Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sustainability in the Cut Flower Industry

Co-founder of, Chrissy Gray, has spent the last few months abroad in South America and I'm excited that she is finally back!  While overseas, she had the opportunity to visit Cayambe, Ecuador, and get a peak into the thriving cut floral industry there. What she learned was that the actual impacts of farming practices on these flower plantations are alarming. Detrimental practices include the use of pesticides that are illegal in the US which, in turn, are affecting the community's children born with physical deformities and mental deficiencies...not to mention the use of non-biodegradable materials just to package the roses.  (I can't even tell you how much cellophane I have stored away for future design use off of cut flower packaging. I don't even purchase cellophane.)  Chrissy's article (which you can read here) tells an eye-opening view into what goes behind some of the flowers you purchase.  

Sustainability in the floral industry has been a difficult push.  Thankfully, the demand for environmentally safe floral farming has led to the development of certifications such as Veriflora and Rainforest Alliance. For Floral Sense, this makes the conscientious purchasing of our fresh goods much easier.  This also means that not all the flower breeds we want will be available within the certification which calls for some creative substitutions.  You, as a retail consumer, have the option to make better choices in where and how you purchase your designed arrangements.  My hope is that you are empowered with enough information to ask your florist the right questions.  At the end of the day, where we put our money is what we inadvertently demand.

If you have any questions regarding this topic or would like to further the discussion, please leave a comment below.  I would love to here you thoughts.

Yours truly,

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