if not caused by, the chemicals we use in our environment. There is an appetite for consumers to search out alternatives that agree with their beliefs and needs.” UK commercial director of natural decorative paint company AURO, Jason Harries, agrees and says: “With allergies, asthma and chemical sensitivities on the rise, more people are taking the time to study what goes into the products that surround them and the effects these materials can have on them, as well as the environment. When you consider we spend approximately 90% of our time inside buildings or vehicles you realise how important avoiding pollutants can be.” Head of sustainability at

Kingfisher plc Caroline Laury says: “One way we’re already helping customers achieve toxin-free living and have a healthier home is through developing products that can improve air quality. B&Q pioneered the labelling of paint with VOC levels back in 1998 and, from this year, all our new unified paint ranges will be A+ rated for VOC emissions. It’s by editing our product ranges in this way that we’re answering customers’ needs sustainably.”

Aim to inspire

“Consumers don’t lack imagination but they do need inspiration and confidence,” says Ben from Thorndown Paints.

“Social media platforms, such as Pinterest and Instagram, are a great way for consumers to work out what they want to do; the problem is the paint categories are far too complicated,” he continues. “By creating the best-performing paints, we also offer great versatility. For example, our wood paint can be used on any wood anywhere, inside or out. Rather than having to pore over endless options on a shelf to decide what paint is best for your project, you just need the one tin. It also requires very little prep and no top coats or waxing so the application process is really easy too. This simplicity allows the consumer more

whatever they are trying to achieve.”

“We truly believe that everyone has an interest in using more environmentally-friendly products, nowadays you don’t have to live in a tree to be an eco-warrior,” Ben laughs. Kingfisher’s Caroline Laury says:

“A quick glance at YouTube and Pinterest shows that interest in DIY remains strong but there are barriers facing people that can make home improvement a nightmare. Many people don’t have the skills, the time or money to do everything themselves and might need some inspiration. Outside help is often needed, and hiring professional tradespeople isn’t always within budget.”

freedom for creativity in

“Nowadays you don’t have to live in a tree to be an eco-warrior.”

She continues: “At Kingfisher we

believe everyone should have a home they can feel good about. Our purpose is to create good homes by making home


accessible for everyone – that can be about providing inspiration, products, or knowhow. “We are supporting customers in

creating good homes by providing products that work for them and have

from the start.

sustainability designed in “While customers want to create

more sustainable homes, the majority won’t just buy a product because it’s labelled as ‘sustainable’, explains Caroline. “Quality and value for money remain important. So we’re embedding sustainability into how our products are designed and editing our product ranges, so that customers get what they need and make sustainable choices easily.” Jason says AURO has a very loyal long-standing customer base but the company is also being discovered by a new generation, especially those

10 AUGUST 2018 DIY WEEK 23

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