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in Floral design

Designing Weddings That are kind to the Planet

It is the heartbreaking truth that the floral industry does not always protect the environment that provides the beautiful flowers and plant materials we use in our floral designs. 

Flowers are shipped all over the world using fossil fuel, packed in plastic sleeves that end up in landfill, to be processed and placed in floral foam, which is carcinogenic, then thrown away after one day into landfill where it will never breakdown and seeps into our water sources.

When you look at those issues, it all feels really icky.

A nurse for almost 20 years both here in Australia and in the United Kingdom, Kris decided it was time to finally listen to her inner voice screaming at her to be creative and pursue a long awaited goal to build her own business doing something that brings her personal joy.

Providing comfort and care for people is a nursing trait that she carries into her creative pursuits, and she has a thorough understanding that sometimes it’s the very small personal touches that can have the biggest impact.

There is another way

Building sustainable practices into our floral designs is a key value of our business. 

We believe in reducing our environmental footprint, respecting the resources used, removing unsustainable practices and materials from our designs when and where possible, prioritising the health of the environment and people, and continually learning more and sharing that knowledge with our clients, our community and our fellow vendors.

For us at Kris McKee Floral Design, we aim to give back as much as we take. We work within the mindset that we are borrowing resources and using them to the best of our ability.

We then work in a circular process by returning those resources to the best possible place, whether that’s replanting and nurturing the growth of new flowers, composting back into the soil, disposing and managing waste properly, reusing the mechanics and materials from each design, or supporting other small businesses with the same values.

What does this mean for you?

Did you know that a sustainable wedding doesn’t have to be about hessian table runners, and hay bale seating (unless that’s what you want of course)!

You can have a beautiful wedding, filled with all the flowers you desire, in the style and aesthetic you dream of AND feel good knowing that by choosing a sustainable florist (and other vendors), you are also prioritising the planet.

Weddings should represent the couple, and you should be able to weave your values of sustainability into your special day, and it should feel easy. We can help with all of that! 

What steps can YOU take to create a sustainable wedding?

If sustainability and the environment is important to you and the planning of your event, the first and most important action you can take is finding vendors who share your values.

Some great resources to start with are The Sustainable Floristry Network and Mindfully Wed.

Mindfully Wed logo

Many weddings and events are a large affair, and the volume of flowers can be huge.

It’s also a reality that the cost of flowers has increased significantly over the last 5 or so years, flowers are a luxury so we need to treat them as such.

The steps WE take to create a sustainable wedding

Be aware that sustainable practices will look a little different to each florist depending on where they are geographically located.

What an individual business can do will be determined by what resources they can access. But overall, a commitment to improve, to do better, and to reduce the impact is key. It’s not about the easiest, quickest solution. It’s about being considerate, respectful, and purposeful.

For us, based in Sydney, Australia – we have connections to many local resources and tools. Some of the actions we take when working with our couples and clients include:

  • Using sustainable mechanics to create designs, e.g. Chicken wire, flower frogs, Oshun pouches, sticks and twigs, natural twine – all of which are reusable or compostable.
  • Designing with seasonal, locally grown flowers to reduce transport impacts on the environment.
  • Offering the hire of vases and vessels rather than buying single use plastic or cheaply made products not designed to last.
  • Repurposing floral designs where possible during an event, and keeping this in mind when deciding on the initial planning. It is indeed possible to repurpose ceremony designs into reception spaces.
  • Choosing what will happen to the flowers at the end of the event during the initial planning stage, rather than as an afterthought. This can look many different ways; offering a wrap up service, designing into purpose bought vases so guests can take table arrangements home, or offering a donation service to a local aged care service, hospice or women’s shelter.

It’s also important to remember that Mother Nature runs her own race, we need to be flexible when planning.

There will always be elements out of our control so going with the flow and being prepared to trust us to find the best, most sustainable and suitable floral substitutions for your event will create ease and delight on the day.

This is a beautiful part of the process, working with nature, not attempting to control it.

Sustainable Floristry Commitment

Part of our commitment to doing better has led us to complete the Foundation in Sustainable Floristry course through the Sustainable Floristry Network, where we learned key concepts and the principles behind being a florist dedicated to true sustainability.

Kris McKee Floral Design has made a commitment to uphold these SFN principles:

drawn image of 4 figures gardening
1. Choose Better Flowers
drawn image of the reduce, reuse, recycle triangle
2. Design Out Waste
drawn image of hands holding a heart with the words Ethically Sourced at the top
3. Invest in Ethics
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4. Communicate with Community

These principles in action work toward a wider contribution to The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

We are committed to doing better, and we want to help all our clients plan the most beautiful event they could dream of, whilst respecting our environment and giving back wherever we can.

To see what that looks like in practical, day-to-day terms, check out our Sustainability Series blog posts to learn more.

If you’re ready to start planning your sustainable dream wedding, complete our Wedding Enquiry Form and let’s get started.


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