Decorating, building or making a change to your home can be full of decisions about the materials and products to use, sometimes putting sustainability on the back foot. That's why Celtic Sustainables is well worth turning to. From decorating and building materials to insulation and rainwater harvesting, you can find what you need and get the personal advice to help you through. Most importantly, every product is environmentally-friendly. Sarah from Celtic Sustainables shares more on the work of this sustainable Welsh business.
What does your business offer?
At Celtic Sustainables we select the finest environmentally-friendly products that benefit you and your home. We know good quality when we find it and that is reflected in the products we keep in our shop and sell throughout the UK & Ireland from our base in Cardigan, Wales.
We provide non-toxic, Low VOC alternatives to paints, wood treatments, fuels, insulation, and more for when you are redecorating or renovating your home. We also seek out products that will really help you save money on your energy bills.
The products we offer are safe, environmentally and people friendly alternatives to the conventional products commonly specified for modern buildings. Many of our interior ranges paints and finishes are certified child and animal safe.
Who’s behind the business and what are your values?
Dr Glyn Hyett founded Celtic Sustainables in 2008 and is now supported by a team of nine people. Together we strive to help our customers make better, more sustainable choices when it comes to decorating or renovating their home, office, garden furniture or more commonly their camper van or shepherds hut!
We like to know exactly what the products are made of and how, so that we can fully inform our customers of the choices they can make.
Tell me about a project you’re proud of
That’s a difficult one. We have been involved in so many over the years. From renovations of grade II listed buildings to beautiful eco holiday homes and stunning pieces of art. Ask each one of the team and you will get a different answer!
What we can agree on is that we are all very proud of the high level of customer service we give. Often our customers find themselves in tricky situations, for example finding a paint that won’t trigger an allergy or they simply might be new to DIY and never worked out how much insulation they need to put in their roof.
In a world of increasingly invisible online sales people we pride ourselves at being on the end of the phone (and in the shop) ready to offer advice and help people through their decision making process.
How has your business changed and learnt over time?
Growing an eco-friendly business is interesting. We are always looking out for new genuinely good products that we can offer our customers. We essentially started out with one main product – Earthborn Clay paint - and now have so, so many more– we’ve added 10 new products just in the last few months!
Packing paint and wood oils so that they arrive with our customers in one piece has developed a lot overtime, especially now that Courier Hubs are largely automated and Courier drivers increasingly under pressure to deliver more and more packages each day (think worst case scenario… vans stacked to the hilt, emergency braking, fast cornering and the quickest way to move something around is to throw it!).
It’s a balancing act for us –enough packaging to ensure if it gets dropped it won’t spill over everything while also remaining sustainable as we can, we are always looking to improve this. After a detailed conversation with WRAP Cymru about plastics we have added a packaging guide to our website to help our customers understand their recycling/reuse options.
What’s your local tip for working on your home?
Ahh, now that depends on what you are doing to your home! If we are talking colours, and you have purchased tester pots, don’t just paint the colours onto the wall, paint them onto a large pieces of card too (the back of a cereal packet or similar). That way you can move the card to different walls, different rooms even and see what the colour looks like in different places at different times of the day.
Otherwise, it’s important to have some understanding of the materials your home is constructed with especially if it’s an older building or a modern eco-build. Your home might need to be kept “breathable” which means your choices of materials and finishes are quite specific.
We have recently had a distraught customer who purchased an eco-home without really understanding the qualities of the materials used in the walls and whose decorators had painted the whole of the outside in a mainstream non-breathable paint. The immediate result was bubbling of the paint off the walls as the natural moisture within the walls couldn’t escape – something that wouldn’t have happened with a breathable finish.
What customers say:
"Products exactly as described (paint and roof insulation). Both now in use and doing an excellent job! What's not to like? Very impressed with Celtic Sustainables."
"I'm extremely happy with the Thermafleece Ultrawood and the customer support from Celtic Sustainables has been just outstanding."
"Quality product - Earthborn white paint for log cabin interior. No smell to mention other than light cosmetic smell (pleasant) single coat coverage and easy to clean up. A pleasure to use."