Caring about the environment

At Vanessa Arbuthnott we are aware of our responsibilities to the environment and are wholly committed to improving manufacturing processes in line with this. We choose to work only with ethical and accredited suppliers and we make business decisions based on the impact on the wider, global environment. We source our electricity from renewable resources, this shows that we support the generation of renewable energy.

I only buy certified organic cotton which is combined with eco-friendly flax, to create our unique linen union which we use for all our fabrics - printed and plains.

This is because non organic cotton is the world’s dirtiest crop to grow, because it relies on the heavy use of pesticides which are hazardous to human and animal health. Pesticide use has serious adverse effects on biodiversity and contaminates local water supplies.

Over time the pests build up resistance, so the farmers have to increase the amount of pesticide they buy to grow the same quantities of cotton. The high cost of these pesticides frequently puts the farmers into debt; in April 2009 in Chhattisgarh, a central Indian state, this caused 1,500 farmers to commit suicide.

The World Health Organisation reports three million pesticide poisonings per year in developing countries, where almost all cotton is produced. Symptoms of acute pesticide poisoning include vomiting, skin rashes, headaches, tremors, respiratory problems, muscle cramps, blurred vision, lack of co-ordination, seizures and death. By buying organic cotton you increase demand and help more farmers to be taken out of the debt cycle and have a better quality of life.

In my office we are trying hard to do all we can to reduce our impact on the environment: our heat comes from an air to air source heat pump and our sample room is highly insulated using sheep’s wool.

We use recycled paper and biodegradable cardboard. All our waste card and paper is shredded and used as bedding for our ducks and chickens, which in turn makes compost for the vegetable patch!

For all our Wall Papers we ensure all inks are classed as water-based, which means they are non-toxic and very low in VOC’s (volatile organic compounds). No solvent inks or vinyl substrates are used. All paper and nonwoven substrates are sourced from FSC® or PEFC certified forests. Vanessa Arbuthnott continues the chain of custody dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world’s forests as we are also FSC and PEFC certified. Our FSC certification number is SGSCH-COC-020053 and our PEFC certification number is GB14/90767.

All our wallpapers and wallcoverings are tested in accordance with EN13501-1:2007+A1+2009 European Fire Regulations and have a pass mark of B, s1-d0, allowing the papers to be hung anywhere within a commercial building. Our products comply with the European Product Standard EN 15102:2007+A1:2011 for wallcovering products.