Innovation of the Year

HJ British Hairdressing Business Awards 2009


Easydry, inventor of the eco-towel, triumphed at one of the UK’s most prestigious business2business awards, the British Hairdressing Business Awards winning Innovation of the Year for its one-use-only, biodegradable towel.

Easydry beat off tough competition from some major players as the judges recognised its potential to revolutionise towel use in salons. Over the past three years, since Easydry first appeared at Salon International, hundreds of salons have thrown out their tatty, expensive and labour-intensive cotton towels and converted to the highly absorbent, hygienic and convenient Easydry system.

Easydry is the brainchild of Anne Butterly from Dundalk in Ireland. She invented the towel five years ago and has since slowly built Easydry into an international business. The Easydry towel, which is highly absorbent, biodegradable and recyclable, allows hair and beauty salons to switch over to top-quality disposables without putting a burden on the environment or increasing their costs. Until now, salons had no choice but to wash hundreds of towels at high temperatures on a daily basis to ensure they reached the necessary hygiene standards - an expensive and labour-intensive process. Easydry also guarantees clients a spotlessly clean towel very visit.

In the past year, sales have rocketed by 300 per cent despite the economic issues that have beset all industries, while in June, Easydry opened its division in Australia. The Easydry towel is unique because it is available in jet black (non toxic, non-hazardous dye) as well as in white, and all its packaging is biodegradable and carries the ok compost mark.

“I recognised that hairdressing and beauty would really benefit from a soft, robust and absorbent disposable towel that would free it from the tyranny of washing and drying hundreds of towels each week,” said Ms Butterly. “But I also realised that it couldn’t be reckless with the environment. Our towel had to be robust but we couldn’t use any plastic, because it had to biodegrade or be recyclable, otherwise we’d just be creating another plastic bag disaster.”

At the same time as Easydry salons have helped the environment by stopping the daily grind of washing and drying towels that uses so much electricity, water and chemicals. They have also helped reduce demand for cotton, which is the biggest user of pesticides in the world. According to the Pesticide Action Network, each year cotton producers around the world use nearly $2.6 billion worth of pesticides -- more than 10% of the world's pesticides and nearly 25% of the world's insecticides.

Easydry is a totally natural product made from certified sustainable forests and it is 100 per cent recyclable and biodegradable, breaking down within three months in compost conditions. “I love Easydry,” said Jon McLeod, creative director of multi-award-winning salon Paterson SA and early adopter of Easydry. “It has made life in our salon so much simpler; we’d never go back to cotton towels now. It is fantastic to see the contribution it is making to hairdressing and the environment recognised by the industry.”

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