Can we have wallpaper that is really green…meaning eco friendly? Does it even exist?
Wallpaper has been used as a wall decoration since the thirteenth century and has been an excellent way to add texture, warmth and colour to a room.
Wallpaper consists of a backing, ground coat, applied ink, and paste to help it adhere to the wall. Non woven backings can be of ground wood, wood pulp, or wood pulp with synthetic material. The ground coat is the background colour laid on the surface, which receives the printed pattern. The final coatings or laminates are made of latex or vinyl (polyvinyl chloride) and render the paper durable and strippable.
The traditional manufacture and printing of wallpaper is not particularly environment friendly as it uses wood products to make the paper slurry, adds bleaches and chlorines to clean the slurry and uses synthetic fibres to add texture and design to the wallpaper.
While these wallpapers and coverings do a great job design wise, they do not make good eco-sense. They are full of VOC’s and their manufacture has no post consumer content.
Now with the movement towards green interior design, manufacturers and designers have begun working with environmentally sustainable wallpapers and coverings and adhesives. This movement toward green wallpaper is producing very elegant and ecological wall design applications for kitchens, living areas, commercial spaces and even bathrooms.
Wallpaper is not considered essential to the decoration of a structure; however, it has become a quick and convenient method by which to impart style, atmosphere and colour into a room.
Founded in 2008 by Central St. Martins’ graduate Shanan Campanaro, Eskayel is a New York based surface design firm.
Eskayel designs a large range of imaginative hand-painted wallpaper patterns. These papers are made from natural and recycled materials, clay coated for durability and are vinyl free.
Eskayel’s mission is to create energetically positive, eco-friendly, wall-coverings, fabric, carpets, accessories and furnishings that are meant to last and bring value through innovation and beauty into homes and public spaces.
Talking about the driving principle of her firm, Shanan avers, “We have a strong commitment to the environment and we aim to spread that message through our marketing, product description and manufacturing to effect education and loyalty to this cause.”
Nature and travel are what inspire Eskayel the most. The colours of the sunset and Ocean are a huge influence. Eskayel wallpapers’ design process usually starts with painting patterns based on pictures taken during traveling and deriving colour schemes from nature. Water plays a big role in the creative process as painting is done with aqueous inks, often soaking the paper completely and letting the colours bleed and blend into one another.
There is no vinyl in any of their inks or wall-covering substrates and this is extremely important to Eskayel as VOCs are still a huge problem in the wallpaper industry. Their wallpapers are made using only natural linens and organic cottons for the fabric bases and for their commercial grade fabric and wallpapers they use recycled materials whenever possible. All the inks used in the wallpapers are water-based.
All of the water-based inks used by Eskayel are produced locally in the northeastern United States. Making all products, only to order, Eskayel eliminates overproduction and thus reduces waste.
This very eco conscious business also gives one percent of its total sales to environmental organisations through its partnership with One Percent for the Planet.
Shanan, the CEO of Eskayel, travels to every corner of the world and uses the different sights and unique experiences as inspirations for her designs. Apart from that, her brainwaves could even be stimulated by her favourite pastimes and practically anything else that happens around her.
Text Compiled By Mala Bajaj