The Sustainable Floristry Network has been set up as a social enterprise to centralise and perpetuate an emerging sustainable floristry movement and to bring Floristry Back to Nature.
With strong support from industry leaders worldwide, it has a clear mission to lead the industry to more environmentally sustainable practices through education, behaviour change and advocacy on a global scale.
We also aim to help consumers make more environmentally sustainable choices through education.
Ultimately our aim is to reduce the global environmental footprint of the flower industry by preventing significant amounts of unnecessary plastic ending up in the oceans and landfill, avoiding chemical intervention and minimising greenhouse gas emission.
The Sustainable Floristry Network supports the following design and business principles
- Promote and use locally-grown, seasonal flowers wherever possible
- Design without floral foam
- Seek out sustainable sundries and packaging – REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE
- Manage Waste and Workplace
- Communicate with customers
The concept for the Sustainable Floristry Network was born out of the #nofloralfoam movement which began in 2017 to raise awareness about the environmental issues associated with using plastic floral foam as the base for flower arranging.
Following a Sustainable Floristry seminar hosted by Shane Connolly in London in 2018, guest speaker Rita Feldmann and Connolly spoke about the need for an educational resource for florists to teach more sustainable approaches to floral design. Both agreed that for too long, modern concepts of floral design had been constrained by associated sundries and products, rather than flowers.
A timely encounter between Rita and Sarah O’Bryan, Communications Consultant and author of The Flower Press Blog, resulted in a union of forces and the establishment of the Sustainable Floristry Network, a Social Enterprise currently on track to fulfilling its objectives of uniting the global flower industry together for a greener world.
Rita Feldmann – Director
Rita Feldmann is a second-generation florist from Australia whose passions in life area all closely tied (with plant fibre string) to biology and art.
Born into the industry, Rita’s earliest memories include filling buckets at the family’s roadside flower stall and pinching the tips out of growing Chrysanthemum plants on the family’s farm. By her late teens, Rita worked alongside her mother, servicing several of Melbourne’s boutique hotels, doing market runs and learning from many brilliant florists associated with the family’s businesses.
For 15 years, Rita juggled working in flowers with studying a Bachelor of Science, Botany, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Science Journalism and later, working as a freelance writer in public health and science communication.
In 2006, Rita narrowed her focus to a busy wedding and events business operating out of Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges. Rita’s inspiration for starting the #nofloralfoam movement came from observing the incredible amount of waste produced by events, the negative impact of social media on the industry and a desire to counteract the influence floral foam has played in shaping ideas about floral design over the last 50 years.
Sarah O’Bryan – Director
Sarah is a communications specialist with passion for flowers and gardens.
Sarah has over 20 years media and communications experience across not-for-profit, state government and lifestyle sectors. Sarah has held management roles in the communications teams of the Department of Land, Water and Planning, Heart Foundation Research Program and Very Special Kids. She currently sits on the board of children’s charity based in Vietnam, Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation.
Sarah grew up surrounded by gardens in the Macedon Ranges, north of Melbourne. When she wasn’t running barefoot through the large family gardens, she was pressing flowers, weeding, and later, picking and selling peonies at the local peony farm.
Following the birth of her children, Sarah returned to her roots, skilled up in floristry and with her mother and sister, started a floristry business, Little Twig Flowers. At the same time Sarah started the flower lifestyle blog, The Flower Press, with a focus on sustainability.
Sarah believes floristry has a responsibility to be environmentally sustainable and celebrate the natural beauty of the local seasons. She is committed to use her skills and experience to help the industry improve its environmental credentials.
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