A few years ago, Denman developed a sustainability commitment to reducing waste, running an eco-friendly business and promoting responsible use of plastics. As a global leading hairbrush company, plastics are a key component of Denman manufacturing, but this doesn’t mean we can’t take a leading role in reducing waste and lessening the environmental impact - quite the opposite actually!
The current realisation of the impact of plastic waste on the environment has been a global wake-up call to us all. We have a role to play in protecting the environment and now is the time to take action on the throw-away nature of our modern lives. Plastics are an amazing medium that have a multitude of uses, many of which modern society cannot function without. In fact, who can say that they wouldn’t be completely lost without their Denman brush?! As many of you will know, our Denman brushes are built to last years, and in some cases, a lifetime (believe us, we have the letters to prove it!) Plastics themselves, however, are not the problem here – it’s how we use them and dispose of them which is the real issue.
More than most hairdressing companies, Denman has a valuable insight into plastics; how they can be best used, best recycled and best avoided. Unlike a hairbrush that can be used for many years and then often recycled, single use plastics are by their very nature wasteful and greater thought needs to be given to where they are used and what alternatives there are. Many companies are looking at alternatives to single use plastics and where possible replacing them with better materials or removing them altogether.
In 2020, the new Denman 100% fully recyclable, sustainable packaging was launched into all professional hairdressing and consumer markets globally. And given the huge number of Denman products sold in over 60 countries worldwide; this will result in a not insignificant reduction in plastics going to landfill.
With this fundamental change to 100% sustainable packaging, we were also able to redesign the product packs to modernise the Denman brand image whilst still maintaining our British brand heritage. The improved on-pack communication and colour-coded categories clearly identifies each product purpose and hair type suitability, making it easier for customers to find their perfect brush.
It’s not just in packaging that Denman is working to reduce plastics waste. The Denman factory in Bangor Northern Ireland has implemented production methods and systems that have greatly reduced wastage and increased the recycling of scrap parts. Operations Manager, David Dickson, comments “In the past scrap parts were just thrown away. Today, nearly all of it is re-ground and re-worked into new products. There’s very little waste.”
It’s not just waste, Denman are proactively looking at ways in which we can reduce our environmental impact. Yes, reducing waste was our initial priority, but since then we have moved on to explore other areas where we can improve. We have looked at energy consumption and our ‘carbon footprint’, ensuring our materials are from ethical suppliers as well as our general business practices.
Dr John F. Rainey MBE (Chairman) is proud to see how the company is taking a proactive role in reducing waste and lessening the environmental impact of Denman production and products. “Plastics are an amazing resource and one that is unique in that in many cases there is no alternative for products and components that we use in our every day lives. But,” he adds “we have all become blasé and thoughtless in how we treat, use and dispose of them. This has led to the awful pollution and impact on wildlife that we are all responsible for and should all be ashamed of. We all need to change and be much more considerate and respectful of this truly great material. And while there is much more to do, I am proud that Denman is taking a lead.”
Here’s a summary of several sustainable and conscientious plastics policies that Denman currently has in place:
- Denman does not use ‘single use plastic’ and uses recyclable packaging.
- Denman uses high quality, durable, long-lasting polymers – meaning Denman products last considerably longer than cheaper products – reducing waste.
- Not everything made from ‘natural materials’ is good for the environment. Many products made from wood or other naturally occurring materials may not have been ethically sourced or use un-environmental production methods. The plastics industry is heavily regulated, many producers of ‘natural’ products have no regulations on ethical sourcing, production, animal welfare, worker safety or pollution.
- Denman only uses raw materials from regulated and certified sources.
- Denman operates a highly automated and ‘clean’ manufacturing process, re-working waste product and unused materials.
- Denman is committed to end-of-life recycling.
- Denman is leading a collaboration project of all major brush and comb manufacturers to share knowledge and establish a unified approach to recycling.
- Denman is a key contributor and supporter of ‘plastic banks’ and supporting clean ocean projects.
So let’s all celebrate Earth Day together by sharing the positive steps that we are doing to protect planet Earth and develop a sustainable future for generations to come. Watch this space for more sustainability news from Denman coming soon!