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Sustainable Flowers - What’s it all about?

Bouquet of flowers wrapped in paper

I’m very passionate about being eco-friendly and sustainable at Fleurs&Ink. I’m always reviewing and researching ways to improve this, by being considerate about where my flowers come from and how a design my pieces.

What is sustainability?

Sustainability is the ability to maintain a certain rate or level in the ecologically and economically. The aim is to leave a minimal footprint on the environment.

Flowers have a significant environmental footprint, considering how flowers are farmed, transported and packaged, and not all workers experience the same work conditions and treatments.

So let’s look at the problems:

Floral Foam

My biggest ick. Floral foam is a single-use plastic that is made from petrochemicals, that crumbles easily and turns into micro plastics ultimately harming aquatic life and ending up in landfill. Floral foam is hazardous - florists are recommended to wear face masks when cutting and preferably wear gloves.

The Fleurs&Ink way:

Big fat ban on floral foam. I only use alternatives such as Agrawool (made from rockwool and can be composted and added to soil), vases, flower frogs, moss and chicken wire. Much more effort but worth it.

Bride and groom under floral arch
Floral arch made with agrawool, moss and chicken wire. Image by James Hicks Photography

Pink and yellow flowers wrapped in tissue paper and brown paper
Tissue paper and brown paper wrapped bouquet

Excess packaging and waste

Many florists use single-use plastics such as wraps, ribbons, vessels, balloons and bags. Majority of this will quickly end up in the landfill once the flowers have perished or been unpacked to put into a vase.

The Fleurs&Ink way:

All of my products use reusable vessels such as a vase, a bag that could be reused as a shopping bag, or fully compostable or recycled - even the cellophane is compostable. Any ribbon is encouraged to be reused.

The travel of flowers

Many imported flowers are from Colombia, Ecuador and Kenya and travel thousands of miles quickly and in a cool environment as they are perishable. This requirement increases the flowers’ carbon footprint massively.

The Fleurs&Ink way:

I try to source majority of my flowers locally or at least British grown. By doing this I’m reducing the travel of the flowers and supporting British Flower Farmers. I still need to buy imported flowers out of season, sometimes for quantity and variety. However, I always try to adapt my recipes so I do not require import or at least try to source British first - but its not always possible.

Flower Industry Workers

Not everyone in the flower industry experiences safe or fair working conditions. It is improving slowly but there’s a long way to go.

The Fleurs&Ink way:

Admittedly, this is one of my newer research topics. I have began to research different suppliers and their ethics to make the best choices.

Seasonal, local flowers on wedding tablescape
Seasonal, local flowers on wedding tablescape. Image by Olivia J Morgan

Other sustainable pledges

Limited service area

For gift flower delivery, it is limited to FY & PR4 postcodes and I have a limit of 1 hour travel time for weddings - which covers pretty much all of Lancashire, South Cumbria and North Cheshire. If your venue is out of this area, I’ll happily recommend a florist that may be able to help. Find out more about weddings, here.

Pressed flowers under glass
Pressed flower frame

Extended the life of your flowers

Another new initiative for Fleurs&Ink, I have started offering pressed flower and dried flower designs. I take what would be “waste” flowers (I try not to over order but sometimes there are some left over or unusable due to breakages) and dried and press them to make beautiful deigns for gifts and the home, and therefore, stopping the flowers heading to the compost heap. Take a look, here.

This is also an extension service to your wedding and farewell flowers, to extend the life of your bridal bouquets or buttonholes so you can treasure them and keep as a memory as a picture, coaster or paperweight (more designs to come).


I use workshops, not only to give customers a Floristry experience, but to teach them about sustainable techniques and seasonal flowers that hopefully they can use to make educated decisions about flowers and their purchases.

A festive wreath workshop group
Festive Wreath Worshop at Hodgson Academy Staff

I hope this helps you make positive and educated decisions when purchasing your flowers. I don’t be afraid to ask your florist questions like “where are your flowers from?” and “do you use a floral foam alternative?”

You can also read more about sustainable floristry on the Sustainable Floristry Network and their programmes on their website.


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