Whether you’re involved with running an art gallery, a restaurant or a wedding venue, there are many ways you can support florists striving to create more sustainable designs.
Modern floristry is fundamentally unsustainable. As a consequence, many florists are transforming their practice and committing to sustainable methods.
One of the most significant transformations – and the one with the biggest impact on venues – is the phasing out of floral foam. This single-use plastic has no place in sustainable floral design. Foam-based arrangements may enable faster set-ups, but the plastic waste created for your events can hang around for thousands of years. Floral foam easily breaks down into microplastics and often ends up in the water stream, where it can harm aquatic animals.
There is a global movement to promote sophisticated foam-free design.
From a florist’s perspective, the most important requirement for cut flowers and foliage is to ensure the stems are in water. Beyond this, many florists supplying flowers for weddings and events will use a variety of alternative supports to achieve their creative vision.
These changes mean that some of the more gravity defying designs we’ve come to see in recent years might be difficult or no longer be possible. Floral foam has enabled ‘upside-down’ designs because the foam holds water. But when removed from the picture, florists are back to working with gravity.
A number of alternative mediums for floral foam are appearing in the market. However, these are not yet available everywhere and, until they are, many florists will be using more old-fashioned techniques such as chicken wire in vessels.
Just like remembering to take cloth bags to the supermarket requires a little more effort and behaviour change, supporting sustainable floristry methods means that we can still have beautiful flowers, we just need to put some new practices into action.