We asked Peter Samuel from Pioneer Brush about his experience and building up the brand…
Tell us a bit about Pioneer Brushes…
Pioneer Brush is an off-shoot of my experience and knowledge, and has grown to be one of the foremost manufacturers of paintbrushes worldwide. Most of what we produce is sold as ‘private label’ but we have been slowly and steadily building our own brand in the UK now for some years, and count many of the major stores in the market now as customers. We produce over 18 million brushes a year in our factory in Tianjin, China and supply more than 20 countries worldwide with a range of over 5000 skus. From flats to ovals, rounds, radiators, stencils, fitches and dusters, all in styles and specifications to suit each market’s requirement.
What’s the innovation in the range?
Our eco range is an extension of the professional range we produce for the UK market. The concept is this… We believe strongly that global warming and climate change are real and feel that every industry needs to look at the products it produces and try to adapt to use materials that have less impact on the environment. So long as those materials do not affect the performance of the product in any negative way. Simply put; our Spirit Renaissance eco range is a professional quality range but with eco credentials.
To achieve this, we looked at each part of the standard range of decorating tools and used eco materials wherever possible. So, for the brushes and roller frames, for instance, we were able to substitute plastics and hard woods with composite materials made from sustainable bamboo and recycled polypropylene. The resulting handles are not only light, comfortable, and easy to grip but are also strong and hard wearing.
The same principle applies to the roller fabrics, the dustsheets, and the paint trays and inserts. We are not changing the performance of the product. Just adding environmentally friendly components where we can… Corn starch extract to make biodegradable dustsheets, bamboo cellulose yarns for the fabrics, and recycled paper for the trays.
What made you want to bring these to market?
We think that decorating products are an ideal category for an eco-range. Many items are designed for short term use and these are used and thrown away into landfill. Painting and decorating is by no means a small industry, if the trade in general decides to substitute fossil-fuel based components with eco-friendly components, that will have an impact. We are trying to encourage this process to happen.
Where can decorators get their hands on them?
We are selling through Brewers, many independents such as Paintwell and Leyland SDM, and are in discussions with others with a view to launch in their stores in the next few months. We’ll see what happens but are very keen for the range to succeed and be available across the UK in multiple locations.
I started my career in the brush industry in 1985, working as a trader for one of the leading merchants in brush-making raw materials, Delbanco Meyer & Co, based in London. The company operated worldwide sourcing all types of components (especially natural bristles but also synthetic filaments, roller fabrics, roller frames, plastics, epoxy resins etc) and selling these to brush factories all across the globe. Working there eventually gave me an in-depth knowledge not only of the paintbrush industry and the raw materials used in manufacturing but also of the manufacturing processes themselves and the different techniques employed in different countries.