A Cut Above the Rest

The B Hive Organic Salon

3. Good Health and Well-Being 7. Affordable and Clean Energy 12. Responsible Consumption and Production


It’s no secret that a visit to the beauty salon can make a person feel pampered, confident, and beautiful. While a fresh cut and color may do wonders for clients' overall sense of well being, the products and methods used by the salon are not typically known for being eco-conscious or sustainable. This fact was not lost on the husband and wife team of James and Angela Alba.

When Angela returned to work as a hairstylist following maternity leave, the dichotomy between her life at home with her family and her career was staggering. The Albas could not ignore the striking contrast between Angela preparing homemade, organic baby food at home, and then being subjected to toxins and chemicals throughout her workday. Together, the couple committed to merging their existing organic, eco-friendly lifestyle with the profession Angela loved.


Nicole Brayton

Nicole Brayton

Shareefah Pencile

Shareefah Pencile

David Best

David Best

Myeungsu Ha

Myeungsu Ha


Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU)

Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU)


Aixa Ritz

Aixa Ritz


The B Hive is not only kind to humans, but also to the environment. James purchases green energy, uses LED lighting, and the salon is equipped with Energy Star appliances and Eco blow dryers. Responsible consumption and production are also factors as the salon serves Fair Trade and Organic coffee and tea products in addition to sourcing bee products from local New Jersey bee experts. Identifying as a green business requires more than a recycling program. The furnishings in the salon are made from various recycled materials and reclaimed wood. The salon is also an ambassador for Green Circle, which works specifically with salons to dispose of materials that cannot be traditionally recycled. Valves provided by the water company allow for the harvesting of rainwater for flowers and plants. James states, “water usage is a big initiative for 2020 – specifically how it pertains to the salon industry.” James leads his team by example. He is dedicated to education, research, and testing. He stays current on sustainability trends and acknowledges that a process that may have met standards in the past may not meet the current standards. His knowledge and leadership have led to opportunities to mentor at colleges. Every quarter, the B Hive hosts 15 salons in an effort to focus on beauty and sustainability in accordance with the New Jersey Sustainable Initiative. The salon has also been recently added to the New Jersey Sustainable Business Registry.

A Cut Above the Rest


In addition to the Alba’s continuous dedication to sustainability, their philanthropic efforts also deserve mention. The B Hive has sponsored several Earth Day fairs, participates in a Halloween costume collection and recycling program to benefit foster children, and also provides complimentary services to patients going through chemotherapy. The B Hive is not only a successful salon, but it is also an award-winning one. In 2014, the B Hive was entered into a worldwide contest for eco salons and took home the award for overall best eco salon, which James recounts as a career-high point.

Overall impact

As stated on the B Hive website "The B Hive Salon is where clients can feel beautiful about getting beautiful."

All hair products used are without Ammonia, Sulfates, and Parabens, and are made with certified Organic Ingredients.

Business benefit

James and Angela Alba created a totally green salon that provides an alternative for conscience consumers. As stated on the B Hive website the B Hive uses:

* Recycled Paper Products from Bathroom to Office

* Eco-Friendly Apple Computer Network

* Web-based Software System with Green Receipts

* Recycle Foils, Glass, Paper and Plastics Bottles

* Recycled Styling Chairs in Certified EcoTek Fabric

* Reclaimed Barn Siding Retail Area

* Reclaimed Wood Table and Tin Mirrors

* Only Eco-Friendly Cleaning Supplies & Soap

* Sustainable Bamboo Towels & Brushes

* Eco Blowdryers & Energy Star Appliances

* Rainwater Harvesting for Plants and Flowers

* All Decor from Eco-Conscious Companies

* Bee Products Sourced from Local NJ Bee Keepers

* Fair Trade and Organic Coffee & Tea Products

* Recycled Reception Desk Wrapped in Certified

* Green Veneer with Low E Glass Top

Social and environmental benefit

Providing a green salon gives consumers who are practicing an environmentally mindful lifestyle more choices that contribute towards protecting the environment, preservation and conservation of the natural resources, habitats, and biodiversity. By going green the B Hive helps reduce pollution, resource consumption and eliminate wastes.

The recycling efforts alone, helps conserve our forests and maintain the natural ecological balance on earth so that all living things can survive and thrive in their natural habitat.


James Alba, Owner

Photo of interviewee

Keep this story going! Share below!

The B Hive Organic Salon

The B Hive Organic Salon


Business Website: http://bhiveorganicsalon.com/

Year Founded: 2012

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

In an area of Bergen County, New Jersey, dense with beauty salons, The B Hive organic salon, opened its doors in 2012. James proudly sums up this family business as “ a salon built around the health and wellness of the staff.” A staff which, for the few several months, consisted only of his wife. The B Hive experienced growing pains early on but soon blossomed into a six chair salon with a client base so loyal, there is no need for advertising.

The B Hive provides a healthy work environment in several ways. For example, the hair products used within the salon, are procured from a Certified B Corporation based in Italy called Davines. These products are without “ammonia, sulfites, and parabens, and are made with Certified Organic Ingredients.” This is of utmost importance to the health of the staff as James estimates that a single hairstylist may come in contact with “ over 200 years worth of hair color over the course of one year.” This figure is based on a stylist working 200 days per year with eight clients per day, assuming that a client colors their hair 8.6 times per year. James’ focus on his own work-life balance is a testament to the dedication he shows his employees. The salon boasts shorter hours which affords the staff ample time for healthy pursuits such as exercise relaxation and spending time with family.