Almost immediately after opening Copper River’s doors, Weigand partnered with a similarly minded local environmentalist, Tom Szarky—garbage mogul, former Princeton student and founder of TerraCycle Outsmart Waste—to propagate Beauty Brigade, a program designed to facilitate the recycling of cosmetic items that are typically thrown away, such as foundation casings, lip balm tubes, eyeliner pencils and lotion bottles. The facility operates several Beauty Brigade recycling containers on its property.
“People can drop off their products here and we, in turn, help those items become recreated into benches and bike racks for playgrounds and schools in the area,” explains Weigand, who notes that everyone—locals, out-of-towners, customers, etc.—is welcome to participate. “All too often, bathroom products are forgotten in terms of recycling. I think it’s one of the greatest things I can do as a spa owner—beauty should have a conscience.”
Copper River’s activism isn’t limited to the environment, however. The facility also uses Beauty Brigade to benefit Womanspace—a New Jersey-based charity supporting women affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. For every item it recycles through the TerraCycle program, Copper River donates two cents to the charity. Additionally, the spa has offered complete makeovers to some Womanspace clients, to “build self-esteem and help them start anew,” says Weigand. “Community and business go hand in hand. The community supports our business, so we like to give back whenever we can.”