiring others to adopt similar initiatives.

From farm to yarn

Mornington based business, Wool2Yarn began as Alpaca farmers in the late 90s. Now, husband and wife duo are proudly an Australian textile mill processing all types of fibre from start to finish. Setting up Australia’s first micro-mill in 2003, they produce alpaca wool and knitwear from the alpacas they keep in Red Hill.

The pair believe in a ‘Farm-to-Yarn’ philosophy for those who wish to do more with their fibre and support a 100 per cent Australian made product, traceable to the animal itself. Committed to achieving minimal environmental impact, the carbon footprint of their alpaca fibre is incredibly low. The business offers a truly local, Australian made product – grown and made on the Mornington Peninsula.

A chemical engineer by trade, owner Alasdair explained that they are proud to have achieved 100% recycling within the business. Working with another local business, any yarn they do not use in the production of their products is collected and then used in the creation of pet bed. Anything else left over is made into composite yarns so that nothing goes to waste.

We are a unique mill, one of the very few in the world, who are able to say that we process our garments in one place, thus the title of our new range ‘Farm-to-Fashion’.

Caring hair care

Somerville hair salons are leading the way in our local beauty industry in their commitment to zero waste. We spoke to House & Co Hair and Curled Up & Dyed who are proud members of Sustainable Salons, an initiative working to support Salons reduce their salon waste and their impact on the planet.

With over 1,000 members across Australia and New Zealand, the Sustainable Salons program has established a network of collectors, recyclers, manufacturers and distributors to ensure up to 95 per cent of materials from salons are diverted from landfill. For less than a cup of coffee, a small $2 green fee is added to the final service bill of clients, which goes towards a range of important sustainability and community initiatives:

  • Plastics are collected and cleaned and upcycled into new products, salon metals are sold for recycling and proceeds given to OzHarvest and KiwiHarvest to provide meals for hungry people.
  • Hair is collected from the salon floor and stuffed into stockings to make Hair Booms that can help clean up oil spills along our coastlines.
  • Chemicals are collected, pooled and sent to chemical recycling plants where they’re neutralised and turned into recycled water.

These salons are committed to making their clients feel great when they walk out. As business owners they too can feel great about their partnership with a revolutionary resource recovery program helping achieve zero waste in the salon, all while giving back to the local community.

As we work together as a community to consider what role we can play in our journey towards zero-waste, the Shire congratulates the local businesses seeking out innovation to pursue excellence in this critical challenge. If a local business you know and love is demonstrating excellence in waste management, feel free to share their story with us.

Content reviewed and updated February 2024

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