Reducing waste and giving a second lease of life to event flowers.
We love an environmentally AND socially conscious initiative. So when we saw that one of our FQ members has created a program to upcycle event flowers and donate them to people who might not always have access or the resources to buy flowers – we knew we wanted to find out more!
Nic is the founder of Acacia Florals, a wedding and events florist biz based on the NSW Central Coast. Nic has started Florists Giveback as a way to give back to her community and reduce the wastage that is an unfortunate by-product of our industry. The caliber of flowers that gets sent out for weddings is next level, premium gold produce! We buy the best of the best, and too often, it is all for a 7 hour window in time. Nic is turning this around by extending the life of these beauties and saving them from the green bin for an extra week or two.
For now, the initiative is based on the Central Coast, but read on below: if you are a local florist or a florist in another part of Australia, a couple about to get married or a corporate organisation with events coming up – Nic will tell us how to get involved!
When did the idea for Florists Giveback first become a concept you were going to pursue?
I really wanted to do some community service in a way that was meaningful to me and had a focus of mental health and environmental sustainability. Before I was born, unfortunately my aunty Joanne passed away from suicide due to poor mental health. Joanne worked as an aged care nurse and often donated personal items to the patients in her facility. Although I didn’t have a chance to meet her, I wanted to start this initiative in her honour and carry on her legacy, which also ticked my boxes of doing community service in a way that I am passionate about. After designing and setting up the flowers for a number of weddings/events, and having leftover flowers that sometimes don’t fit in my green bin, I have always wished that there was something better I could do with the leftovers. Especially as the flowers are premium quality, it is always such a shame to waste them. This constant thought provoked me to start Florists Giveback. It is completely a community run initiative that will not be possible without local florists, couples and venue managers spreading the word and providing donations.
How does it work?
1. Florist completes a wedding and has leftover flowers
2. Florist reaches out my email or Instagram DM to ‘Florists Giveback’ to book a collection
3. Nic (me) will come to collect the flowers and any promotional materials that the donor florist would like to include in the wrap (eg logo stickers or cards).
4. Nic wraps the flowers and delivers them to a health facility to be distributed to vulnerable people (including aged care homes, mental health facilities, hospitals and more).
Who can donate?
You don’t have to be a florist to donate! I accept donations from couples, event organisers, venue managers and anyone in the community who would like to send us supplies. We accept florist wraps, ribbons, water bags, cellophane and tissue paper. Anyone is welcome to post us some supplies if you would like to. Even florists who have old florist wraps and supplies they don’t want, please feel free to send them to me!
Can my branding be included on the wrap?
Yes absolutely! When I come to collect the flowers, please provide any stickers or logo cards that you would like included. Please note that we do not accept business cards, only logo cards. There will also be a tag on the flowers stating the florist or the couple name that the flowers have been donated by on a Florist Giveback branded tag.
The benefit is to patients in health care facilities who will be able to enjoy premium flowers to brighten their space. It will assist to improve their mental health by giving their room or space a new point of focus during their hardest time of being a patient. Also, it will provide a sense of comfort to know that the florists in our community care about them. Another benefit is the environmental impact, reducing wastage of fresh flowers that still have life remaining in them. If the flowers are healthy and fresh, they should be enjoyed!
What type of organisations do you deliver flowers too?
All health care organisations that approve our deliveries. We are currently open to registrations from health care facilities who are happy to receive our donations.
How much notice do you need?
At least 1 day of notice from donor florists would be great, if not feel free to send me a message and I will let you know if a collection is possible. Donor florists are also welcome to do a drop off to me, which would help a great deal.
Can couples organise this service for after their wedding?
Yes definitely! Couples getting married on the Central Coast, NSW can contact me directly to let me know if I can collect their leftover flowers directly from the venue after their wedding. Venue managers can contact me and I’ll be happy to collect leftover flowers directly from their venue. Please note that this is not a ‘clean up’ service after events, it is just for the collection of usable flowers. It is open to anyone and everyone can be involved. Even if you are not a florist, we accept supplies donations of florist wraps, ribbons and water bags which are essential to our operation. Preferably not one-off items that have already been used, I would prefer bulk supplies that are purchased new and posted directly to my address.
Where do you see this initiative in the next 5 years?
I hope that the word spreads and I can work with many local florists to giveback to vulnerable people in our community.
Any words of wisdom to other florists who might want to offer this in their local areas?
If you would like to start in your own area, please feel free to reach out and we can collaborate to get you set up with your own branding and T Shirts.
What’s the best way for couples or florists to get in touch with you?
Currently by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by DM on my Instagram page – @florists_giveback
Thank you so much for chatting to us Nic, we love what you are doing and can’t wait to see what you achieve!
Happy flowering everyone xx