A passion for traditional paints has lead to a business partnership with one of the UK’s top visitor attractions.
Earlier this year (2008) international business consultant Ross Harling set up Naturepaint – which makes environmentally friendly decorating paints – at premises in Hayle. Working closely with China clay suppliers in Par, Naturepaint has now launched a ‘Colours of Eden’ line in partnership with the Eden Project.
Mr Harling explained: “As makers one of the world’s safest and most eco-friendly decorating paints, it is natural that we should want to work closely with a world-class environmental education organisation such as the Eden Project.”
In launching Naturepaint Mr Harling was supported by three strands of Objective One investment: The Eden Project Supply Chain, SWIG (South West Investment Group) and Finance Cornwall.
Mark Beeley, Eden Project retail director, said: “This concept really caught our attention. We think it has tremendous potential and it meets with our ethos – it is predominantly made from Cornish materials, using plant extracts for colour and it’s very environmentally friendly.”
Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership Office, added: “This business delivers an environmentally sustainable, quality product and its expansion will open up specialist job opportunities in Cornwall. This is a welcomed example of our unique Cornish environment driving economic opportunity.”
In the 1900’s, the UK had a diverse paint industry based on local materials until synthetic and petrochemical paint making took over. However, some paints sold in the UK can contain potentially harmful chemicals that require hazardous and expensive disposal treatment by local authorities.
Mr Harling worked closely with Imerys and the Paint Research Establishment to develop his product and Naturepaint uses 50% China Clay. The product, which is simple to use, arrives as powder paint which reduces packaging and is 100% recyclable – any leftovers can be disposed of on a compost heap. Mr Harling aims to create up to ten full time, skilled jobs within the next three years.
Mr Beeley added: “In the Colours of Eden range there are currently some 25 colours and all are inspired by the natural colours and shades to be found around the Eden site”.
The paint is available now in the Eden retail shop or via the website: www.edenproject.com/shop