Be Cherished salon in Ashland wants people to know they cut more than hair; they cut waste. Rather than accepting tips, owner Susan Zastoupil asks her customers to support clean water projects. This year’s fundraising efforts garnered $5,000 for Rogue Riverkeeper, a nonprofit working to protect and restore clean water and native fish in the Rogue River watershed.

Since opening in 2010, the holistic beauty salon has been committed to effecting environmental change by using naturally derived and responsibly sourced products.

Desiring to do even more to protect water across the state of Oregon, Zastoupil and her staff decided to join other Pacific Northwest Aveda salon and spa team members in a Catwalk for Water “Trashion Show” Fundraiser held in May in Portland, where participants were challenged to create a wearable garment made entirely of recyclable materials. Zastoupil and her staff became runway designers, utilizing packing materials from product shipments, incorporating cut pieces of recycled Aveda plastic tubs, all sewn together with sustainably sourced yarn made of silk and seaweed fibers. Other entries utilized materials such as dryer sheets, lightweight cardboard boxes, old posters and even old CDs.

Their painstaking work paid off: The entry won the event’s Best Upcycled Fashion Design Award.

“We decided that our model, Danielle Olson, would represent the transition from what is to what could be,” explains Zastoupil. “The dress represents the pure spirit of clean flowing water, juxtaposed with the disruption caused by pollution. The bodice expresses the simple beauty of a pure river, with the skirt portion representing the muddied waters. At the end of the catwalk, she removed the overskirt to reveal the clean spirit of the river taking its power back, shedding the unnecessary layer.”

Zastoupil encourages others to find such innovative ways to be environmentally conscious. “We hope others will share our hope and belief that Oregon’s rivers will be returned to their natural purity through our united dedication and hard work. We’re very proud of these accomplishments and look forward to even bigger things in the years to come.”

Be Cherished is an Aveda salon and retail store for women and men at 393 East Main St. in Ashland. Owner Zastoupil has lived in Southern Oregon since 2002.