Gene Juarez Salons & Spas announced this week that it will work to reduce salon and spa waste by 95 percent through a partnership with Green Circle Salons, an organization with a mission of reducing the eco-footprint of salons internationally.

Gene Juarez Salon launched in downtown Seattle armed with a revolutionary product. It was the 1970s and Gene Juarez, the founder of the namesake salons, was getting word about an item that was rapidly gaining popularity in Europe: the handheld blow dryer. At the time, women would get roller-set hair dos that took one to two hours to finish and lasted a week at best. Until, of course, Juarez helped introduce the blow dryer to the Northwest, putting the freedom to style right in women’s hands.

Since then, Gene Juarez Salon has worked to remain a pioneer for the local beauty industry. During the past 44 years the brand has evolved to include 10 locations across the Puget Sound, from Tacoma to Northgate. The new partnership with Green Circle Salons might lead the Northwest beauty industry down another progressive track.

“The salon and spa industry has great opportunity to increase its sustainability, while continuing to provide the great services that clients expect.  As an industry leader, it is incumbent on us to lead that charge,” said Executive Vice President Daniel Kosh.

Through smelting aluminum and other metals to produce clean energy, safely disposing batteries, blow dryers, and light bulbs, and using old hair clippings to create oil booms used to contain oil spills, the company is now recycling in innovative ways. It has also added an Environmental Stewardship Fee of $1 for services under $35 or $2 for services $35 and over.

Gene Juarez plans to help spread the focus of Green Circle nationwide.  It considers it part of it’s mission to make all North American beauty business sustainable by the year 2020.

“The win in this for us is we’re really able to make an impact,” Kosh said. “We feel it’s an important milestone in the history of the company.”

While it’s not the blow dryer, this push for sustainability might be the industry’s next big revolutionary move.