Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Green City Diaries: Shear innovation, part 1

Photo by Marvin Shaouni
(originally published 2/26/13 in Model D)

Here's something pretty remarkable about sustainability in action: when it comes to considering the social and environmental impacts of business practices, there is opportunity for innovation and continuous improvement in every kind of human endeavor. The sustainable ethic, in other words, is both global and adaptable. It has to be, or we're doomed. In the long term, only like-minded efforts by leaders from every industry at every scale, from building to baking, will truly change the world.

I mention this because the green leaders we're focusing on in this two-part story couldn't work in a more different environment than the folks at Detroit Diesel, the large-scale industrial operation we profiled in January. But, motivated by the same passions, they are engaged in a similar daily struggle: to remain profitable while finding ways to uplift the local community and help heal our beleaguered planet.

Sebastian Jackson and Jen Willemsen don't work in an industry that's usually thought of as a hotbed of eco-conscious innovation, but if the two of them are any indication, now is a good time to start rethinking that. Detroit, meet your sustainable stylists.

This week we'll get to know Sebastian, who owns The Social Club Grooming Company, an almost year-old barbershop, salon, and day spa on Wayne State's campus. Next week we'll talk to Jen Willemsen, the owner of Curl Up and Dye, a mile down the street.

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