Introducing Thinking Flowers? and Field Foundation

Thinking Flowers? is an ethical floral design business and consultancy. Through unique and eye-catching floral installations, ethical design courses and product and service design

The venture was started we question and challenge conventional thinking around ethics and sustainability in the cut-flower industry. We pride ourselves on a truly holistic approach that includes sourcing, floral donation and green waste disposal.
The aim is to effect a long-term transformation of the cut flower industry and people’s attitudes to flowers, through establishing the first ethical floristry franchise. We work in partnership with the Field Foundation, a charity that we established.

Thinking Flowers? was a finalist for the Precious Awards -Social Enterprise Business of the Year in 2011.

The issue (Why?)

Flowers are vital to humans, everything that fruits flowers . Something deep within us responds to the colours, shapes and fragrances of flowers. They enhance well-being. With an increasingly urban population globally, connecting to nature through flowers is becoming increasingly important. I love the way you have written this. But there’s a problem.

85% of the flowers sold in the UK come from abroad and of these come from Africa via Holland. Shipping flowers which are 80% water from one of the driest areas on the globe to a temperate area such as the UK, mainly by plane, has significant ecological implications. The workers are largely women and suffer from poor working conditions, includingexcessive use of pesticides. The local environment suffers because of soil degradation and the lowering of groundwater. In the UK, after the flowers have
been used they end up in landfill. Only [2%] of the UK flower market is currently labelled “ethical” (either fair trade or organic). You can see an animation here.

What we do

Our purpose is to ask questions and share answers to improve the cut flower
industry and act as flower custodians for the future generations. Our services are just like flowers make connections between corporates and communities offering direct supply chain. Such as our floral donation scheme allow corporates to share with charities, social enterprises and the community.

We promote a holistic approach to enterprise that includes people and planet as equals. We think questioning lies at the heart of learning and as an organisation we are open and accountable to questioning ourselves.

Our focus is:
– events;
floral design courses; and
bouquets

All services include consultation, floral donation and green waste disposal service.

Clients for our events have included: the Guardian, Times Eureka, Pricewaterhousecoopers, Tate Modern, Westminster Cathedral and Metropolitan Police and House of Commons, Deloitte and Clearly So.

Over the last 2 years we have delivered over 30 training sessions in flower essence therapies, mentoring and ethical floristry to our staff and customers alike.

In 2011, wanting to address the largest and most ethically challenged part of the UK flower market, we piloted (and sold out) a ‘Mother Earth’ bouquet range for Mothers day Thorntons Budgen’s in Belsize Park and Crouch End, North London.

The opportunity

We expect 2012 to be a landmark year for Thinking Flowers? After 8 years of experimenting and rich learning, we are ready to expand our services. We aim to run more events, expand our range of floral design courses and develop a range of bouquets for individual and small chains of supermarkets, building on our successful pilot from last year. And to celebrate the Olympic year we aim to launch creative campaigns to connect with corporations, charities and large social enterprises to get on their supplier lists. We will need to recruiting and training new staff.

In 2012 we finalised plans for the Field Foundation, which will promote sustainability through cross sector collaborations to create art installations and learning experiences. Our current research focus is exploring the role of creativity and Dyslexia in enterprise and the cultural industries.

About TF?

TF? was founded in 2008 by Lauren Craig, after 5 years of exploration into
the art and practice of floristry. She has been nominated for Honda Cultural Engineer and won number of awards and in 2011 was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the Precious Awards, and one of the One World Action’s 100 Unseen Powerful
Women who Change the World
. 2010 Highly Commended in top 10 of Future100 Awards.

Also, in 2010 Thinking Flowers? found a new home at FIELD. This was a unique pop-up community retail space in Brixton Village. It was a pioneering collective entity that allowed for the creative development of not only the artists and designers involved but also the thousands of people who visited the space and interacted with the space and the community that supported it.

FIELD showcased artists, designers and Thinking Flowers? floral consultancy. We housed Lambeth Women;s Project events provided a launch pad for the Brixton Women’s Institute (BWI) and Flowers in a Tea Cup (FTC) and thus helped create a strong group of 40 + women working to serve local societal
needs. BWI members act as volunteers for Thinking Flowers? events and volunteers for creating peace gardens and flower growing.

For the future we will launching a Thinking Flowers? #LOVEis campaign for Valentines day.

For financial information please get in touch.
You can and images below and view past work here www.enterthefield.org, | www.facebook.com/pages/Field/253235312886 |www.thinkingflowers.com | www.facebook.com/thinkingflowers

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