World Environment Day | 5 Reasons to Buy Original and Limited Edition Art

In case you haven't yet emerged from the rock COVID drove us under, it's 2022 and we've been making some positive changes. The perils of fast fashion are well-documented, and collectors are now turning their attention to the quality and longevity of the art they buy. In response to climate change and consumers' increased sense of social responsibility, charities such as the Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC) are developing strategies to make positive environmental changes in the world of commercial art. In May 2021, Christie's organised its first ever sustainable auction. 

Making a Difference

Artworks with a short lifespan – including posters and mass-produced prints – are being swapped for pieces that can make a difference. Whether it's through the use of recyclable materials, or a charity or community initiative, by buying high-quality artworks from independent artists or reputable publishers, collectors are lowering carbon emissions and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills.

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"At Castle Fine Art, it's important to us that our artists, suppliers and associates have the same values and vision as we do, so it's been a pleasure to work with our long-term partners who are helping us to make a difference.""

Ian Weatherby-Blythe

Group Managing Director at Castle Fine Art

What is Castle Fine Art Contributing?

Castle Fine Art is making sure to play its part in the shift to provide more environmentally friendly operations. Swapping simple practices in marketing, delivery services and framing logistics means the company has increased sustainability measures across the business. Eco-conscious clients can shop with confidence knowing Castle Fine Art works with suppliers such as Larson-Juhl, Acorn Press and Think Ambient. 

Acorn Press is proud to be ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 registered (systems for measuring, controlling and improving environmental impact) and are also FSC and PEFC Chain of Custody certified, aligning with Castle Fine Art's values and pledge to be more eco-friendly. Think Ambient provides our UK-wide network of 37 galleries with window vinyl prints made from a minimum of 80% recycled plastic.

Ian Weatherby-Blythe, Group Managing Director at Castle Fine Art, says: 

"As a company, we've always had a commitment to our clients and meeting their expectations, so with this in mind we have made several changes to the operations at Castle Fine Art to ensure that we are operating with a more environmentally friendly approach. From changing our packaging, to utilising QR codes in place of single-use materials, these adaptations to our logistics not only make for a more environmentally friendly business approach, but ultimately enhance the client experience."

Our commitment to sustainability for the future goes beyond operations. The company prides itself on working with artists who share the same belief and passion, such as Bob Oxley, Richard Rowen, Alfie Bowen and Steve Winterburn, who remain equally committed to wildlife and conservation efforts. From highlighting wildlife and conservation issues through collections of original and limited edition artworks, to implementing new eco-friendly business practices, Castle Fine Art is set to reduce its environmental impact with our long-term pledge to be more environmentally friendly.

Featured art (L-R): Robert Oxley, 'Punchline' & 'The Greatest Showman' hand-varnished boxed canvas, both £895; Richard Rowan, 'All The Time In The World II' giclée on glass, £995

5 Reasons to Buy Original and Limited Edition Art

1. The Care

They're better cared for. We're not talking cheap, mass produced prints from our favourite Swedish home store. We mean pieces which are the product of years and years of graft and dedication, that have been finished and assembled to the highest spec by specialist atelier teams.

2. The Details

The price reflects the great care and attention to detail each artwork commands, as well as the quality and bespoke nature of the materials used. Fair pay of staff is also considered in the price, including specialist atelier teams. If you're not sure what that means, read up on some of our most-used art-related terminology here

3. The Ethicality

For peace of mind, ethical art publishers work with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified suppliers and use materials that are biodegradable and free from plastics. This can include sustainably sourced wood, 100% cotton canvasses and acid-free, museum-quality paper, ensuring your favourite artwork is a beautiful, lasting addition to your home and good for the environment!



4. The Originality 

How many times have you seen the same 'Live, Laugh, Love' piece hanging in your friend's living room? What about an IKEA cityscape? Sure, it fills the space, but it's not exactly original. Purchasing limited edition or original art means you're acquiring a piece of history while adding personality to your home or office space. 

5. The Support

You're supporting a creative. When the whole world went into lockdown during the pandemic, many of us relied on creative industries to help steady and enrich our mental and emotional wellbeing. Artists take a big risk venturing off the beaten path to pursue their passion, but the world is a better place because of it. Author Joseph Chilton Pearce said, "To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong," and we couldn't be more thankful for the incredible creators who have overcome their own doubts. 

What is the Gallery Climate Coalition?

The GCC is an international charity organisation which sets "sustainability guidelines for the art sector." Their aim is to reduce the sector's carbon emissions by 50% by 2030, and plan to do so by getting the art world on board (think galleries, artists and related businesses). No small task. 

At the first ever GCC conference in 2021, titled Decarbonising the Art World, event host and cofounder Louisa Buck said, "We felt the art market was lagging way behind the public sector, considering the environment. The art world really needed to get its environmental act together."

To help do just that, the charity developed the Carbon Calculator -- a tool to help calculate the carbon footprint of businesses based on metrics common to most art galleries. Its functions inform on how to produce a more "sustainable art world, from shipping and travel, packaging and more."

Forest Sustainability blog

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