JS: It began through a conversation I had with a family member about the leftover paint tins building up in the garage. We were discussing how difficult tins are to dispose of in an environmentally friendly way – currently, over 55M litres of paint and 14,000 tonnes of tins go to landfill every year and only 2% ever actually get recycled. It’s astonishing.
We were inspired to create a paint brand that changes the way we decorate for the better, is benefit driven and puts purpose before profit. And also one that did things differently, unlocked people’s creativity and reignited everyone’s connection to colour. We didn’t want to be overly reliant on colour trends or the status quo in the paint sector.
We now have a unique and fully recyclable paint pouch that we hope will make it really easy for people to recycle their paint waste, and a selection of colours inspired by the world around us – from different cultures, travel, film, music and even food.
EB: John and I have been friends for over 20 years – we were both unemployed during the first UK Covid-19 lockdown and that’s when he came to me with the concept of YesColours. At first, I was more of a colour sounding board, but as the months went on, it became increasingly apparent that I was just as invested in the business as he was – that’s how our official partnership began as co-founders.
I’m also one of the lucky ones (so I think) to have Grapheme Colour Synesthesia, where I see particular letters and numbers in specific colours. Naturally, I am obsessed with colour and so couldn’t have dreamt of a better job!
JS: We’ve created Europe’s first recyclable paint pouch. Being hugely passionate about sustainability, I took to reinventing the customer journey, tackling the paint waste issue at the start, rather than the end, and offering paint to our customers in waste saving, fully recyclable packaging. We’ve also made sure that our paints are free of harmful chemicals with 0% added VOCs, 0% microplastics, vegan and cruelty free without compromising on quality, vibrancy or colour.
Our aim is to empower customers that care about the environment to help protect it, rather than putting more tins straight to landfill. We’ve kept sustainability at the heart of how we operate and will continue to do so, from our packaging to our supply chains, to our use of raw materials and supporting UK manufacturers. YesColours is Made in Britain accredited.
A huge part of creating a business is to also act in ways that can have a positive impact by working with local communities. We are working with a number of charitable organisations on community based projects to help young people feel good.
The positive impact that colour can have on both mental and physical recovery is not pseudoscience – it’s real and it’s proven.
I can’t wait to see our finished installation at Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital working with none other than Morag Myerscough – it’s going to make such an incredible difference to the ward.
EB: It’s been really rewarding growing the YesColours customer base organically over the last two years. We’ve done it naturally – much like our brand ethos – and used the network that both John and I have accumulated over the years to gift and support likeminded influencers, artists and designers across interiors, fashion and design.
We’ve also just wrapped up our first brand video, which we launched on our website and across our social channels. Seeing your brand in the ‘big lights’ feels so good and has definitely accelerated our desire to continue adding to our palette and explore bigger brand partnerships.
We actually secured a fantastic opportunity with Westfield London to be their exclusive paint partner for an experiential space being designed by Oliver Heath. It’s launching on 19th May, so do come down!
Evolving the reach
JS: The idea for YesColours grew out of our love for colour and sustainable solutions during the first Covid lockdown in 2020. We incorporated YesColours a few days before my birthday in October 2020. At the time, we were working from our kitchens and have since then moved to a hybrid model working from home and London coworking spaces.
In terms of the business strategy, this has evolved from a singular vision of how to tackle an environmental problem, to broader considerations around products and initiatives that we feel will have a benefit to our communities. Our considerations are now not only just DTC, but larger commercial projects and opportunities as well as brand partnerships.