It’s important to know what’s in your paints. Some paints contain solvents which can be released as the paint dries. This can be potentially harmful to humans, but this doesn’t mean that non-toxic paints are harmless to the environment. In the 18th-century, harmful substances like arsenic and lead were used to create vibrant colors, but these are now banned. Nowadays, you can get imitation pigments that don’t have harmful solvents or metals in them!
Natural Earth Paints use non-toxic and eco-friendly ingredients in their paints, earning them the Gold certification from Green America. The paints are locally made in a solar-powered factory, and use 100% recyclable and biodegradable packaging. The business started when owner, Leah Fanning, couldn’t find non-toxic art supplies and with a baby on the way, she decided to create her own.
Chelsea Classic Studio use oils to make non-toxic and natural art supplies. Using no harsh chemicals, the paints have lavender spike oil in them, giving the paint a gorgeous lavender smell. They also sell lavender and olive oil soap which is great at cleaning paint off hands and brushes.
Millions of paintbrushes end up in landfill, with the synthetic and plastic brushes and handles taking hundreds of years to degrade. They cause damage to the environment and leave microplastics in our ecosystems.
Using recycled and sustainable paintbrushes is a great way to be artistic whilst being mindful of our planet. Bamboo is one of the most renewable resources we have to hand, as it quickly replenishes once cut down. They also require little water so using bamboo manufactured for paintbrushes is very sustainable.
Using plant fibers paintbrushes aren’t only going to lessen your carbon footprint, but they are easier to clean without using solvents, and they don’t need to be replaced as there isn’t as much bristle loss as a traditional plastic and glued paintbrush.
You can shop bamboo paintbrushes on sites like Etsy, or at Craftamo, a sustainable art supplies company. Not only do they make eco-friendly and cruelty-free paintbrushes, but they also strive to be as sustainable as can be by using ethically sourced materials. Their paintbrushes are easy to clean, maintain their shape and don’t lose their bristles like traditional synthetic brushes.
Natural Earth Paints show you how to create your own eco-friendly canvas using organic cotton. You can also reuse canvases by panting over old projects or even use hemp as it becomes more widely used.
Hemp is cheaper than linen canvases and despite being slightly different in texture, you can still get incredible pieces from it. Canvases can be the main costs for artists, so reusing canvasses is the best option for those creating art as a hobby. Hemp and linen have been used for centuries and often times when it comes to sustainability, we have to look back at traditional methods in order to create eco-friendly alternatives.
For more sustainable art supplies, take a look at Conscious Craft. They produce safe paints and art tools for kids so you don’t have to worry about harmful ingredients or the effect on the environment!
+ Words: Shaelei Parmar, Luxiders Magazine Contributor
Blog: Shaestyles IG: @Shaelei_