Down to Earth

When editorial stylists Pasquale Ferrante, Marco Santini and Leonardo Manetti decided to open a New York City salon, they wanted to create a space that was beneficial to both their clientele and the environment. "Eco-friendly is what we do," says Ferrante, a former educator and stylist for Toni&Guy in London. "We are aware of how pollution affects our children, so we're making an effort to look after the future of the earth."

To that end, the owners enlisted the help of EcoSystems, a furniture company with the motto "design for a healthy planet." The custom furniture is made from FSC-certified wood and designed with soft curves for ample comfort and a chic, simplistic look. The washbasins, which contain water-purifying systems, are complemented by rocking chairs that allow clients to enjoy the sun streaming through interior skylights. The light fixtures feature LED and compact fluorescent lighting, and the paint is made from water-based materials. Wind-powered energy fuels the 2,000-square-foot, 10-chair salon, which also practices recycling. "We are very aware of everything we use and how we use it," Ferrante says.

The airy two-level space was designed to look more like a studio than a salon. "The salon environment can be intimidating and overwhelming for clients and stylists," Ferrante explains. "We wanted to keep it simple so that everyone would feel comfortable." The salon sits at the back of a landmark building in Manhattan's trendy SoHo neighborhood, offering privacy and quiet to its clientele. According to Ferrante, "it has a New York style, but you don't feel like you're in the city."


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ION offers only hair services, and stylists can accommodate each client's individual needs. In keeping with its "green" philosophy, ION features products from Italian company Davines, whose products contain as many organic ingredients as possible and use 30 percent less plastic and paper in their packaging than other brands. Davines also aims to erase its carbon footprint by donating a large portion of sales profits to purchase and plant trees throughout Costa Rica. —LORI MORRIS