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Winners: Environmental Social Enterprise in Yorkshire & Humber ’22 goes to Seagulls

What a brilliant week!

Social Enterprise Yorkshire & Humber hosted their 2022 awards. The event took place at The Shay Stadium, Halifax, and we were lucky enough to be shortlisted for the Environmental Social Enterprise award.

We sat in the final with our friends over at Zero Waste Leeds. They do amazing work helping make Leeds a zero-waste city by 2030.

Also, YORGreenCic, who supports communities to create and manage green space, and meet future demands through multi-functional land use. To be up against such inspiring organisations was truly amazing, and a huge well done to both for getting into the final.

The award ceremony was full of selfless organisations and people, which made us super proud to surrounded by them.

After our win, the Judges said: “They have made a huge impact on the environment and their commitment, tenacity, creativity and dedication is what has enabled the to succeed.”

The comments where truly humbling and the recognition is marvellous.

So, a huge thank you to Social Enterprise Yorkshire & Humber, and to Ali Ward for organising such a fantastic event.

Cheers to Seagulls being the Environmental Social Enterprise in Yorkshire & Humber 2022!

Our biggest paint order…EVER!!

Some exciting news from us over at Seagulls… We received our biggest paint order to date!

What was the order?

It was from a lovely lady called Nicole-Rose from Surrey. Her order was for 25 x 10L bespoke paint colours. She also got some brand new white matt, silk, gloss, undercoat and floor paint.

Nicole’s budget was set at £800 although the order came to £842.50! But for an order of this size, we obviously let her off the £42.50. This was still the biggest paint order we have ever received and the team were eager to get working on it!

We knew that Nicole’s order was a bargain, so we broke it down to compare with leading brands. We just knew this would make a brilliant price comparison.

Price Comparison

Through online research, we found that 10 litres of a bespoke colour from Dulux would cost approximately £150.

So, if our calculations are correct this means 25 x 10L is worth approximately £3750. This is already a saving of £2950! Add some new stock on top of that and we’re talking approximately £4000+ for the entire order!!!

It took our team less than one week to mix the ENTIRE order and we loved the challenge.

We deliver within the Leeds area for a £10 fee, for larger orders, we could potentially deliver for free. Don’t let geography put you off a large order, we might still make financial sense, even to pick up as Nicole did! It’s always worth getting in touch.

Over to Nicole-Rose for some lovely feedback:

“Thank you all so much first of all for such an incredible service. Andy particularly was brilliant at keeping me updated on the progress of the order. I heard about you from an art shop in Leeds City Centre (Fred Aldous) when I was looking for a local paint supplier. I was presented with an opportunity to redesign a theatre in Central London and when I visited the space I knew I’d need a lot of paint.

Nicole with her £800 order
Nicole with her £800 order

I looked you up on Google and found your website really easy to follow, so I placed an order. I’m a huge believer in supporting local businesses and I love your philosophy of re-using paint that would have otherwise been sent to landfills because I hate the idea of waste.

Thank you for the brilliant service and a warm welcome and a really quick turnaround in getting the paint ready in line with my deadline. You have a customer for life as far as I’m concerned.

Colour Match For Paint Service

Do you know about our bespoke colour-matching service?

If you are a Seagulls regular, you may know about our bespoke paint mixing service. This service bespoke service means we can match whatever colour your heart desires, just for a few pounds extra than off-the-shelf paint. Off the shelf, paint starts at £5.50 for 2.5L, whilst 2.5L of bespoke colour-matched paint starts from just £11.

Shopping at other businesses, such as Farrow & Ball could set you back £52!

Dulux and Farrow & Ball are two colour charts that we work best off, and there is plenty of them in-store, or you can find them online too. A lot of you request colour matches of specific items, which we love to do.

We thought this would be the perfect place to show you guys some examples of our colour matching skills, and what our paint mixing experts can whip up.

Match It Monday – Bespoke Paint Mixing In Action

If you follow us on social media, you may have seen our weekly ‘Match It Monday’ TikTok videos. Every Monday, we pick something random from Seagulls and put our paint mixing experts to the test. They never fail! Take a look for yourself;

https://www.tiktok.com/@seagullspaint/video/7070466280247086342?is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1
@seagullspaint

You can’t live in Yorkshire without saying ‘Ey Up’ once in a while.. so we made a mosaic kit of it #yorkshire #eyup #mosaickit #mosaicart #diy #craft #leeds #uk

♬ As It Was – Harry Styles

Remember folks that our colour match for paint service is done by eye, no fancy colour machines around our place.

9/10 we’re bang on, the odd occasion may need a reblend but this is rare. If you have a certain colour in mind it’s always best to pre-order through our website (it gives us time to play with colour).

Bespoke paint mixing by eye also means we can never guarantee the same colour twice. Please make sure you order enough paint for your project to avoid any disappointment.

One last thing, our mixing magic does not extend to specific colour matches for Woodwork Paint. The pigments we use are only suitable for water-based emulsion, meaning we are unable to mix the same colours in gloss that we can in the emulsion.

Pastel Pink Garden Set

Get your garden ready for spring

Spring is slowly approaching, which means one thing, time to decorate your garden! With the unconventional British weather, keeping your garden intact over the colder months can seem impossible. So now the forecast is looking up, it is time to revamp your garden.

Flowers, plants and outdoor lighting are no longer the only ways to revamp your outdoor space. A lick of paint can go a long way, and change your space entirely for the warmer weather.

Shopping with Seagulls will keep costs low, but quality high, and certainly impress your garden party guests.

Also, we have an amazing offer on all repurposed masonry paint, on sale for just £1 a litre for all of March.

What needs painting in your garden?

Here is a list of things that may need a fresh lick of paint after the miserable weather;

  • Shed
  • Garden Fence
  • Garden Furniture
  • Plant pots
  • Decking
  • Exterior house wall/doors

What you need to do before painting

There are multiple steps you must take into consideration before you begin your project;

  • What type of surface you are working on?
  • What is the quality of the surface?
  • Will it need sanding, or even the use of a pressure washer to clean it up
  • Have you thought about applying a primer first for durability

What paint should you use in your garden?

So you have prepped your surface, what now? It’s time to paint!

Wooden surfaces/decking- 100% acrylic water-based paint to give the evenest paint coverage

Doors- A high gloss finish for that extra pop

Metal outdoor surfaces- Oil-based exterior paint will be most effective in preventing rust.

Plant pots- Exterior water-based paints, using a small brush for precision

How to pick your colours

Gardens have slightly more free reign than interior spaces. Using bright colours can give your outdoor space that extra pop in time for the warm weather.

We offer a Bespoke Paint service, for water-based paints only. A lot of outdoor paints are oil-based, which we unfortunately can’t mix, as our pigment.

You can nab yourself 2.5L of Bespoke paint for just £11, rather than £52 from Farrow & Ball.

Whilst 5L of Seagulls bespoke paint stands at £16.50, rather than £89 at Farrow & Ball.

If you are swaying towards an oil-based paint, then we most likely have what you are looking for on our shelves, just nip in and find your match!

We can mix any colour you want

What you will need

We sell everything you need, not just paint! Here are some things you can pick up at Seagulls

  • 4″ Masonry brush £5
  • 4″ Shed brush £5
  • 9″ Harris Roller with 4 heads £9.50
  • 10pk solvent roller heads £12.99
  • Ready Mixed Filler 1.4kg £4
  • Scraper £2.50
Our paint supplies can be found behind the till

We can’t wait to see you all!

Be a nice human

Have an inside look into our Online Shop

Seagulls aren’t just on Kirkstall road, you can also treat yourself on our Online Shop.

You can find almost anything (that may be a slight exaggeration), but you would be silly to not check it out.

Merch

We have a variety of different T-shirts for sale at the moment. Our newest addition is the ‘Respect the Difference’ Tees, designed by our good friends over at Secret Industries. We screen-print all of our T-shirts in the house!

You can buy the T-shirts here.

Our Green ‘Respect the Difference’ T-shirt designed by Secret Industries

Made By

We have recently swayed away from Seagulls Lifehouse, a name that we stuck by for many years. Lifehouse was a place where people can gain new life skills via our workshops.

We found many people becoming confused as to what Lifehouse meant, eventually deciding to change our name to Seagulls Workshops.

Within Seagulls Workshops, we host Silversmith, Coppersmith, Upcycling and Decorating workshops. Leon also makes all of the beautiful items listed on the ‘Made By’ section of our Online Shop.

As well as T-shirts, you can also find handmade items on our site, all made from recycled materials.

A best seller is the Shirley Shelf.

The shelf is plain with the intention of painting, waxing or varnishing the shelf to your requirements.

The shirley shelf is a best seller on our online shop.
Our Shirley Shelf is decorated with a ‘Spread the Love’ print

Another favourite is the Beauty from the Floods prints.

Our ‘Beauty from the Floods’ B2 Print

In 2015, we suffered massively when Seagulls was submerged in water due to the Boxing Day floods.

The river water left devastation, chaos and a thick layer of mud. The only silver lining from this climate change emergency were the beautiful images we were able to capture, and a visit from Jeremy Corbyn himself.

Seagulls worked in collaboration with the renowned screen printer Jonny Akers to produce this beautiful hand-pulled full-colour print of our Beauty from the Floods artwork.

Mosaic

Mosaics are a customer favourite.

We have an on-site mosaic studio at the back of the yard. In the studio, you will find Ben making up all the mosaic kits that you can purchase here.

You can buy a variety of different mosaic kits instore and on our online shop.
One of the lovely mosaics that you can purchase to make yourself.

There is a variety of seasonal kits, such as Halloween and Christmas themes. You can even spruce up your front door by purchasing our ‘House Number Mosaic kit’. It is really simple! Just purchase online, stating what number and colours are needed before it is delivered to you.

Paint

If you feel like ordering paint from the comfort of your own home (especially in this weather), you can place orders via our online shop here.

Once we receive your online orders, we simply call you if we need anything clarifying. When the paint is ready we call again to let you know it’s ready for collection.

We don’t offer nationwide deliveries, but we do hold a Leeds-based delivery service Monday to Friday.

A variety of paint colour mixed by our staff instore.
A variety of colours mixed by us.

Our site can also guide you on how to donate paint at the landfills in and around Leeds, that way your paint can get to us safely.

The UK’s waste paint crisis

Our paint collection points at recycling centres

The UK is in a waste paint crisis, drowning in leftover and unwanted paint. Yorkshire alone has 4.5 million litres of leftover paint, this is enough paint to cover the Tees Transporter in Middlesbrough 229 times. It is even enough paint to cover the footprint of Barnsley twice with some to spare.

So, what’s the solution to the paint crisis?

Seagulls has been part of the solution for nearly 20 years, helping to divert over 3 million litres away from landfill and reprocessed it for sale in our paint store  

The Paint Store

What’s happening across the rest of the UK?

Firstly, Seagulls are unique, really making traction in the world of paint. There is no one else like us! Opportunities for recycling paint are patchy across the country. There is a scheme called Community RePaint that may operate in your area. However, you may need to check their site too see what they accept, as it is often limited to newer tins of paint.

However, all is not lost. People in high places have began to talk about what happens to leftover paint, which will work to fight the paint crisis. In spring 2021 the Royal Society of Chemists approached Seagulls, keen to understand what we do. The outcome being that they asked Seagulls to be their case study for a national campaign.

Why is a campaign needed?

According to research by the Royal Society of Chemistry, ‘Lockdown-inspired decorating has led UK households to stockpile enough paint to coat the Forth Rail Bridge 212 times.’ In partnership with celebrity decorator, interiors stylist and DIY queen Linda Barker, the Royal Society of Chemistry is calling for government action as it launches an industry task force to make DIY more sustainable, with Leeds-based reuse and recycling initiative Seagulls Reuse a perfect example of how paint could be recycled across the UK.’

Linda Barker with some of our team!

Facts & Figures

To put this amount of paint into context, the Royal Society of Chemistry has crunched some numbers, equating the amount of leftover paint to landmarks throughout the UK. It makes for some interesting reading.

North East

2 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle 170 times.

North West

5.5 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover the Silver Jubilee Bridge in Runcorn 194 times.

East Midlands

3.5 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover the entire footprint of the city of Lincoln.

West Midlands

4.5 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover Sutton Park, Birmingham over 5 times or paint an area the size of the Bullring shopping centre 469 times.

East of England 

5 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover the footprint of the city of Cambridge 1 and a half times.

London

5 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover Tower Bridge over 229 times.

South East

7 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover the footprint of the city of Brighton.

South West

5 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover the footprint of the city of Bath nearly twice.

Wales

2.5 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover the Menai suspension bridge in Anglesey over 508 times.

Scotland

5 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover Forth Rail Bridge 20 times.

Northern Ireland

1.5 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover Rathlin Island, off the coast of Ballycastle, with some to spare or paint the Giant’s Causeway over 22 times.

You can read more about the Royal Society of Chemists campaign and if you don’t have a scheme in your area you should write to your local MP and ask them for one! Details can be found here

Staff and volunteers collect paint from a household waste site.

If you live in Leeds you can donate paint by taking it to your local household waste site. Find out where your nearest site is by clicking here

You can also sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with the campaign, our news and for special offers

Is your old paint killing the environment?

Is your old paint killing your local environment, even though you took it to your local waste site? 98% of waste paint currently ends up in landfills or is burnt, causing unnecessary harm to the environment. Paint being chucked into landfills can make its way to rivers and the sea, causing massive harm to wildlife.

This valuable resource is causing harm when it could potentially find a new life on somebody else’s walls. Seagulls have been tackling the problem of waste paint head-on, for nearly 20 years.

Pre Covid, Seagulls collected 400 tonnes of paint per year. This number has dipped slightly since the pandemic but we are hopeful it will increase again.

I want to help the environment, where can I donate my paint?

If you live in Leeds, it’s easy to donate, there are Seagulls paint banks on every household waste site in Leeds.

https://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/bins-and-recycling/recycling-sites

Rob emptying one of our paint banks.

We kindly ask people to drop their unwanted paint at their local waste site and NOT Seagulls. This is for 2 reasons:

  1. Avoids fly tipping in our yard
  2. The paint collected from waste sites gets weighed and recorded. Most importantly, Leeds City Council pay for the amount of paint collected.

What paint can be reused and how can I tell?

Any tin that has more than a couple of inches left in the pot and has NOT gone off can be reused. You will know if the paint has gone bad because it will either be solid or smell like rotten eggs! We reprocess good and bad paint so don’t worry too much about the quality as we will safely dispose or recycle any paint that we cannot reuse.

Solid paint and empty paint tins can be put in your general household bin.

We accept household emulsion, masonry paint, timber care, gloss, varnish, eggshell and undercoat.

But what if I don’t live in Leeds?

It’s possible your local authority has a community RePaint scheme, you can find out here.

If not, then lobby your local Councillors and MP to ask why there are no paint reuse facilities in your area.

For years there has been a ‘postcode lottery’ for paint recycling, the facilities for which differ between local authorities, with 98% of waste paint currently being burnt or sent to landfill. But the Royal Society of Chemistry is now calling for UK governments to provide better support to local reuse and recycling initiatives.

Whilst the companies behind paint brands Dulux, Farrow and Ball, Johnstone’s Paints and Ronseal are calling for government engagement with the British Coatings Federation’s PaintCare blueprint for a national remanufacturing programme.

The Royal Society of Chemistry is calling for:

Government and local authorities to provide more support to paint recycling and reuse initiatives, such as Seagulls Reuse and the BCF’s PaintCare programme, making it easier for consumers to recycle paints no matter where they live

Government to directly invest in research programmes for sustainable alternatives for PLFs

Consumers to reduce wastage of paints by buying only what they need

Consumers to write to their MP asking for change – further details can be found here.

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