fairf Hutspot

Fairf is changing the way we look at sustainable paint

Interviews

Are you planning to decorate your house with a killer new color? Fairf is a sustainable and qualitative alternative to your everyday wall paint. We sat down with founder Laurens van Dort to talk about their philosophy, why the paint is different and how they are doing good in many different ways.

Sustainable paint is something that we do not see often. How does it work exactly?
Let’s start off with the technical story: One of the most important elements of our paint is that the binder is made from recycled scrap wood. Because of this, waste is re-used as a main ingredient and the amount of CO2 pollution is limited. Also, no chemical thinners were added to the binder, which results in a product that is completely odorless. For this, we received an A + label for emissions in the living environment.

I heard that you once took a spoon of paint to prove that there is nothing of harm to be found. Is this true?
Yes I did! The paint is completely safe to have around children or to paint their toys with. Fairf is not really nutritious though, so I would recommend using it for just painting haha!

Does its sustainable quality also influence the way we use the paint?
We believe that a sustainable production process and sustainable application goes hand in hand.  The quality of fairf exceeds most professional paints. If you do need to paint an extra layer, then you can already start after one hour because the paint is made on a basis of water. The amount of pigment is higher, which results in intenser colors. We also encourage people to finish their paint till the last drop and to do something creative with the bucket. Maybe put a plant inside or use it as construction material for another creative project?

fairf Hutspot

How did fairf start?
Two and a half years ago, I joined the 1% Student Battle together with a couple of other students. In a team, we traveled to Brazil to start a crowdfunding project on how to bring more color to the slums of Rio. I believe that art is an effective way to express political statements and to empower a community, so we worked very closely with local artists in the area. The Color Academy is a factory founded to produce sustainable paint and to inspire local artists by offering workshops and supplies. After the project finished, I wanted to find a way to continue the financial support for the Color Academy.

What were the biggest insights when you started to examine the paint industry in the Netherlands?
I found the experience of existing paint brands to be very conservative. Communication is often very technical, the amount of colors overwhelming and the overall experience could just be a lot more inspiring. Most importantly, there was no sustainable alternative. I missed both a contemporary way of handing service and transparency.

How did you decide on colors?
We selected a series of 100 colors to choose from. Nothing more, nothing less. I do not really believe in trend colors, because a color should reflect someone’s personality in stead. Especially in your home, you need to pick a color that stands the test of time and that makes you happy. No 30 shades of pink. This just makes it harder to choose.

fairf Hutspot

How do people respond to the concept?
We get a lot of positive feedback. Not just because the paint is sustainable or because of the fairf Charity Projects and connection with Oxfam Novib, but also because we value the way we communicate with our consumer. Color should be something positive and we try to add a festive tone to everything that we do. Also, our color samples are painted with the actual paint and we offer high quality tool boxes that we do not earn anything from. We aim to make the process from choosing a color to painting in your home as easy as possible.

Any exciting projects you can share at this moment?
We believe that experiencing the colors in real life is very important. We are currently busy creating ‘fairfspots’ all around the Netherlands that each show a unique color. For example: are you curious what the color ‘Tessa’ looks like in real? Visit the fitting room in Hutspot Rotterdam and see it for yourself! We are also busy creating inspirational color routes along nice theaters, coffee bars etc. for people that are looking for some more inspiration. I cannot say much more about this yet, but all Hutspot stores will of course be included!

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