Helping artists make sustainable choices
Being sustainable means making the best decisions in the interests of people and our environment so that everybody can thrive now and in the future.
We continue to find ways to make our paints more friendly to the planet by developing colour formulations and removing unnecessary ingredients that might be harmful to health of artists or the natural environment. Such as offering cadmium free alternatives in some of our ranges. But we know these innovations must not come at the cost of the performance of our products. We don’t expect artists to compromise on what helps them to make their art.
Energy fuels the production of our high-quality products, but using energy creates greenhouse gases, the emissions responsible for climate change. So, we’re doing all we can to reduce the amount of energy used in manufacturing sites and offices, while using more energy that comes from renewable sources. Our target is that half of our energy needs will be met by renewables which will contribute to making us a ‘carbon neutral’ business. We also pledge to deal with waste classed as ‘hazardous’, which is hard to recycle, reducing this by 50% by 2025.
Packaging is vital to keeping products secure in transit. Our packaging comes from sustainable sources where possible and contains more recycled content. And as we reduce the weight of our materials, we reduce the environmental impact too. We’ve switched from virgin to 100% recycled plastic for oil colour and watercolour mediums, varnish, and solvent bottles. That’s 352 products in total – a move that will stop an average of 248 tonnes of plastic going into landfill every year.
Whether it’s employees, customers, or the wider artist community, making sure people are healthy, and well supported is our priority. We do this by developing sustainable, safe products and understanding the role art can play in wellbeing and by giving artists the support they need to be the best they can be. This year we we donated acrylic paint and brushes to the Hospital Rooms online digital art schools. These go to 50 inpatient mental health units every term to support around 1,800 patient sessions in some of the most restrictive mental health settings in the UK.
Our classic mediums bottles are moving off the shelves to make room for new bottles that are made from recycled plastic. They’ll have a slightly cloudy appearance plus a new white cap, but the medium inside the bottle is still the same great formulation as before. The improved bottles are part of our commitment to helping artists make sustainable choices. We‘re taking steps where possible to resolve the challenges around climate change and packaging waste.
It’s been a couple of years since we launched our Cadmium-Free Professional Watercolour and Artist Oil Colour, which artists confirmed perform on par with counterparts in blind testing. Similarly, our synthetic watercolour and oil brushes perform just as well as our watercolour and sable hog brushes.
This year we are teaming up with LGBTQ+ charity Queercircle, providing oil and acrylic paints, graphic art materials and paper for use in creating a community art installation and series of workshops that raise awareness and strengthen ties between culture, health and wellbeing.
For our Promarker range, including the original, brush, watercolour, neon and metallic products, we no longer use plastic packaging on the 2, 6, 12, and 12+1 piece sets. Instead, these sets are now launching in cardboard boxes made from 100% recyclable FSC-certified card *Please note that for a period of time, when you order online, you may still receive plastic packaging as we sell through our final stock of plastic. The next step will be to change our Promarker 24 piece wallets to recycled material.
Hero image credit: Rebecca Byrne