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.

As a company that produces high-quality paints, materials and tools, this isn’t easy. We know this only too well.

But we have a responsibility to act. In fact, our customers expect us to.

So, we’re not only committed to finding ways to become more sustainable in our own operations, but also to helping artists to make the right choices too.

This means applying our expertise to resolve the challenges around climate change and packaging waste and developing products that are safe to use in the studio, workspace or at home – without compromising on performance. And it means supporting artists in the community and making art accessible to everyone.

What are we doing?

Creating Cleaner Products

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.

Reduce Unnecessary Packaging

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.

Renewable energy and waste

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.

Community Matters

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.

Hero image credit: Rebecca Byrne