Obviously the most important consideration in anyone's life is health. So why would you compromise your or your family's health when painting your home? Well you wouldn't. Another important consideration, which ultimately affects your health is the environment. More often than not when you see rogue builders fly-tipping mounds there is invariably a tin or 3 of paint chucked in. It's grim.

The main issue with regular paints is their harmful Volatile Organic Compounds known as VOC's. You can usually smell them-that fresh paint smell. Other issues to consider are the paint containers, the harmful and wasteful manufacturing, carbon-dioxide emissions and transportation. 

So we've curated 10 of the most eco-friendly paint brands around. As we're not professional decorators and haven't tested all the colours and varieties, we are assuming that the paints that they produce are fit for purpose and have similar wall covering properties.

In curating these 10 paint brands we have considered factors including where the paints are produced, the eco-friendly nature of the paint, the waste and eco-consciousness of the manufacturing process, whether the packaging is recycled and recyclable, whether transport is minimised to reduce carbon emissions, and whether they support good causes. Are the articles of association / ethos of the company eco / esg focussed which would imply certification from organisations such as BCorporation or Nordic Swan.

All the 10 paint brands have positive attributes, so we have listed them in Alphabetical order and have applied our Ateliers Verts Product Ranking System for sustainability using the information they provide corporately. 


COAT Paints

 Ateliers Verts 5 star rating

COAT are BCorp Certified. Their paints are water-based a low toxin (VOC) and their supplies, like brushes are sustainably sourced and made from bamboo. Their  paints are made to order, and locally made, so there is no waste or over-production and minimal transportation. They are climate positive by double-carbon offsetting via Carbon Jacked, and they have a closed loop recycling programme where customers can return their paint tins for reprocessing. They are Child and Pet Safe certified (EN71-3) and Indoor Air Comfort A+ (Eurofins) They don't have tester posts but instead have adhesive free (no solvents) recyclable Peel and Stick swatches which colour-match identically. COAT support Crisis homelessness charity.

Earthborn Paints

Earthborn estbalished in 2002 was one of the first companies to develop a true eco alternative to traditional paints, Their paints are developed by carefully selecting the right environmentally friendly ingredients and using technologically advanced manufacturing processes and formulations. Their tins have a full list of ingredients to allow the customer to make an informed choice. They were the first UK company to be awarded the UK license of the EU Ecolabel for Indoor Paints and Varnishes. 


Edward Bulmer Natural Paint

Edward Bulmer Natural Paints are made using plant-based ingredients. Edward Bulmer is an Interior Designer so he partnered with German paint manufacturer AURO to produce the paints. He selected the special colour palette, which offer  96 unique nuances, from intense and highly pigmented tones, to a diverse selection of off-whites, to match any interior. AURO uses only natural mineral pigments, which provide an inimitable depth of colour.  The emulsion wall paints are based on an innovative biogenic binding agent Replebin®. They are certified safe by Nordic Swan and EU Ecolabel amongst others and have a low or zero VOC.


Francesca's Paints

Francesca's Paints were established in 1996. They are one of the first eco-paint companies established in the UK. Francesca Wezel aka 'TheColourWoman' learned her craft at Porter Paints in Australia. Her Eco emulsion contains no plastic, neither does her Eco Fix which is applied over the emulsion. The Paint pots are plastic and can be recycled. They started with eco friendly paint products, Lime Wash and Eco Emulsion but over the years they expanded their range to satisfy every aspect of our customers’ needs with our traditional paint products so that not all their products are actually environmentally friendly and can still be toxic. 

Graphenstone Paints

Graphenstone is probably the world's most certified green paint company. Graphenstone is Cradle to Trade certified, Global GreenTag Certified™ made with zero micro plastics, asthma friendly, breathable and inhibits mould growth. Among their values are ecology, sustainability and respect for the environment with products that comply with the principles of a circular economy. Their aim is to innovate and create ecological, natural products that respect people’s health and the environment.They are proud to claim that Graphenstone is the world's most certified green paint company with a Reuse, Reduce and Recycle philosophy.


House of Hackney Paints

House of Hackney are BCorp Certified. Inspired by the colours of nature’s apothecary, the paint collection pays homage to nature not only through irreverent colour - but in the very way it is made. With the ability to transform any space in a matter of two coats, our water-based, low VOC, non-toxic paint is sustainably produced to order in Britain, ensuring there is a light environmental footprint and no waste. Honouring nature’s clever use of resources the collection has end-to-end recyclable packaging, including a complimentary FSC-approved stirrer crafted from by-products. For each paint tin sold, House of Hackney purchases and protects 35 square metres of forest, thanks to their partnership with the World Land Trust  the international conservation charity that safeguards our most vital natural ecosystems and threatened habitats, acre by acre.


Lick Paints

Lick paints are BCorp certified. All of their UK Manufactured paint is water-based and low VOC (recognised on the VOC global scheme), which means fewer harmful chemicals, better air quality and a healthier home.Their paint tins can be washed and recycled. Their boxes Made in England, by the country's leading environmentally-friendly packaging company, Lick's boxes are made from corrugated cardboard. Flattened, they can be recycled along with standard household recycling. In fact, they can be recycled up to seven times before being sent to the landfill. Unbleached and unprocessed, once there they will decompose within around three months. Similarly their paint trays are made from sustainably sourced sugar pulp, Lick's paint trays are entirely reusable. You don't even need to rinse them. Just wait for the paint to dry and they can be used again and again. Once finished, rest assured that they are completely recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable. Lick have partnered with "charity: water" - a non-profit organisation bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries. For every tin of paint purchased they provide 178 litres of clean water to communities. They're also certified Carbon Neutral by ClimatePartner and offset all of our CO2 emissions by supporting two community initiatives: 1) providing families in Rwanda with clean cookstoves and  2) subsidising biomass, a sustainable energy source, for small businesses in Colombia. 


Little Greene Paints

In 2004, Little Greene were one of the first UK paint manufacturers to achieve the European environmental standard BS EN ISO 14001.All their water-based paints carry the industry's lowest eco-rating, with VOC content now virtually zero. This means that you don't need to worry about solvent contributions to the atmosphere, any respiratory issues, or nasty smells; our eco-paints are virtually odourless. Oil-based paints are traditionally favoured because of their renowned longevity and superb finish. Little Greene oil-based paints have been reformulated using sustainable vegetable oils, without compromising on their unrivalled quality. Their paint tins are made using over 50% recycled steel and can be recycled again. They are continually developing our packaging and warehousing procedures to increase the content of recycled and recyclable material and have achieved a waste reduction of 57% in the last three years. All their paints are manufactured in the UK and we actively source from suppliers who can match our commitment to local industries. We're dedicated to minimising pollution, energy consumption and distribution overheads whilst supporting the local business community. Little Greene have cleverly developed intelligent blending techniques that allow them to reuse their leftover and unwanted paint. Re:mix is a collection of honest, upcycled colours that reformulates waste paint into a beautiful, matt finish for interior walls and ceilings. By upcycling these unwanted paints, they prevent as much as 60,000 litres of high-quality mineral and organic raw materials from going to waste each year.


Nordfärg Paints

Nordfärg paints are Nordic Swan Ecolabel certified. Nordfärg define themselves as the finest paint created with the environment at its heart.  The Nordfärg range genuinely represents pushing the boundaries of paint given that, all too often, products excel in one specific aspect only. The creation and development of a paint range that is simultaneously very durable; tactile; beautiful and that has achieved extremely demanding environmental accreditation – Vägg has already attained the Nordic Swan and EU Ecolabel. This is testament to the huge amount of work required to create it. In addition, manufacturing Nordfärg using Sweden’s renewable power and Iceland’s geothermal heat is core to the ethos of the brand. The Nordic Swan is awarded only when the highest standards are met during the manufacturing process, through to the finished product and include factors like Energy usage, Use of chemicals, Climate aspects, Hazardous effluents, Water usage, Packaging, Source of raw materials and Waste. Nordfärg paints also have among the lowest VOC ratings on the market.


YesColours Paints

YesColours paints list as "Feelgood paints in astonishing colours" Their paints are sold in pouches! They're easy to open and close and airtight two protect the paint from moisture, mould and dust. This flexible packaging uses 16% less fossil fuel, 26% less water, and generates 21% less greenhouse gas emissions throughout production vs. traditional packaging. They're up to 52 times more space and weight efficient for transportation and storage so reduce carbon emissions related to transportation and are easily recyclable.  

YesColours support several good causes including:

NiP Charity-NiP stands for 'Nipple Innovation Project' and is the first mastectomy tattoo charity in the UK, dedicated to empowering people within the breast cancer community by offering 3D realistic nipple tattoos.

'MindOut'- They are supporting those suffering with mental health issues in the LGBTQ community. 

'FirstSight'-Supporting the ground-breaking Firstsite Holiday Fun programme through vibrant artworks in this interactive exhibition celebrating the fun, friendly and creative ethos of Holiday Fun.

'Keep Being Amazing' - the last of a three-year series of exhibitions which have been produced as part of the Arts Council Collection National Partners Programme.

'Rethink' -who improve the lives of people severely affected by mental illness through their network of local groups and services, expert information and successful campaigning.


(Header Image © Oooarsenal via Home-Designing) 


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