As we settle into 2023, the conversation around sustainability continues to be at the forefront of our global consciousness. With an increasing awareness of the impact of our actions on the environment, individuals and businesses alike are seeking out ways to reduce their carbon footprint and minimise their impact on the planet. As a result, there has been a surge in demand for sustainable products and services, and businesses that prioritise sustainability are thriving.
One area where sustainability has gained significant traction is in the world of interior design. More and more designers are looking to work with suppliers that prioritise eco-friendliness and social responsibility in their operations. These studios recognise that their suppliers can have a significant impact on their own sustainability goals, and are actively seeking out partners who share their values.
From low VOC products to “made locally” ranges, the sustainable suppliers you need to know in 2023 span a wide range of industries and specialties. These companies prioritise responsible sourcing, ethical labour practices, and environmentally-friendly operations. They are pushing the boundaries of what is possible in their respective fields, proving that sustainability can go hand in hand with profitability.
In this article, we will highlight some of the most innovative and forward-thinking sustainable suppliers of 2023. These companies are setting a new standard for sustainability in their industries, and their practices are paving the way for a more eco-conscious future. Whether you are a business owner looking for sustainable suppliers, or an individual looking to make more eco-friendly purchasing decisions, these companies are worth getting to know. To stay in the loop with the latest in interior design, subscribe to our newsletter.
YesColours, a UK-based paint company, has created a palette of colours inspired by Emma and John’s global experiences, real-life encounters, food and music. Their mission is to make colour accessible to everyone, allowing individuals to be confident in their colour choices, not restricted by trends or seasons, but led by their love of colour. The YesColours palette is culturally diverse and aims to promote wellbeing for those who use their homes as places of work, fitness, and education.
YesColours is committed to sustainability, with a focus on UK-based issues such as waste, recycling, and landfill, and support for innovative new technologies developed by UK manufacturers. The company uses sustainable raw materials, design, and production processes based in the UK to offer alternative products that benefit the environment while making it easier for customers to make informed choices and recycle their waste more easily.
Every step of the paint's journey, from the factory to the walls and beyond, has been thoughtfully considered by YesColours. They have implemented measures to improve recyclability through the use of fully recyclable packaging and new colourant technology, as well as local supply chains and measuring their carbon footprint. Their paint is just the beginning of their journey, and they are excited about what's to come. Welcome to the world of YesColours.
We were so excited about this brand, we actually talked to John Stubbs, Founder & Managing Partner of YesColours. Here's what he had to say...
Hi there! To start, could you tell us about the inspiration behind YesColours and how yours and Co-Founder & Creative Partner Emma’s experiences influenced it?
Absolutely. Emma and I have been friends for 20 years since we met at university. We've gone in different directions over time – Emma studied arts management and worked in museums, galleries, and advertising for global firms.
On the other hand, I got into design and worked on branding, product design, interior design, marketing, digital design, UX, and even designed the interiors of aircraft and trains. Because of the nature of the clients I was working with, the pandemic really affected them, leading to me having more time to choose my next journey.
One day, while Emma, who is a DIY enthusiast and paint expert, was at home with her family at the time, we got talking about the problem of paint waste. After researching the complexity and breadth of the subject, we started to come up with the idea behind YesColours.
Through a lens of sustainability, we started thinking about the impact of colour on people’s lives, and how creating a high-quality range could improve their mood and happiness.
We love how naturally the idea behind YesColours evolved. Could you tell us a bit more about the UK’s paint waste problem, and YesColours’ commitment to sustainability?
Earlier, I mentioned that my research on paint waste led me to uncover a pressing sustainability issue within the paint industry that many major brands were neglecting to address. The challenge of paint waste disposal is significant since it is difficult to recycle, and only a third of UK recycling centres accept it. This issue has resulted in an estimated 50 million paint tins stockpiled in UK households, with an average of 17 tins per household.
As someone who is passionate about sustainability in design projects, I found this issue deeply concerning and shared my thoughts with Emma. Together, we established YesColors with the objective of developing easily recyclable packaging for paint, inspired by the food and beverage and domestic cleaning sectors. Our one-litre recyclable pouch can be conveniently disposed of in household recycling, providing customers with the advantages of saving time, money, and space.
We are committed to being a genuinely sustainable brand, not only by implementing initiatives like becoming a B Corp or donating to environmental programs but also by creating innovative new paints and packaging to address the paint waste issue. We are also devoted to developing colours that resonate with people and continuously innovating to make our products less harmful to the environment while maintaining superior quality compared to other brands in the sector.
To create our paint, we have partnered with a century-old manufacturer that specialises in high-value commercial projects. This partnership enabled us to support British manufacturing while ensuring the quality of our paints and packaging. We believe it is vital to be transparent about our motivations and actions as a brand, and we are proud to prioritise sustainability and innovation in all aspects of our business.
That's amazing. Could you tell us more about the YesColours palette and the brand's positioning?
In our opinion, many brands seem to be too focused on tradition and heritage. As Gen Z comes of age and younger generations decorate their spaces with more colour, creativity and individuality have become increasingly important. At YesColours, we believe culture and creativity are intertwined, so our colour palette draws inspiration from the rich colours from Africa, Marrakesh, and Egypt, as well as more muted neutral tones and pastel colours.
Our brand's focus on colour is deeply personal, and we seek to create a unique experience for our customers by understanding their heritage, interests, and desired room aesthetics. We wanted to differentiate ourselves from other brands that primarily offer neutral colours, and instead offer a broader spectrum of shades to appeal to our customers' connections to culture across various fields, including fashion, retail, pop culture, music, film, and travel. This approach to colour, which prioritises connection over trends, gives our range a unique character.
For example, we're particularly proud of our electric blue colour, which is velvety and incredibly vibrant. We have an independent paint manufacturer who works exclusively with us to create rich colours and excellent finishes.
If you’re looking for a specific paint, our interactive palette on our website groups our colours into collections based on emotional objectives, such as calming, joyful, or serene. This helps guide our customers in choosing colours that evoke the desired mood and atmosphere for their space. While our collections contain similar tones, they're also flexible enough to offer a range of options for customers with different interests and preferences.
As a wrapping up sneak peak… What is next for YesColours?
We are excited to pursue a B-Corp certification and keep deepening our commitment to "Made in Britain". In the next few months, we’ll also be moving into the retail and interior design space, with many exciting collaborations coming up soon. We’re thrilled for the year ahead!
Armac Martin, a fourth-generation family business, has been a pioneer in luxury brass hardware and accessories since 1929. From its modest origins as a furniture fittings manufacturer, Armac Martin has evolved into a globally recognized brand in the luxury interiors industry, renowned for its exceptional design and exquisite detail.
At the heart of Armac Martin's success is a commitment to preserving heritage and craftsmanship, combined with a focus on sustainability. The company aims to reduce its emissions by 50% by 2025 and achieve net zero by 2041. To achieve these goals, Armac Martin has established an in-house Sustainability Committee and is working with experts to audit its business and develop science-based targets.
Armac Martin's sustainable journey begins at the design stage, with product development teams thoughtfully creating pieces with timeless appeal. Made from the finest solid brass, each product is skilfully engineered and hand-finished, resulting in a durable and long-lasting option. The company also reviews its portfolio of signature brass finishes to further enhance their durability.
Armac Martin's commitment to sustainability extends to the entire product journey, from manufacturing to packaging. Each year, 70 tonnes of brass swarf are produced, which is recycled at a specialist plant. The company is also in the process of eliminating plastic from its packaging and has already switched to paper void fill and water-activated tape. Additionally, Armac Martin is working to increase its use of renewable energy sources, with a goal of reaching 100% by 2025.
As a leading name in the luxury interiors industry, Armac Martin understands the importance of reducing emissions and pioneering sustainability in the manufacturing sector. By developing innovative solutions and focusing on sustainability at every stage, Armac Martin is committed to protecting and future-proofing our planet for generations to come.
Ilala, a high-end interiors brand, is a master in contemporary furniture and custom lighting, with each piece painstakingly handwoven in Africa. Established by visionary Miranda Vedral in 2018, Ilala partners with rural weaving communities in Malawi and Zimbabwe to create bespoke and sustainable designs using natural plant fibres. The beauty of their sculptural pieces lies in their natural imperfections and irregularities, celebrating the artistry of the process. From exquisite pendant lamps to stunning shades, Ilala's designs transform any space into a captivating and atmospheric haven. Each unique piece is a testament to the brand's unwavering commitment to craftsmanship, sustainability, and innovation.