Ethical & Sustainable Floristry

What do we mean when we say we practice Ethical & Sustainable Floristry?

We hear the words ‘sustainable’ and ‘ethically sourced’ all the time, but how many of us really stop to think about what this actually means when purchasing fresh flowers?  Most people wouldn’t think of a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers in terms of being ethically sourced or environmentally sustainable.  They grow in the ground they are natural and compostable - what’s the problem? Well there are several environmental and ethical issues to be considered when purchasing your fresh flowers. 

Choosing Stones Corner Flower Shop means you have chosen a florist that has made a considered decision to provide you with the freshest flowers while causing the least possible harm to our environment in the following ways:


1. Wherever possible we source Australian grown flowers, with a priority on flowers that are grown locally within the SE Queensland and Northern NSW region.


Why do we source Australian grown flowers?

Like any commodity, flowers can actually exist as part of a large supply chain often coming from international growers before arriving at the Australian flower markets and eventually your local flower retailer.  Imported flowers that are flown in from around the world are often cheaper than locally grown flowers, this is because some of the countries Australia imports botanicals from don’t have the same labour or environmental protection laws as we have here.  Overseas workers in the flower industry can often be exploited, working in poor conditions and living in poverty because they don’t earn a basic wage.  There is also the risk of chemical exposure as the cut flower industry is one of the largest consumers of pesticides globally and Australia has very strict quarantine procedures requiring imported flowers and foliages to be fumigated before entering the country.  Another consideration is that many imported flowers are not as fresh as it would seem, after picking they are de-hydrated, packaged and freighted around the world, when they arrive at the local flower markets they are re-hydrated before they are ready for sale, this process can take several days and reduces the vase life of the flowers.

By sourcing our flowers from Australian growers, that use environmentally sustainable production methods, we are supporting Aussie farmers, businesses and jobs, while helping the environment by reducing the carbon footprint created when flowers are flown across the globe and we are reducing the unnecessary use of harmful chemicals. And finally, fresh locally grown flowers should last longer that the re-hydrated imported flowers.


2. We do not use Floral Foam.


Why is floral foam so bad for us and the environment?

Floral foam is a plastic-based product manufactured in the form of green porous blocks that will absorb and hold water for several days.  Many florists use floral foam as a basis for fresh flower arrangements. Floral foam is devastating for the environment as it is not biodegradable and contains toxic elements, including formaldehyde, barium sulfates and carbon black. These elements are considered carcinogenic, and prolonged exposure has the potential to cause cancer, so it is important to take care when handling floral foam.  Exposure to the dust from floral foam can cause eye, skin and respiratory tract irritation.  So not only is it awful for the Earth and our customers, but also for our florists who have to work with it on a daily basis. 

Instead of using nasty bricks of floral foam in cardboard boxes, we make beautiful bouquets that can be placed in a vase. Then all you have to do is make sure the water is sufficiently topped up to keep your flowers fresh.  Should you require a more elaborate event arrangement or a sympathy tribute, we’ve gone back to designing our floral arrangements using the traditional methods that my grandmother used before the invention of floral foam.


3. We champion Zero Waste and the three R’s - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.


How are we moving towards Zero Waste?

The flower industry generates ton’s of waste every year and a lot of this waste is non-biodegradable and unnecessary – including single use plastic wrapping, plastic containers and trinkets as well as synthetic based ribbons.  Here at Stones Corner Flower Shop we are constantly seeking creative and fun ways to be more respectful of people and the environment:

    • We use environmentally friendly wrapping materials. All of our bunches and bouquets are simply wrapped in natural craft, tissue or recyclable paper then hand tied with natural ribbons and jute string rather than synthetic ties and ribbons.
    • To keep our bouquets fresh and hydrated during the delivery process we either deliver our arrangements in a ceramic container or a recycled glass vase full of water and our gift wrapped bouquets have their stems placed in a biodegradable water bag.
    • Our arrangements are created in beautiful recycled glass vases or reusable ceramic containers, no little plastic pot's here.  We also scour the op-shops to source secondhand - quality and quirky – vintage pots, giving them new life as a vases or plant pot.
    • Unfortunately some flowers still come directly from the growers and flower markets wrapped in plastic, we continue to lobby those in the flower industry and relevent government departments to stop this unnecessary practice.  We are also dilligent about making sure that any singe use plastic that comes into our studio is sent to the appropriate recycling stations.


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