Every pictureframe we make starts life as a tree ….
… and we take that as seriously as the art within
A LITTLE HISTORY
Pictureframes of Shaftesbury Ltd
Hope Elletson started a picture framing business in his garden shed in Salisbury, in 1989. Soon after starting, he moved into a large workshop in an old grain store on a working farm where he built the business for the next ten years. The first version of Pictureframes.co.uk went live in 1997 at which point it was the only picture framing website in the UK.
The company moved to it’s current location on the Wincombe Business Park in Shaftesbury in 2000, and started a fine art and photographic printing service alongside the framing services in 2006.
PictureFrames works for private customers, artists, galleries and corporate customers which have included Disney, P&O Cruises, Guinness World Records, Buckingham Palace and Rolls Royce Motor Cars.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE
What difference does it make to you whether your picture frames (and their mounts, any printing paper, backing back boards etc – anything timber based) are made from FSC certified wood? Well, I can’t say for sure what you would be getting otherwise, only…
what you’re not getting with the certification:
- Slave labour used in production
- Destruction of habitat for endangered species
- Destruction of indigenous peoples’ traditional way of life
- Pollution of Forest regions
- Over-harvesting of Forestry adding to climate change
WHAT MOTIVATED US TO BECOME
Since reading the 1999 environmental bible: “Natural Capitalism” published by the Rocky Mountain Institute, Hope had a nagging feeling that he was in an industry which causes a lot of trees to be cut down but doesn’t have any significant measures in place to ensure that those trees are cut down in the right way.
Three years ago, the business started to change direction, and now PictureFrames is the only full service bespoke picture framing & printing company in the world who is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®).
WHY DO WE BELIEVE FSC CERTIFICATION IS
We at PictureFrames believe that responsibly sourced timber is a very “environmentally friendly” construction material, but unfortunately, it’s not always responsibly sourced and the Amazon Forest alone is still vanishing at a rate of 20,000 square miles a year. As the World Wildlife Fund says: “By choosing FSC-certified forest products, you can be sure where they’ve come from, and that they won’t have been harvested in a way that causes irreversible damage to forests, people and wildlife.
WHAT FSC PRODUCTS DO WE SELL?
…that PictureFrames promotes face-to-face is now FSC certified, and over 88% of the frames on our website are certified. We expect to reach 100% on the website within the next six months.
We have a number of legacy customers for whom it has not yet been possible to source FSC certified materials but the materials we buy for these customers are not promoted to other customers and we are constantly moving established customers over to FSC alternatives
OUR CURRENT FSC INITIATIVES?
Heart & Soul Exhibition
Earlier this year we had a big sale to move some of the Non-FSC stocks of mouldings that we no longer offer as part of our range. We gave a third of the proceeds of this sale: £1,607.92 to the charity Hope and Homes for Children.
Also this year we received major recognition of its sustainability efforts when world famous wildlife artist Gary Hodges chose PictureFrames to frame all of the work in his Heart & Soul Exhibition. The exhibition raised over £160,000 for two charities – the Born free Foundation and the Environmental Investigation Agency. Here’s what Gary had to say about PictureFrames:
‘When planning my recent solo exhibition in aid of elephants, of course we wanted everything to be as environmentally friendly as possible. After some research online, we found the perfect match for our goal with the frames… pictureframes.co.uk Amazingly, they are the only fully FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) certified framer in the whole of Europe, meaning everything they use, from frames to backing board, comes from sustainably managed forests. On top of all this, the frames were beautifully crafted, with seamless corners and in the exact colour white we wanted. It was a huge exhibition, but the 174 framed pictures were all delivered without fuss on the dates requested. We will definitely be using this friendly company again for my next exhibition!’
HAS OUR COMPANY BENEFITED FROM
As well as helping us get the job to frame Gary Hodges’ exhibition, we were selected as finalists for the Blackmore Vale Media Green Award. It’s early days at the moment as it took a long time to change our whole portfolio over to FSC certified materials, but we feel that the certification and motivation behind it has a great resonance with many artists. We are hoping that we will get a job to frame an exhibition in Berlin next year where the FSC certification will be a major factor for the artist.
“This industry is 'way behind the curve' on timber certification.”
Much of the content of this page is based on an article about us in the November issue of Forest Matters, the FSC’s own published periodical. We are delighted and proud to be the subject of a ‘case study’ for the pictureframing industry and our commitment to the policies of the FSC.
Click the book above to read the article.
If you would like to read the whole magazine then please follow this link