Monday, 24 March 2008

Eco Paints, MP's and Stylists. Oh, my!!

Dear Faithful Green Blogsters,
I've been off the radar for a few weeks and have to start with an apology for leaving it so long between eco blogs! Eco Warrioress has just one too many plates spinning at the moment. I'm waiting for a few of them to fall to the ground and smash, but others need constant attention it seems and it's hard to keep up!!! There's some exciting stuff going on in my other non-eco-designer-life and I'll be writing all about that very soon....
This does not mean that I've been sitting about without foraging for more green info for you my loyal green readers... I found low VOC paints at Eco Build, have met with Joan Ruddock MP, I have a new eco/ethical stylist and a link to her blog and have begun my eco spring cleaning!
Read on..


Eco Build was a Wonder Of The Environmental World.
Earl's Court was jammed to the hilt with new green building products and materials. From my POV I would have liked to have seen some more design products, but the bulk of stands were about green urban planning, natural insulation methods, solar panels, wind power and grass roofs. A lot of the applications were for corporate contractors and not residential, which is always my first priority - I'm sourcing for you the homeowners....Most of the punters were either burly builders or sleek, black polar-neck sweater wearing architects with cool designer glasses...this was a place for the boys so I had quite a nice time looking the stands, darlings, the stands!! I wasn't at all interested in the level of testosterone in the room!!

HOWEVER: I found a couple of fabulous eco paint companies

I met Laurent from BIOFA who is based in Brighton. His paint smells like moisterizer, mmm, although I wouldn't recommend you put it on your face!!

I really enjoyed the display and colours of NUTSHELL. Their colour style is quite traditional and along the lines of Farrow and Ball. The paints are 100% ecological, and made from natural raw materials and offer a radical alternative to paints manufactured with vinyl resins and petrochemical solvents. They are a healthy and environmentally friendly alternative to the many harmful products which dominate the commercial paint market. The paint is made from natural raw materials is allergy free, has no VOC'S and is microporous so it lets walls and surfaces breathe. All made from renewable oils, herbs and minerals helping to lower your carbon footprint.

Another company with a traditional background is HOLKHAM LINSEED PAINTS. They make solvent free linseed oil paint from renewable and sustainable sources that last up to three times longer than modern paints. This is great to hear because I often get painters and decorators who tend to think that eco means 'not as long lasting or easy to use'. Because the paint job can last up to 15 years, the woodwork is protected so repainting and restoration needs are not as frequent.

There was cool natural rubber flooring from DALSOUP
LE. They are sending me a sample box for my library and can't wait to see all the colours they carry. One of the applications they had on their stand was a panel of bright red rubber on a kitchen cupboard door....hard wearing and so cool looking!!

At Eco Build I met with Ben Horn from PAPERSTONE in the USA. I was very pleased to see him here in London because I have introduced him to a couple of like-minded eco businessmen/entrepreneurs who I'm hoping might bring Paperstone to the UK for us.

These amazing countertops come in a miriad of colours and are made from 100% recycled paper!! Can you believe it? The material itself has the look and feel of (extremely un-eco) MDF and I suggested it need not only be for kitchens, the applications are endless...shelving, furniture etc.

I will report here as soon as Ben lets me know where we can but his product here in the UK.

Last week I spent a very pleasant and informative hour with Joan Ruddock MP. She is the Minister for Climate Change and is putting together a bill that will make the United Kingdom the leaders in lower the nations carbon footprint.

he had invited me to come in and talk to her about eco interior design. I took in some photos and samples of materials I'm sourcing at the moment for the ZED HOMES project I'm working on. I showed her Lisa Harland's organic hemp fabric and wallpaper printed on recycled paper and a side table made from a recycled washing machine has a light inside that fliters through the holes in the sides!! Cool, Huh?!

I put to her one of the simplest and to me most obvious ideas that would get people to use more sustainable and eco products and that is to give these items a tax break. Green and eco products can be more expensive than more mass products items and price is always a factor in choosing materials for many consumers, myself inc
luded. Joan agreed. She said that this is an EU issue and that she and Gordon Brown have taken it to the European Union and they have rejected lower tax for greener products! I'm amazed and confused that they could be so short sighted....the battle continues... I'm hoping to go in again and meet with officials conducting a report on ethical and eco fashion. We are going to see it it is possible, with the research I have done, to factor in design products there too... looking forward to that!!

You know that I love meeting other Eco Warriors and telling you all about them right here. I encouraged my friend Lupe to start a blog and in the meantime, she has pledged, after 20 years in the fashion industry to be stylist to the green stars. She is dropping labels she reps that do not follow her strict eco and ethical trade standards and plans to start dressing the celebs who want to raise their green profile on the red carpet. She has promised to send some gorgeous green things my way when the time comes, because every stylish girl knows (to quote Patsy from Ab Fab) you can never have enough (green) hats, gloves and shoes!!

Read about her adventures in Brighton and at Howies latest sample sale right here!

I know the weather has taken a snowy turn for the worst this Easter weekend, but hope 'springs' eternal and I'm getting ready to blow out the cobwebs in the most chemical free way I can. There's lots of eco cleaning methods out there and I've been trying some of them out for you but would welcome your comments if you have any cleaning winners - or losers!!

Please write a comment if you have any non chemical and eco cleaning techniques and I'll share them here...

1 comment:

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