Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's first child is due in April, which means a flurry of information about every aspect of the young royal's life is upon us. The most recent revelation? That, according to The Sun, the walls of the infant's nursery will be painted using vegan paint. That's right, not all paint is vegan, and because an endorsement from Meghan Markle can sell anything, paint that is will probably soon be A Thing.
An anonymous source — there seem to be a lot of those in the royal orbit, don't there? — told The Sun: "Rather than opt for fashionable Farrow and Ball paint in favoured shades such as Wevet, Peignoir and Pavilion Grey and Salmon, the Sussexes are much in favour of The Organic & Natural Paint Co’s Auro range for the nursery."
Deborah DiMare, who runs Miami-based vegan design firm DeMare Design as well as the website VeganDesign.org, explains that most house paint contains shellac, which comes from the female lac beetle; ox gall, which comes from cows; and casein, which is derived from milk. These additives, obviously, don't conform to a strict vegan diet, wherein many people eschew not only food made from animal products but also items like clothes, cosmetics, and home goods. "It's a healthy space, it's less toxic, it's good energy" DiMare says of all-vegan interiors like the ones her company specializes in.
"Animal products will also increase the embodied energy of a paint. This would be similar to the way you'd have more energy inputs in creating a big steak you buy at the store than something like a bowl of veggie chili," says Travis Pfohl of Unearthed Paints, a natural paints company. "It may sound funny, but cows contribute significantly to methane emissions. A practical advantage is avoiding the unpleasant smell you can experience while using traditional milk paints. In place of milk casein, we use vegetable casein or legumin as the binder for our paint."
"We often work with people painting nurseries and other spaces for children or with adults with health concerns who want to be absolutely certain that they're creating a safe healthy environment, so it comes as no surprise that this project is for Megan's nursery," he adds.
While we don't know if the rest of Markle's nursery will be vegan (though we do know it will be "chic") it does seem likely that her design choice will spark interest in vegan paint. Perhaps it will also prompt mainstream paint sellers to consider offering vegan lines — as of now, it's only sold by smaller, less widely available brands like Unearthed, Organic & Natural Paint Co., where Meghan and Harry bought their paint, Green Planet Paints, or through places like Vegan Design's Amazon shop. DiMare says most paints apply and look just like regular paint. (We reached out to several non-vegan paint companies for their thoughts, including Benjamin Moore, who declined to comment, and will update if we hear back.)
"The world is actually becoming more ethical and that's because of awareness," DiMare says of the potential trend. "Your generation [millennials] really has a social conscience. The older generations were about taking and the new generation is about giving back."
Markle's nursery will also be "gender neutral," with a color palette of whites and grays, as the couple has chosen not to know the sex of their baby prior to its birth. We're all for banning boring blue, predictable pink, and their heteronormative implications from the lives of newborns, but, well, who knew royals could be so woke?