Yes, art can be sustainable too

As many global brands shift their operations to minimise their impact on the planet, artists such as Olya Karpova prove that you can continue to create beautiful work in a sustainable way. This Dubai-based artist tells us more about her eco-conscious lifestyle and the inspiration behind FORMA BY OLYA.

Yes, art can be sustainable too

What does sustainable living mean to you?

For me, sustainable living is mindfulness and awareness. You have to notice your consumer habits and try to change them for the better. You have to choose the materials of the products wisely but, most importantly, I think you have to better educate yourself on things that are happening to our planet, and how you can help to change it for the better. Many assume that one person’s efforts do not matter, but I strongly believe that no change is too small, and together we can change things for the better.   

How did you start FORMA BY OLYA?

After graduating from university with a visual arts degree, I was obsessed with the idea of starting my own art business. When the time finally came, I wanted to do things differently. I realised that there are not that many eco-conscious products on the market when it comes to art, and even home decor in general. So, I wanted to give this option to people but also to show other art businesses how things could be done using environmentally friendly materials and practices.

Sustainability is the core of your business. Was it a fundamental concept from the very beginning or something you decided to pursue along the journey of building a business?

Yes, it was from the very beginning. Since I have been blogging for a while now about eco-conscious fashion and lifestyle, I already knew some of the things that businesses should incorporate to minimize the impact on the environment. It involves everything, from packaging to materials. That is why I decided to have my art printed only on FSC certified 100% post-consumer recycled paper with vegetable inks – this way, even if my art will somehow end up in a landfill one day, it will just decompose without releasing harsh chemicals into the soil and water.

What challenges do you face as a sustainable business owner?

I think the biggest challenge is educating people on environmental issues and why you should keep them in your mind when shopping for anything. To be honest, I have not always been that concerned about our planet as I am now, and the only thing that has changed my mind and my perspective is educating myself on the topic. Therefore, I decided that I wanted to help educate customers, and show how their choices can make a difference. I use my social media, particularly Instagram, to raise awareness around conscious consumerism and the importance of choosing products and materials that do not harm our environment.

What are your plans for the future?

I am planning to add some more products in the next months that I think my customers will love. I am also constantly working on finding more ways to make my business even less impactful on the environment such as offsetting carbon emissions from all my shipments – something that I believe all businesses should do. As the business grows, I will also be increasing the amount I donate to different environmental organisations from every sale. Currently, it is 5% but I would love to be able to increase this.

Visit to order your eco-conscious limited edition art prints by Olya Karpova, created with love and care for our planet.



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