In last week’s blog, I wrote about becoming more atune to the ecology I’m part of. This inspired me to look closer at the eco trail of my art supplies.
My watercolour paints are supplied my Winsor & Newton. Their parent company is Lindéngrupen, whose portfolio includes Beckers (industrial coatings), Höganäs AB (metal powder supplier to the automotive industry), and Moorbrook Textiles (woven-textiles supplier to the fashion industry) – none of which you could call environmentally friendly.
The paper I use is made by Daler-Rowney who are owned by an Italian company called FILA. As far as I could see, none of the paper they produce is recycled, which I think is shocking in this day and age.
On a more positive note, my paint brush manufacturers, Royal & Langknickel (owned by British company, Royal Brush Mfg), boast of “100% cruelty free art brushes” but then there’s the POSCA pens I use…
POSCA are part of the uni Mitsubishi Pencil company which, as the name implies, is part of the Mitsubishi group. The amount of companies that belong to the group are so numerous, that Mitsubishi have their own search engine to help you find them! However, an admittedly cursory glance found that Mitsubishi produce aluminium, electricity, chemicals, paper, and steel. Plus they also have their fingers in real estate, heavy industries, and banking. But most famous of all are Mitsubishi Motors. As you might imagine, I was shocked to find such a large, environmentally unfriendly, portfolio.
However, whatever the size of the carbon footprint these companies produce, it has to meet me half-way for I will add to it myself by visiting an art shop and returning home with my purchases or, otherwise, ordering home delivery online.
This being the case, I can’t just point my finger at others. Neither do I believe ‘blame and shame’ is helpful. I firmly believe we all need to work together to fight the climate crisis, not sow division. However, I do believe in taking personal responsibility for my actions. I have personal agency to create change – but I can only do that if I am informed of what I am contributing to.