The SFN exists to create a sustainable, nature-positive floral design industry. Our core values and manifesto guide our process.
We are driven by urgency. The SFN’s existence rests on a deep, connected love of nature, and we are deeply aware that the triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity threatens all life on Earth.
The SFN is bringing the floriculture and floristry industries to the ongoing fight for the environment. We see the multiple ways in which floristry could contribute – not only to mitigation but also to regeneration. We stand against wishful thinking, inaction, and misinformation. We stand for practical actions and informed, science-based solutions.
In a complex, interconnected world, we believe nature stands the best chance when a cooperative network of change agents and thought leaders come together to share their expertise.
Our core team is supported by advisors, members and a growing community of stakeholders. We follow the advice of leading sustainability authorities around the world. We invite feedback and welcome input and contributions from experts qualified in the subjects we tackle. Likewise, we seek to share our knowledge with others.
Education is the antidote to despair – it gives people the skills to do something about the triple planetary crisis. While some brilliant programs and teachers exist, floristry education, overall, is out of sync with bigger ideas about sustainability. Historically, it has been hamstrung by sponsorship from unsustainable corporations who have created an industry dependent on their products.
We create education material that is independent, evidence-based and expert-led. Our vision is to create continuing professional development programs that brings floristry up to speed with current thinking around sustainability, both raising overall industry standards and elevating florists to a level of other specialised trades.
We are committed to providing affordable education in an accessible format. We provide many resources for free, and we strive to accommodate all florists – including those working long hours for low wages – when pricing our formal programs.
As we progress, we will be translating our resources and courses into different languages. And we aim to explore the interests of people with diverse backgrounds, identities, abilities, cultures, and perspectives.
We seek to challenge the inequities embedded in floristry, including exploitation in global supply chains and gender-related income disparity. We challenge the priorities of systems that values GDP and economic growth over the health of the planet and wellbeing of people.
We aim to bring this sense of fairness to our own operations. As a social enterprise, we will divert a percentage of our profits to projects that support the planet.
As an evidence-based program, we value accuracy and truth. We know knowledge comes from both success and failure, so we pledge to acknowledge and correct the mistakes we will inevitably make.
The SFN embraces transparency as the best way to build relationships and foster trust. We strive to create transparency within our organisation, within the industry, and with the flower-buying public.
In the 21st century, the loss of connection to nature is having profound impact on humanity.
This disconnection is appearing in many ways – from impacting our mental health, to altering our ideas about what is natural.
However, florists are a unique bunch. Every working day they have an opportunity to experience a connection to nature that is inherently promising and joyful.
In busy, urban centers, florists are an accessible portal into the beauty of the natural world. Florists are the people we call when life calls for celebration, congratulation, appreciation or condolence, across all cultures and economic circumstances.
Flowers bring great joy through their beauty and the spark they radiate as living things. When we are surrounded by inanimate objects, flowers remind us of the transient cycles of life: birth, growth, reproduction and eventually, death.
The florist is not simply an exchange point for a commercial transaction. The florist has a great opportunity to genuinely connect people with the natural world by showcasing what nature can do, instead of what we can do to nature.
Yet somewhere along the way, we have lost track.
The UN defines sustainability as practices that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Floristry that “needs” floral foam, plastic packaging and props, and relies on exotic blooms flown halfway around the globe to meet the demands of a world used to getting whatever it wants, whenever it wants, is by definition unsustainable.
It is our responsibility as an industry to address this issue.
As we look towards a truly sustainable industry, our idea about what constitutes ‘good’ floral design must change. For the past 50 years, ‘good’ floral design has meant pleasing and predictable visual outcomes that adhere to prescribed notions of ‘acceptable’ floral design. But it many cases, these fixed designs are based on the use of manufactured sundries that have no place in sustainable floral design.
The Sustainable Floristry Network’s vision is for nature-positive floristry. Our goal is to see floristry as an artistic extension of nature – something that also makes a positive contribution to the planet and its people.
‘Good’ means something different when we are talking about sustainability and floral design. Obviously, arrangements must still be attractive. But sustainable floral design must also be carbon neutral, free from toxic chemicals, produce no waste, and all individuals associated with the production of the flowers and materials throughout the supply chain must experience safe and fair working conditions.
As florists, we want consumers to connect with nature through floristry and enjoy the great many benefits that this experience brings. But to have an authentic connection, that representation of nature must be genuine. As florists we must tell the truth about what is natural, and what is not.
We must actively seek better choices that support our objectives. The perfect technical solutions may not exist yet, but that does not mean we can’t shift our practices now to ‘better’ practices. And we must share our knowledge with our customers so they too can make better choices.
Our mission is to lead the global industry to an equitable and sustainable circular economy through education, behaviour change and advocacy.
The SFN recognises that floristry and floral design engage a wide range of individuals who interact with the industry in many different roles. Each person will have a different experience in education, employment, skills and ideas about artistry. Nobody is perfect, we are all learning. No one individual has all the answers, but as a collective, we can learn from and teach each other as we move forward into true sustainability.
We are committed to challenging traditional design approaches that focus on the use of wasteful and polluting products in favour of designs that leave a minimal environmental footprint. The SFN looks to leading global organisations and the latest scientific and academic research to identify these processes.
The SFN acknowledges that identifying a truly sustainable path for floral design is complicated and untested. As an independent organisation, we will seek to guide industry in the most up-to-date and scientifically accurate manner possible.