Sustainability: Our Paint
Our richly pigmented paints are created to work in harmony with every part of your world. Whether it’s through our entirely water based range of long-lasting finishes – which score the highest grade for the lowest emissions – our infinitely recyclable metal tins, or our strategies for cutting down on waste, we’re committed to reducing our impact on the earth without compromising on quality.
Back in 2010, we were the first in the industry to move to an entirely water based range, reworking our super-tough eggshell and gloss finishes into gentler water based formulations that don’t compromise on durability.
Now, all of our paints are not only classed as Minimal or Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds), but in many cases go far beyond the requirement for inclusion in those categories.
What are VOCs?
VOCs are the culprits behind the strong smell of some oil and solvent based paints, a result of pollutants being released into the atmosphere as the paint dries. By contrast, our low-odour water based finishes don’t release any unpleasant smells, as well as being safer, more comfortable to apply and live with, and kinder to the environment than oil based paints.
As part of our commitment to transparency, we have just completed an in-depth review of our full ingredients list, working with our suppliers to get an even more accurate measure of VOC content across our range. Thanks to this review, we’re pleased to report that the VOC content in many finishes across our range is now even lower than original calculations.
Sourcing and Suppliers
Our uncompromising dedication to quality is evident in every component of our paint, from the ingredients themselves to how we source them.
We have long-standing relationships with suppliers who share our ethos, and we work with them to ensure that every single one of our ingredients, including our range of pigments, is responsibly sourced and not created or sourced as a result of exploitation.
Every one of our paints scores A+ for the French Indoor Air Quality Decree N° 2011-321 – Arrêté April 2011, even our hard-working trim and floor paints. You’ll see this top grade proudly displayed on our tins.
This test is conducted externally by independent laboratories in accordance with ISO 16000 and checks for the total level of VOCs in the air 28 days after application. The standard IAQ test chamber simulates a ‘standard’ EU living space, with 30m3 air volume and very specific levels of insulation and air flow, making it a good measure of how low-VOC paints like ours can help reduce the impact of decorating on your indoor air quality – not just during the decorating process, but for a good while afterwards.
As more improvements are made to the way homes are built, giving us better insulation and heat retention, it’s more important than ever before to choose a paint that promotes better indoor air quality. Poor indoor air quality has even been linked to certain respiratory health conditions, so it’s not just a matter of comfort, but of safety too.
Our 100% water based Modern and Estate ranges are independently tested and certified child- and baby-safe in accordance with Safety of Toys Part 3: Migration of certain elements (EN 71 3:2013+A3:2018). That means they’re better for the little ones who share your world, too.
This covers all paints in our range, excluding specialist finishes of Limewash, Casein Distemper and Soft Distemper, and our Wood Floor Primer & Undercoat, Wood Knot & Resin Blocking Primer & Undercoat, and Metal Primer & Undercoat.
With hardly any odour, low levels of VOCs, and the toughness to handle anything life with little ones can throw at them, our baby-safe Modern finishes give you the peace of mind to bring a splash of colour to cots, nurseries, children’s bedrooms, and playrooms.
These gentle formulations are even safe to use on toys, so you can give their favourite playthings a colourful new look without worry, and they can carry on playing to their heart’s content.
They also don’t need any nasty solvents – which are especially dangerous around children – to clean up.
When looking at the environmental impact of a decorating project, it’s important to consider the impact over time as well as that of initial application.
The more durable the paint, the less the need to repaint due to wear and tear, so it’s important to look at scrub performance when choosing your finish.
The quality ingredients in our paints deliver excellent durability, with some finishes – including Modern Emulsion – achieving the highest possible scrub performance rating of Class 1.
What is Scrub Testing?
Scrub testing is a global industry standard for testing paint durability, performed on all commercially sold paint to determine its resistance to erosion when scrubbed. We conduct regular scrub testing on our finishes under laboratory conditions.
We don’t test any of our paint on animals – we never have, and we never will, so you can always rest assured that you’re painting your home with a proudly cruelty-free product.
Our most commonly used finishes (Estate Emulsion, Estate Eggshell, Modern Emulsion, Modern Eggshell, Full Gloss, Exterior Eggshell, and Exterior Masonry) are vegan-friendly, containing no animal-derived ingredients.
Two of our specialist finishes, Soft Distemper and Casein Distemper, contain animal-derived ingredients: an ingredient derived from leather offcuts and acid casein from milk, respectively. As such, these are the only two non-vegan products in our range.