Industry News

The Green Spa - Part 3

September 28, 2012 | 6:43 AM
The Green Spa - Part 1
The Green Spa - Part 2
The Green Spa - Part 3
Client Reception

Then, too, you can always pass along the cost to clients. Will clients pay more for organic products and services that use only natural ingredients? Since itâ's spa clients weâ're talking about, Collins predicts that they will.

â"Spa is one of those industries where the clients are willing to pay a little more,â" the professor says. â"Theyâ're upscale, and they think about healthy living. Itâ's an industry where the market can make the transition.â"

Agrees Lee, â"I think a lot of people are starting to wake up to the fact that you may have to spend more to achieve an important goal. Look how much the organic food industry has burgeoned. Our local Whole Foods is mobbed, and it costs a lot more to shop there than at some of the other stores. We all want our children to have children on an earth that is still around.â"

for more information
Green Spa Network
Co-op America
World Resources Institute
Earth 911
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service
National Geographic’s Green Guide
League of Conservation Voters
Such optimism is fueled by the BBMG report, which finds that 90 percent of Americans say that â"conscious consumerâ" describes them well. While price and quality are still the primary driving factors in their purchases, environmental and health factors have surpassed convenience.

At The Maui Spa and Wellness Center, Redigan reports good reaction from both employees and clients. â"The entire spa staff is supportive and passionate about taking the necessary steps to becoming more environmentally friendly, and clients are appreciative,â" she notes. â"Itâ's been an all-around positive change for the spa.â"

Jennifer Haack, spa director at Hotel Crescent Court in Dallas, has had a different experience. â"Our conversation with clients seems to be a little more challenging then we expected,â" she says. â"While clients are intrigued by the introduction to new products, they are resistant to change. A greener product option is okay with them unless I eliminate another product line in the process. They feel the decision of whether to use an organic product should be up to them.â"

Nevertheless, the staff is fully supportive, and Haack says that Hotel Crescent Court will press on. â"Some clients will find our corn-based plastic drinking cups less attractive than hard, clear plastic cups,â" says Haack. â"With each change I must be prepared for a small battle, and maybe I have to be prepared to lose a guest.â"

While even some of Sigmanâ's most loyal clients initially expressed skepticism, the ownerâ's price-back guarantee on the greener product lines gave both owner and clients some wiggle room, and all guarantees went unclaimed. â"Clients are getting results, and they love it,â" Sigman reports. â"One client had terrible rosacea even though sheâ'd been getting facials for 30 years. We turned her on to a natural, organic facial and sent her off with the home kit. The next time she came in, her skin was clear!â"

Perhaps the pendulum had swung so far in the direction of invasive procedures that it was bound to swing back. â"People are going back to basics,â" observes Redigan. â"Clients who were doing laser hair removal have returned to hypoallergenic waxing. Some of our clients who get Botox and chemical peels elsewhere now want to balance that; they come to us for a gentler facial and more natural treatments.â"

Collins believes the green movement will have a largely positive impact on businesses, with staffers and clients becoming more loyal to companies that care enough to implement this change. Then, as consumers become more educated and legislation begins to catch up, Collins anticipates the laws of supply and demand will drive down costs.

â"The tide is changing in the spa industry, and spas making the investment now will end up being more profitable, not less,â" predicts Collins. â"Leadership is so important. Michael Stusser is just one guy. But with about 14,000 spas in the U.S., heâ's leading the effort to teach people the value of sustainability. Their spa may be peopleâ's first encounter with these concepts. Experiencing them in such a personal way is the most effective way to learn them.â"

Time will tell. For now, says Canavino, â"the spa industry is offering people choices, and these are options that clients want to have.â"

Green in Stages

Stage 1: Living the Eco-Conscious Life

reduce, reuse, recycle use natural products
save energy

̢ۢ Install a water treatment system that recycles bath water and heats the spa in winter with the recycled hot water.
̢ۢ Install a system that recycles ̢"gray̢" water from sinks and uses it in toilets.
̢ۢ Compost.
̢ۢ Install a trickle or drip irrigation system on the grounds. This method supplies small amounts of water to the base of the plants, where it serves the plant best and does not evaporate as quickly.

̢ۢ Install an air quality filtration system.
̢ۢ Eliminate all chemically-based retail and backbar
̢ۢ Convert to 100-percent green cleaning products.
̢ۢ Install solar panels.
̢ۢ Convert your car to biodiesel and use recycled
vegetable oil instead of gasoline fuel.
̢ۢ Ask your power company whether wind power is
available in your area.
The Green Spa - Part 1
The Green Spa - Part 2
The Green Spa - Part 3

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