Q&A with Amy Shipham, Sales and Marketing Manager at Newlife Paints
Q: What makes you stand out?
A: We were the first paint recycling (although technically it is remanufacturing) company in Europe, we now sell licences so there are several around but we all work together. Before our MD developed the process for remanufacturing paint all paint was being sent to landfill or incinerated, so we have massively impacted the paint industry.
Q: Why do you care?
A: Our Managing Director is a very logically-minded chemist and he was clearing out his garage one day and was dismayed to find there was no way to reuse the half full paint tins he had found, to him it was just a waste of valuable resources. He doesn’t see it as saving the planet, he sees it as reducing waste.
Q: Is being responsible good for business?
A: When you tell a customer that 50 million litres of paint go to landfill (or is incinerated) every year, they start to realise quite what a problem waste paint is. You then tell them that the paint is as good as “virgin” paint, so why wouldn’t they buy it?! You can add to the problem or you can do your bit and make it better.
Q: Has the business changed you?
A: Very much so. As a business we connect on social media to a number of green/eco/environmental companies, they all have different suggestions on how to be more eco, both at home and at work. We try to keep our supply chain environmentally friendly: our pots are 25% recycled material, our clay additives are from sustainable sources and the waste pots are sent for recycling. Personally at home I used washable nappies on my children, I have switched to eco shampoos, laundry products, kitchen supplies, organic clothing etc. Anything I can do to help, which doesn’t cost a fortune, I don’t mind doing my bit but I can’t afford to pay out extra for it.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love people’s reactions when I explain who I work for and what we do. I go through the same explanation every time and it never gets boring.
Q: Plans for the future?
A: We have changed the direction of business for Newlife Paints; initially we made paint and sold it and now we are focused on selling licences so others across Europe can start to recycle paint. We still make paint and our Reborn Collection is becoming more popular within the Interior Designers type market, however we have scaled back our manufacturing recently.