The Only Way is Ethics... local, ethical beauty and well-being

by Brigid Benson Not so long ago it seemed that only a handful of brands and consumer businesses (such as The Body Shop and Aveda) focussed on selling beauty and treatment products that were sourced more fairly, sustainably and using natural ingredients. Many stores and local salons still used products with ingredients such as parabens and artificial essences that could be harmful, or aggravate allergies. But now it seems that change really is afoot. I'm delighted to report that Gaeia's old office premises have now been converted into a health and well-being spa called Exhale Therapy. The space is quite unrecognizable from the old office, with under floor heating, well-equipped treatment rooms & even a spacious hammam (Turkish steam room). To add to their appeal, manager Saira Akram has sourced only the latest organic, paraben-free treatment and beauty products using essential oils. I had the hot stone massage treatment this week. It was blissfully relaxing and I will definitely book again. Exhale Therapy can be contacted on 0161 711 0077 and are based at 829 Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M20 5WD. And right next door there's new hairdressing salon Macleod Bradley East, another locally owned business run by young people who firmly believe in using more natural and environmentally responsible products. They won’t stock brands that still use synthetics, so even the hair colouring range (made by an independent firm) is ammonia, PPD and paraben-fee – using honey, shea butter and pomegranate instead. It's great to see this little corner of Didsbury rejuvenated with independent shopkeepers who share some of the Gaeia values. So, when you're next in the area, why not pop in and see for yourself? Macleod Bradley East can be contacted on 0161 706 0020 and are based at 835 Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M20 5WD.