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How to buy sustainable flowers

Flowers aren't subjected to the same rules or checks as food is which means there's little transparency in where they come from or how they've been grown.

Only around 14% of flowers sold in the UK are grown in the UK.

Here are my top tips to help you choose flowers which do the least harm:

  • Seasonal means different things to different people. To a florist seasonal can mean red roses for valentines, or pastel tones for spring. To a grower seasonal means what naturally grows at that time of year. In the uk nature's season dictates roses are seasonal from late spring through summer. Yellow is seasonal for early spring and mother's day.

  • Watch out for greenwashing. Just because those tulips are wrapped in brown paper does not mean they are locally grown. This is a trend we are seeing more and more. Bulk bought, imported flowers are being taken out of plastic, and wrapped in brown paper making them look like they are from the grower down the road.

  • Ask where your flowers come from, are they fair trade or British grown. You'll find most people selling them don't actually know, they may say Holland but actually they may well have been grown in Ecuador, central Africa, South America etc, then come to the Dutch markets for selling.

  • Flowers aren't cheap. And if they are, then there's something wrong. Just like fast fashion, fast flowers have a dark secret. Grown quickly and as cheaply as possible, they are likely to be covered in many chemicals and using very poorly treated labour. We don't know this though because there's no way for tracing where they've come from.

  • Not all imported flowers are grown equally. Ask your florist to find fair trade or ethical flowers. Some flowers are grown with people, planet and profit balanced fairly. British grown flowers are very good at this.

  • Locally grown is best! Instead of your flowers travelling thousands of miles make it only a few by buying British grown. We check all our suppliers are doing their best to minimise environmental impact, their staff are paid fairly and have safe working environments.

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