Written by Sara D'Souza

5 of the best eco-friendly paint brands

When it comes to paint it can be easy to get so focussed on colour palettes that you don’t think about what’s actually in the paint. Thankfully, eco-friendly paints are on the rise. With formulas free of chemicals and plastics, they’re better for the planet and create a healthier home environment. Here’s five of the best on the market to get you started…

1. Little Greene

Family brand Little Greene is leading the pack when it comes to the best quality eco-friendly paints and it’s an ethos that their whole brand is built around. A variety of environmentally conscious factors such as home-based manufacture (in their factory in the foothills of Snowdonia), water-based paints with minimal VOCs (volatile organic compounds), oil-based paints with naturally occurring vegetable oils and 50% recycled materials in their packaging mean Little Greene’s carbon footprint is low.

They’re also pioneering their brilliant Re:mix collection, ‘a collection of left-over, unwanted, and returned paints, reformulated into a beautiful matt finish for interior walls and ceilings’. Available in a palette of 20 colours, Re:mix will save as much as 60,000 litres of materials from going to waste each year.

Read more: 6 of the best homewares made from recycled materials

Eco-friendly paint brand Little Greene have created a new range called Re:mix

Photo: Little Greene

2. COAT

Carbon-neutral paint company COAT, which bills itself as ‘climate positive’, was set up by founders Rob Abrahams and Rob Green in September 2020. A bold move to launch a company in the middle of a pandemic, but one that’s paid off. Their model for eco-friendly paint? Quality and simplicity. COAT has eco formulas (they’re water based, low odour and vegan), sleek recycled packaging and best of all every pot is made to order for minimal waste and arrives the next day. They offer free delivery, free returns and instead of tester pots they have 100% accurate peel and stick swatches.

Read more: Buyer’s guide to eco-friendly paint

Eco-friendly paint brand was started in the midst of the pandemic

Photo: COAT

3.YesColours

Water-based, 0% added VOCs, 0% microplastics, child safe and vegan and cruelty free, YesColours ticks all the boxes for eco-friendly paints. 99% of their ingredients are sourced in the UK, with water coming from the Lake District catchment area. YesColours are also NPE (nonlyphenol ethoxylates) and APE (alkylphenol ethoxylates) free, two compounds that can be found in paints that are harmful to babies and the environment. Another massive plus point is that YesColours has a pigment technology that makes its paints UV fade resistant, meaning they’ll keep their colour, particularly for whites and lighter colours that are exposed to a lot of sunlight.

YesColours are also hot on their packaging. Eschewing the standard tin, they have flexible soft packaging with an easy-to-use nozzle that protects the paint from mould, moisture and dust. The packaging is also easily recyclable and has been proven to keep paint better for longer. Genius.

Read more: 5 colourful home décor ideas

YesColours package their paints in an entirely sustainable way

Photo: YesColours

4. Edward Bulmer

Edward Bulmer produces eco-friendly plant-based paint. Firstly, they openly list all their paint’s ingredients and where they are found, including water from the Harz Mountains in Germany (as ‘most paint is nearly 80% water’).

Edward Bulmer also uses only natural and earth pigments in 12 colours to create their unique colour palette. Many paint companies use dyes and colourants that contain plastics, they’re made using fossil fuels and are harmful to the environment. By using only natural materials and making their paint in a sustainable way, the company doesn’t create any toxic waste and its 102 colours are absolutely beautiful.

As Edward says, ‘So much “plastic” paint seems lifeless or too dense. The discovery of the soft, light conjuring surface of the natural emulsion, or the perfect sheen of the eggshell, was a revelation. When mixing with natural pigments it is impossible to make a nasty colour.’

Read more: How to make earthy tones work in your home

Edward Bulmer paints are eco-friendly paints are pioneers in natural paint

Photo: Edward Bulmer

5. Earthborn

Earthborn, which started out in 2002 making eco-friendly paints, has just celebrated its 20th anniversary. One of the most crucial factors in eco-friendly paint is their breathability. The plastic found in many regular paints creates a barrier on the walls that they’re painted on, and they trap air, leading to mould and an unhealthy environment.

Earthborn’s paints are not only breathable they also have a range called Claypaint which has further moisture absorbing qualities that can actually help even out the humidity in the room. These are great for people with allergies as the high clay content in the paint can help ‘destroy airborne odours and contaminants, reducing static build up, so reducing dust and allergens’.

Read more: Breathe easy with asthma and allergy friendly paint

Earthborn's eco-friendly paints are totally breathable

Photo: Earthborn

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