Hair Today, Grown Tomorrow: Community Gardening with a Twist

Jared Chuah, left, founder of Nateskin, at the TTDI Edible Community Garden
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You may have heard of Nateskin, Malaysia’s home-grown company featuring innovative grooming solutions for men, but now they’re getting into the sustainability game in a truly interesting way!

If you’ve ever wondered what could be done from all those clippings that amass from haircuts and shaving, you’re probably not alone. Surely there must be some useful solution, some good way to use those many bits of hair. Well, as it turns out, there is! And now, Nateskin, Malaysia’s home-grown men’s grooming company, has embarked on a perhaps unexpected eco-conscious journey in collaboration with the Biji Biji Initiative, a social enterprise dedicated to environmental causes. This distinctive partnership aims to infuse greenery into urban spaces, adding a touch of innovation by integrating hair clippings into the environmental narrative through composting.

Kicking off this collaborative effort, Nateskin recently hosted a public event at Arcoris Mont Kiara. Attendees were given the opportunity to get a trim and contribute their sheared locks. In partnership with the Barber Bus, a unique bus-based barbershop in Malaysia, the event showcased one of Nateskin’s latest products, The Face Shaver. Participants were able to try out the outstanding travel-friendly Face Shaver on the Barber Bus under the guidance of the Nateskin team. Operating in 15-minute slots from 10.00am to 6.00pm, the event successfully collected three bags of hair, complemented by clippings from The Barber Bus the following day.

Getting a trim at The Barber Bus in Arcoris Mont Kiara

In a transformative move, these hair trimmings, which would otherwise end up in landfills, were donated to the Biji Biji Initiative and the Taman Tun Dr Ismail Edible Community Garden (TTDI Edible Community Garden) for composting. The resulting compost will be used to support tree planting efforts, offering a nutrient-rich foundation for seedlings to flourish.

An unexpected but valuable addition to composting, a March 2023 study shows that human hair contributes to creating high-quality, nutrient-rich compost due to its slow-releasing nitrogen content. With values like 16.5% nitrogen, 0.01% phosphorus, 0.01% potassium K, 0.05% magnesium, and 0.23% sulphur, human hair enriches soil nutrient content.

Nateskin team members putting in the work at the TTDI Edible Community Garden

Jared Chuah, Founder and Head of Growth at Nateskin, expressed, “It’s a bit of a departure from our usual business — we’re helping something grow this time, instead of trimming it down! On a more serious note, I think it’s great that we’re able to contribute to such a noble initiative. We thank both the Biji Biji Initiative and the TTDI Edible Community Garden for helping us turn what would have been waste into a benefit for the planet.”

Established in June 2013, the Biji Biji Initiative is a local organization focused on environmental sustainability and social impact. Through accelerator programs, they aim to nurture environmentally conscious changemakers, promoting sustainable practices for businesses and individuals.

Composting, planting, harvesting… towards a greener, healthier TTDI!

Juliana Adam, CEO of the Biji Biji Initiative, shared, “Our collaboration with Nateskin exemplifies the power of collective effort in fostering a greener and more sustainable urban environment. We believe that small actions, like donating hair for compost, could make a significant impact on our shared responsibility for the planet. The result of this collaboration was a unique venture — one that not only promoted personal care but also contributed to the larger goal of environmental sustainability, in a beautiful amalgamation of grooming and greening.”

The unique setting of The Barber Bus and the deep commitment to sustainability in Nateskin’s latest products offered event participants a distinctive experience while allowing them to contribute to the planet. Nateskin plans to sustain this collaboration, inviting more community members to be part of this engaging and memorable experience. Together, Malaysians can support Nateskin and the Biji Biji Initiative in their mission to turn the town green.

Community gardens are a great initiative to support

For further information on Nateskin’s initiatives and products, visit https://nateskin.com.my. Explore ongoing campaigns by the Biji Biji Initiative at https://www.biji-biji.com.

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