Building in AWARE-ness of zero waste

Building in AWARE-ness of zero waste

Posted by sustainbeauty on

Years before she opened her own salon in Wilmington, NC, Rebecca Oazem began experimenting with various potions at her kitchen table, aiming to create cleaner, more natural shampoos, and conditioners that were also vegan and cruelty-free, just as Aveda-founder Horst Rechelbacher once did long before he built his beauty empire. By the time she launched Casa PRANA in 2019 she had perfected two shampoos, two conditioners, and four styling products.



“Natural, organic, healthy, we use these words all the time when talking about sustainability, but they mean different things to different people,” says Rebecca, who was still renting a booth when she started experimenting. “To me, sustainability means aspiring to a zero-waste lifestyle. Seeking out glass or aluminum bottles and non-plastic labeling for my products might not seem a big deal, but it’s important to me. I want to be able to offer my clients the purest, cleanest products I can.”




It was the drive to live a zero-waste lifestyle that propelled Rebecca toward opening her own full-service salon. As well as offering clean products, Casa PRANA has a refillery and is a member of Green Circle Salons, ensuring any waste is disposed of responsibly. It also has ECOHEADS showerheads on the basin to ensure high pressure while conserving water and energy, and the team uses Paper Not Foil for color services. None of these was an option when she rented her booth.
Her salon is a light, plant-filled, airy space with neutral colors and furniture built from reclaimed timber, where Rebecca and her team of six prioritize extensive consultations with new clients to allow full discussions of what they believe sustainability means, be it natural, organic or healthy. Color appointments are confirmed only once the consultation is complete and a joint decision made on what color would suit the client and her lifestyle. Lengthy research went into the color lines carried by the salon to ensure they are the best on the market, while also being vegan, cruelty-free and as sustainable as possible.

Most clients who choose Casa PRANA are fully aware of the salon’s ambition to be a fully sustainable salon. Rebecca’s product line is called AWARE by PRANA™️ and all communications include the hashtag #beAWAREwithus, immediately highlighting the business’s mission to make it easier for everyone to live cleanly and sustainably. Casa PRANA was the first salon in the country to achieve a 5-star Ocean-Friendly Establishment (OFE) certification, which was developed in North Carolina in 2015 but has since spread up the east coast and over to Oregon. Casa PRANA is used as a case study to show other salons and other businesses what is expected from those who wish to attain the certificate.

The salon was also the first, and is still the only, salon to be awarded Three Dogwood Blossom status by NC Green Travel, a grueling certification procedure developed by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to help protect the state’s precious environmental resources.

Becoming a beacon for salon sustainability was never Rebecca’s intention as she sat in her kitchen mixing the ingredients for what would become her first shampoos and conditioners, but her and her team’s commitment to sustainability and the efforts made towards certification have definitely attracted many clients who want to live in a way that reduces their impact on the planet. It has also helped Rebecca build a loyal team of like-minded individuals keen to reduce their footprint on the planet. Together they are determined to keep on searching for new and better ways to ensure they tread lightly.

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