What are the things that are most important about sustainability to a florist? What better way to find out than to ask around in the global network of floral designers! Different types of florists. Florists that own shops, florists that create large scale wedding- and event installations and florists that own organic flower farms. Environmental sustainability is a sensitive matter for most florists. People talk about the first steps being taken towards eco-friendly floristry and the importance of being aligned as florists with clients in this matter. Some florists think it is the least they could do in return for our planet to be as respectful as they can. Other florists already work with sustainability on top of their priorities list.
Florist Insights on Sustainability
Insights into how florists worldwide replied to the question that arose while reviewing this sustainable topic: How do you interact with sustainability as a florist?
Tuba Belgin Oskan
"In these last few months, because of the COVID-19 pandemic we have realised that if we leave nature alone, it has an amazing ability to care for itself. Therefore, I believe we should all see the sustainability issue through this simple truth. The nature has its own cycles, methods and flows and all we have to do is to slow down and try to remember and learn how the mankind used to collaborate with nature before this excessive consumption period has begun.We, florists, are in a very close relationship with nature and therefore I believe we should all be more sensitive about environmental sustainability. Avoiding to use all kind of plastic materials, chemicals and one-time use products like floral foam are definitely the first steps to a eco friendly floristry. We should all try to reuse, recycle all the materials we use to create and search environmental solutions for wasted flowers, especially after big events, weddings and etc. I personally wish to see more local growers in my country, Turkey, as a major act of environmental sustainability. As a conclusion I’d like to recommend everyone to watch the documentary, “The Biggest Little Farm” in order to witness the power of soil and nature."
"Factors that are important to me and affect the sustainable development of my florist-carreer are:
- A clear law favorable to entrepreneurs.- Stable political situation in the country.- Strong flower lobby.- Clean situation on the wholesale market (with regards to retail ban).- Increasing customer awareness and expanding their needs for floral shopping habits.- High-level training to meet the needs of florists"
"We florists on average produce a lot of garbage, in the past surely the use of many plastic products contributed to the pollution. Today I try to avoid plastic wrapping, first because I think this style is out of trend, second because we increase the ecological disaster. I don't like wrapping flowers I think it is out of fashion, I am looking for natural fabrics, natural paper, or natural materials such as straw- or rice paper. Only using plastic wrapping when I have to because it is requested by the customer.
To compose I use a lot of glass tubes. Only when I am forced by situations, I use plastic. The new floral trends allow foam-free work. I'm happy. I understand that it is difficult to compose without, the new vegetative or similar styles require only ceramic pots and so much know-how to do with the lengths of the flowers and shapes, it is more complicated, but the result is fantastic.In this moment where I have the feeling that people need freedom, getting rid of a lot of garbage and many non-ecological products is a priority, also you can compose trendy items and give a hand to ecology. I also tried to explain this to my customers by making some changes and I found fertile ground with them on this topic, so I'm happy."
Hitomi GilliamIn early March, the Trend Summit 2020 Conference, Symposium and Workshops were held in Vancouver, Canada. The following story was provided by Hitomi Gilliam AIFD.
"We believe flowers and plants are essential to the wellbeing of humanity. We believe Innovation and Creativity will produce design-driven solutions to support sustainability in the green profession. We believe in the goals of the zero-waste hierarchy to rethink, redesign, reduce and repurpose. We encourage and respect your efforts to pursue those goals. Can we come together, commit and move forward in this direction?
“I think any movement towards reduction and more sustainable practices is crucial. I always say floral designers are the “keepers of beauty” it’s our responsibility as we are“I think any movement towards reduction and more sustainable practices is crucial. I always say floral designers are the “keepers of beauty” it’s our responsibility as we are dependent on the earth for our profession.”
"Since as florists we work with the beautiful harvests of nature on a daily basis, the least we could do to our Mother-Nature in return is to be as respectful as we can. Sustainability is therefore on top of our priorities.
In fact, we prefer using locally produced flowers and plants, that’s why we like to show people that there is a very big and beautiful range of local production that can be used instead of imported varieties. When it comes to materials, we combine eco-friendly techniques using less foam for example, and use the products that respect the environment the most. In addition, we use our accessories over and over again, in a different way, form or color, or in an upcycled way, just to avoid throwing them. Even if we don’t have advanced drying techniques, we prefer to dry any flowers remaining so we can use them in another project or concept. On another note, we are recently trying to give away our plastic waste to a recycling plant that gives me compost in return!As for the social aspect, we tend to create a community around floral art, uniting people who appreciate the nature, art and floristry. Hence, we post something on our platform every day in order to show our friends something lovely on their feed, and to brighten up their days, even if just for a short minute.
As I’m passionate about floristry, the economical aspect becomes less important. Whether the project has a big or a small budget, the dedication remains the same and we deliver the same quality of work."
"It's important to reuse as much as possible. Sometimes it’s not about ‘what’ you use but ‘how’ you use the materials that matters"
"As florists we give flowers to add something positive to someone’s life. This should be also positive (or at least neutral) for the world as a whole. If we harm nature in the process, are those positive emotions of a human worth it? The use of more ecological-friendly techniques can be more labor intensive if you stick with the designs that were made while counting of the floral foam.This is not a choice that small businesses are in a position to take. What each of us can do is creating designs that are sustainability minded. And then gradually move clients towards those choices. Direct collaborations of floral artist with the local growers are one of the important trends of the near future in my humble opinion."
By Ven Lam
"As a florist, living in the electronic world of the twentieth century, we should keep pace with the times, not only in our own studios or flower shops, but to make good use of network and electronics industry technology to make us more rapid, convenient and economically developed to catch up with our customerbase and learn new things outside the region and to grasp the trend in the first place.
Our catching angle should be more sensitive, such as the color, flower species or the trend of the plants, and we can provide the best choices and opinions to customers at the first.Self-improvement is also a very important part. In today's highly competitive environment, not only rely on hard work, but also improve your own technique and recognition. This is because in this difficult epidemic, the traditional model of the flower shop owner will bring greater impact. Facebook, instagram, Weibo or Twitter, these tools can take you to every corner of the world in less than a minute. Online shopping or online teaching is also a new approach in the new economic model."
"1. Develop good 'Train the Trainer' courses/syllabus to produce high quality, professionally trained and certified floristry course educators2. Create awareness and promote high quality course syllabus for aspiring florists/interested candidates who want to take up floristry as a profession.3. Regular exchange of best practices in floristry education via demos, workshops, and practical hands-on symposiums or exchanges on teaching techniques, new techniques, market updates etc to continue to enhance the floristry education aspect."
"A sustainability strategy now is applicable in every industry, business sphere or casual life. We have to care. But sometimes trends, habits, cultural differences, geography, consciousness dictates the approach to sustainability. There are lots of resources applicable in floristry such as carbon dioxide emission for transportation, pesticides for growing, electricity for cooling/heating, plastics for wrapping, floral foam, wires, waste, pots, short life, etc. But we can always try to look for possibility to reduce the impact by using seasonal flowers from local growers, natural things such as branches from woods and foliage from your garden, hope that Smithers-Oasis will bring its biodegradable foam to Lithuania, use decomposable papers or reusable wrappings. We can prolong the life of flowers – after a short project is over – by giving them away to children, retirement homes and people in need or doctors. Just to see the smile on their faces. I can presume that the sustainability in floristry in my native country is taking the first steps, but the floral world that I see when I travel, floral designers that I meet, with the examples that they do, inspire me to strive for a better world relying on a strategy of sustainability."
"All we can do here in that direction it's separate waist from greens. It really hearts to see how much we generate with both parts of delivery : from south to here and then arrangement to customers. Of course it related with safe transportation and cold weather. From my observations young people are OK with bouquet wrapped in paper but older people sometimes are upset if you not cover it up in cellophane. In 4 years I turn it to 50/50 between bouquets and arrangement (vase, foam, more wrapping materials). Compare with 10% bouquets to 90%arrangements it was in this store before. Also for containers we are open for reuses - people could bring their own containers to make design in it or some just bring them to us for re-use and we give them some flowers to thank for the recycled items."