Doing Better - Our Sustainability Story
This year, we're making radical improvements to ensure our products, packaging, and practices protect our environment and reflect our corporate social responsibility to our planet, employees, and customers. In addition, we're partnering with like-minded businesses and continue to search for vendors that share our ethical and sustainability goals.
PACKAGING + SHIPPING
One of the most significant changes we've made to impact our footprint is our vendor packaging. Currently, we're at 70% plastic-free vendor packaging. Our other 30% contains cellophane sleeves on dried florals or styrofoam molds for large, heavy vases. We're working with our vendors to replace cellophane with recycled paper and introduce vase molds made from recycled cardboard. In addition, every item that contains plastic packaging or styrofoam is noted on its product detail page. By 2024, we'll use 95% plastic-free vendor packaging.
Outside of our vendor packaging, we've taken several steps to eliminate plastic and lower our total shipping footprint. For example, we've replaced recyclable plastic air pillows and bubble wrap with recycled unbleached paper pillows. We've also introduced a new box suite made from unbleached, recycled cardboard. Our new boxes were designed to decrease volume and gently secure our florals. This change has lowered the number of boxes we ship, and the number of boxes returned due to product damage in transit.
AFLORAL BOUTIQUE PRODUCTS
Every product, no matter how thoughtfully sourced, has an environmental impact. With our footprint in mind, our team carefully curates a boutique line of unique, small products for each season. Every product has been hand-selected, tested in our designer's homes, and produced with your long-term floral and design needs in mind - an investment in your botanical home.
When sourcing our products, we strive to source natural products from eco-conscious farmers and reusable artificial products made from recycled materials whenever possible. In addition, we partner with our vendors to ensure transparency, exceed certifications in labor best practices, and provide an above-living wage. Our overall goal: do better.
Moving forward, you’ll see more transparency in our sourcing and vendors, focusing on corporate responsibility. Please see each product page for item details, including country of origin and materials. We're continuing to add information and will have all products updated by early 2023.
DRIED + PRESERVED FLOWERS
For years, we've been leaning out of commercial farming, cultivating relationships with small, family-owned flower farms, and working to lower our carbon footprint. As a result, our dried florals are mostly grown domestically in the Pacific Northwest. For our non-native florals, we partner internationally with a small farm in Baja, Mexico, a small farm in the Netherlands, a farm in China, and an environmentally focused nursery in Japan.
From planting to processing, our trusted farmers focus on lowering their environmental impact at every step. Our partners keep dried flowers as natural as possible through sustainable harvesting techniques, natural drying processes, solar-powered facilities, and on-site, certified wastewater treatment. Below is a snapshot of a few of our favorite farms:
Love Joy Farms, Washington
This female-owned, third-generation flower farm practices responsible farming techniques such as harvesting by hand, reducing chemical use by planting naturally disease-resistant florals, and spot-treating weeds instead of applying herbicide to an entire field. This small floral farm also naturally dries all of its florals in an on-site facility, lowering its overall energy use.
Lamboo Dried & Deco, Netherlands
The Lamboo family has grown, harvested, and sold florals in the Netherlands for three generations. What started as a bulb-growing business has evolved into one of the world's most progressive and eco-conscious dried flower vendors. Lamboo has invested in certified wastewater treatment facilities, natural drying processes, and compostable packaging to reduce environmental impact. Read their whole story here. Read their whole story here.
PROCESSING DRIED & PRESERVED FLOWERS
A few of our florals are preserved or dyed to maintain color, shape, and flexibility. Preserved florals are rehydrated with a vegetable-based glycerin solution. Dyed florals undergo a dying process, where vegetable-based coloring is added. All wastewater used during this process is treated on-site at a certified facility. Please note dried and preserved florals are not food-grade.
At Afloral, we're always striving to do better. We're shifting our focus to more natural stems (this means less dying and fewer processes) and choosing only vegetable-based/food-grade dyes when possible. In addition, we're replacing cellophane sleeves for dried bundles with biodegradable Kraft paper. Our dried florals note a country of origin and processes practiced on each product page. All dried or preserved products can be sorted by:
- Bleached - Processed to remove natural coloring. All wastewater is treated on-site in certified facilities.
- Dyed - Processed using water-based dyes. All wastewater is treated on-site in certified facilities.
- Preserved - Processed with a vegetable-based glycerin formula to maintain flexibility. Some preserved items are dyed using water-based dyes to maintain color. All wastewater is treated on-site in certified facilities.
- Natural Dried - Dried using no chemical processes or dyes.
- Natural Accessories - Dried and preserved floral design accessories.
ARTIFICIAL PLANTS + FLOWERS
China is the primary source of artificial flowers and plants worldwide, with very few U.S. manufacturers. Because domestic manufacturing is not available, we must source internationally for this portion of our business. As we strive to lower our environmental impact, we seek vendors that use recycled fabrics, wire, and biomass plastics (bio-based plastics are fully or partially made from biological resources rather than raw materials). Unfortunately, not all artificial stems are made from recycled materials. Our products made from recycled materials and/or biomass plastics can be filtered on the collection pages. Please note that every product page details the country of origin and material breakdown.
All of our manufacturing partners follow a strict code of ethical labor practices and certifications. We also work diligently with our vendors to identify and partner with manufacturing facilities specifically using recycled and bio-mass materials. We choose these manufacturers whenever possible. Please visit individual product pages for more information on the country of origin or the materials used to create each artificial flower.