Flowers may be synonymous with romance , but let’s just say their carbon footprint isn’t so rosy.
To get from farm to florist, your popular Kenyan roses or Holland tulips would typically be grown in temperature-controlled conditions, sprayed with earth-polluting pesticides, cold-chained onto lorries and planes, and flown across the world.
Each step guzzles a ton of energy, totaling around 35kg of carbon emissions for a bouquet of just ten Dutch lilies. That’s before they even get packed prettily into non-biodegradable plastic wrapping and floral foam. Oh and of course, they then wilt in less than a week.
If you’re looking to show your love for the earth, it’s time to get unconventional. Locally sourced blooms are a rare breed, but there’re more creative, less energy-intensive options that say it with flowers just as well.
From paper blooms and succulent bouquets to build-your-own Lego creations, these eco-friendly flowers in Singapore are blooming with style.
Paper blossoms into life in the hands of artist Mabel Low. Her studio Papersynthesis is carving out a niche in florals sculpted with cardstock paper from blooms to leaves.
With delicate veins, finely curled petals, and textured leaves, each of her creations appears lifelike even up close.
Present your One True Love ($25) with a red rose that never withers, or brighten someone’s day with a sunny Summer Meadow ($150) of chamomile daisies.
She’s even got a potted plant series inspired by Animal Crossing – what better way to get your hands on a rare Gold Rose ($85)?
Shop Papersynthesis online here.
The Humid House
More than just a team of green thumbs, botanical design studio The Humid House is committed to greening the art of floristry.
At least 20 per cent of the botanicals used in each floral creation are locally and regionally grown, with some plucked straight from their self-planted garden. In their hands, flowers bloom into wildly unconventional arrangements, looking little short of avant-garde art.
Ballet ($190) is an exuberant dance of calla lilies and clematis, while the playful Lobster ($250) brings the crustacean to life with red hot pokers and birds of paradise. You’ll hardly find floral foam or plastic packaging in their creations either.
Shop The Humid House online here.
Wooden flowers might sound clunky, but Floral Spell transfigures the material into graceful curves and spirals. Their intricate creations are handmade from Balsa wood – a quick-growing, sustainable wood popular with crafters for its lightness and suppleness.
From roses to ranunculus, each bloom is hand-dyed and dripped with your choice of fragrant essential oils – think grapefruit, lemongrass, and more.
You can get them arranged together with preserved fillers in bouquets (from $79), gift boxes (from $69), and vases (from $70).
Shop Floral Spell online here.
Succulents are having a moment in our eco-conscious times, and no wonder – besides boasting quirky good looks, these drought-resistant babies need little water or energy for growth and transportation.
If you’ve got a sucker for succulents in your life, show your love with a stylish succulent bouquet from Echevaria.
Created with succulents of varying sizes and unusual colours, each rustic bouquet (from $45) looks plucked straight out of a desert dreamscape.
What’s more, they can thrive for a couple of weeks before being repotted – add on a Repotting Kit ($25) to keep your beauties alive.
Shop Echevaria online here.
The Paper Bloom
The Paper Bloom sprung into life from a mother’s love. Wanting her daughter to have souvenirs of her wedding day, founder Smita began learning to handcraft crepe flowers for her bridal bouquets and backdrops.
These days, her paper florals add a bespoke touch to weddings, birthdays, and other special occasions, though she also crafts ready-to-order bouquets and arrangements.
Crafted from supple doublette crepe paper, her delicate creations feature blooms you won’t often find in Singapore, from Icelandic Poppies ($88) to chocolate cosmos.
Shop The Paper Bloom online here.
5AM Flowers’s green efforts shine through in every step from preservation to packaging. Founder Ching shines the spotlight on preserved flowers, which require no refrigeration or watering and hence leave a smaller carbon footprint during transportation.
Her dreamy arrangements come wrapped in Kraft brown paper to reduce packaging waste, or presented in vases that she upcycles from food jars, candle holders, and more.
From the autumn-hued Flame ($100) to the serene Fan of White ($58), her pieces are nothing short of stunning.
Shop 5AM Flowers online here.
Lego Flower Bouquet
Looking for the ultimate bespoke bouquet? Build your own blooms with Lego’s recent botanical-themed release: the Lego Flower Bouquet ($79.90).
This 756-piece kit is aptly made with earth-friendly materials – namely plant-derived bioplastic produced from sustainably sourced sugarcane.
With 15 customizable stems and a colourful medley of petals inspired by roses, poppies, snapdragons, and more, you’re free to let your creativity bloom. Plus, we reckon building them together makes for a fun date night.
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Shop the Lego Flower Bouquet online here.
This article was first published in City Nomads.