September 20, 2018
Response to PETA on Badger and Natural Hair Brushes
PETA has released a disturbing video on the treatment of badgers in China in relation to the brushmaking industry. While Blick has no evidence that suggests animals used by our vendors in the manufacturing of their products were treated unethically, we take this situation seriously and would like to support customers who are concerned about this problem. In this, we are extending the conversation to include all natural animal hair brushes (e.g., Hog, Squirrel, Sable, and Kolinsky Sable). Our response is as follows:
1. Significant advancements have been made in recent years in developing synthetic filaments that perform as well or better than natural brush hair. While early-generation synthetics may have lacked the ability to hold and consistently lay down paint, many of the newer alternatives more closely match the characteristics and working properties desired by artists.
2. Product education has always been a top priority at Blick and we continue to educate our customers about today’s better-performing synthetic alternatives to natural brush hair. We also continue to pursue even more synthetic brush alternatives, including seeking out suitable alternatives to badger hair.
3. We believe customers who prefer natural hair brushes but are also concerned about the ethical treatment of animals may move to high-performing synthetic alternatives once they try them. We also believe that the customer adoption of less environmentally harmful products will continue to evolve over time.
4. Blick’s primary mission is to supply artists with the widest selection of products available to support and nurture their creative pursuits. A part of our mission is to educate consumers and also develop safe products such as the Utrecht Cadmium-Free Oil Colors we announced earlier this year.
We are committed to working with our vendors to make sure the components of the products we sell are ethically sourced and believe we can influence them to be vigilant in their oversight to help end these irresponsible practices.
Blick will cease buying product from any vendor that cannot confirm that their badgers are not inhumanely or illegally killed.
Chief Executive Officer
Please read our vendors' responses below:
da Vinci Brushes
Silver Brush Limited
Speedball and Escoda Art Products
Royal Brush Manufacturing Inc.