There are different approaches to chemistry. The industrial, synthetic one; and the one which resonates with nature: respectful of health and the environment.
Durga's storyIt was 1994 when Marco Susini, Tuscan, turns an essential page of the book of his life: I was involved in chemical research, and I wanted to start this little, gentle revolution. These are the origins and the first steps of Durga, a company that produces natural primers and paints (but also soap and sanitisers) in Acciaiolo, Pisa. Susini is one of the pioneers in the sector, and his revolution is anything but "small"! He plays it down:
We were not the first as the Germans started it. We have a couple of competitors nowadays...
Not many in a market born in the early 90s, at the beginning of the green approach to production. A market that is still a niche. The idea that started the fire is simple but indeed not easy to implement.
I wanted to create a series of products free from petroleum derivatives, allergenic substances, and products dangerous to the environment and humans.
The idea of Petrol-free varnishes and paints in a world dominated by multinationals was challenging indeed. The construction sector, at the time, was far from green building and eco-sustainability, travelling at full speed on other logic and culture: It was about getting involved with this bet. In the woodworking sector, too: petroleum derivative dominated everywhere. Susini explains. But the problem is that the effects of pollutants are still mainly hidden today. Durga, therefore, made a technical choice which is an ethical choice as well: we decided to follow the cycle of nature:
We choose natural ingredients that do not pollute the environment; we do not create or use molecules we do not know in nature.
No Prometheanism, therefore, but respect for the Divine Mother (which is the meaning of the name Durga in the Hindu religion). A choice that, over time, turned out to be right. Over the past twenty years, all the underestimated issues have slowly emerged. Think of allergies, a phenomenon that unfortunately is increasing: home furniture, parquet floors but also walls have become a threat - Susini complains - there are now numerous studies on indoor pollution, in the USA, in Europe and even in Tuscany. One of the paradoxical elements emerging from this story is that we bring pollutants into our own homes.
Indoor pollution is higher than outdoor pollution, meaning a house is sometimes more dangerous than outdoor environments!
Clarifies Susini. A river of poisons that flows into a sea of health problems: One consequence is, for example, asthma. Products such as water-based paints continue to be used, thinking that they are non-toxic, but they are vehicles for pollution. False myths that can be found in anyone's experience: who has never heard, with a smile, of a "water-based" paint? The problem is not the water, of course: but what is in the water!