Mother to Teddy and Charlie and owner of sustainable hair salon PALOMA we spoke to entrepreneur Paloma Garcia to find out more about her commitment to the planet, what makes her happy and how we can make small changes within our homes and businesses to better care for Mother Earth.
Many articles introduce you as an ‘environmental and social-justice leader and activist’ with your own instagram bio stating that you are ‘passionate about climate and cultural injustice’. In your own words, what do these titles / statements mean?
For me they mean a lot. I am an empath so naturally caring for country and our future is a given. There's a wound in our nation. It's an injustice towards First Nations People that all started with colonisation and is ongoing still to this day.
Ocean is the place where I feel most free.
How you treat people in life is everything.
These two issues have led me into activism. I seek to learn and understand both issues deeper every day. I bring these issues to the forefront, holding much needed conversations around the topics. I march with my family, my friends and colleagues. I do whatever I can in my life to create solutions and support, and I encourage others to do the same.
Totem Road is a brand that aims to tread as lightly as possible, a sentiment we know you share in your own salon. Tell us about the sustainable initiatives you have at PALOMA.
We have partnered with an incredible business called Sustainable Salon, a salon specific recycling service that diverts 95% of materials into reuse, recycle and repurposing solutions. Metals get sold to private recycling companies and make meals by Ozharvest. Ponytails make medical wigs for those with leukemia and alopecia. Hair clippings from your haircuts are upcycled into hair booms which soak up oil spills on land and at sea.
We have also partnered with Eco Heads - they are attached to our basins and preserve 60% of water. All lighting is LED for minimal electricity consumption. Our electrical supplier is Amber Electric for the greenest off the grid carbon neutral supplier. All glassware is made locally by Masion Balzac and Porch Ceramics. All team members are encouraged to bank with Bank Australia and super with Future Super. All cleaning products are with Zero Co, which closes the loop for plastic consumption.
As our neighbour in Paddington (Totem Road Head Office is next door to PALOMA), tell us your five favourite spots in the area?
- 10 William for snacks and vino
- The Hood for epic coffee
- Alimentari for my daily lunch salad
- Aesop for a yummy facial and all my body care
- Santa Maria Novella for the most beautiful linen spray, perfumes and home products
As the mother of two sons, what do you want to teach them about how to care for Mother Earth?
I communicate all of the actions I take, which they have inherited. I think the fact that I am their mother means they listen to me - but also do the opposite of what I say. All part of parenting, hey!
What are three things you do within your own home to care for our planet?
- Move your money! Bank with ethical banking that doesn’t use your money to invest in fossil fuels. Get educated on this throughmarketforces.org. It's pretty shocking. I love Bank Australia and Bendigo Bank. Move your super to ethical investment.
- Use Zero Co cleaning products to close the loop on plastics
- Don't get caught up on trends.
When it comes to furniture, purchase items that won't need replacing ie, solid oak over veneer and make sure you educate yourself on how things are made, where they're made and what happens when you're done with them.
I was so pleased with my new Totem Road mattress - made from organic latex, I know it won't end up in landfill!
What do you believe makes a house a home?
The energy. The beautiful little nooks with all your favourite things.
What is something you wish more people spoke about?
Climate change and social injustice!