We are proud to announce that we have been granted “official” status as a Rekisteröity yhdistus (Ry), or a registered organization.
Our mission is to address the issue of floral waste and to connect people through the beauty and joy of flowers, and we’ve been doing so successfully — but informally — since December 2018.
So why become official now?
Our work is prompted by concern about the sustainability of the floral industry overall; and by witnessing first-hand the specific problem of flowers being thrown away (because of age or imperfection) before they even reach the hands of consumers.
After testing a number of ideas (both for-profit and nonprofit) on how to tackle these problems, we set on our current model* of harnessing surplus flowers from wholesalers, florists and events; and redistributing them to hospitals, elderly homes, charities and community art projects.
But the question on our minds has been: how big is this problem in the nordics, or in Helsinki where we’re based? And is it worth creating an entire organization to solve the problem?
Over the past 18 months, we have seen that it IS.
By our best (conservative, but very rough) estimates, each year over 500,000 usable surplus flowers go into the bin in the Helsinki metro area. This number takes into consideration waste at the wholesalers, florists and from weddings and events.
And it’s not only the volume of flower waste that propels us; but also the enthusiasm for the solution.
Over 130 individual volunteers have come to make or hand out bouquets with us!
One of Finland’s largest flower wholesalers, Kukkatoimitus, has committed to regular donations and also to providing space for our operations. Kukkakauppa Inbloom, Kreetta Jarvenpää, Element Lab, Hey Look, Mu Filosofia and Wild Things have also generously donated flowers and pro-bono florist services.
And thirteen local organizations have helped us reach their constituents with bouquets and fun flower art.
In formalizing FloweRescue into a membership association we are crystalizing the enthusiasm and support of this lively and growing community.
Status as an Ry also provides us with a communal platform from which to spark dialogue about the issue of floral waste across the entire industry and supply chain.
We’re proud to have thus far rescued over 22,000 stems of flowers and greens and gifted 2,300 bouquets.
Moving forward, we will work together to ensure no flower goes to waste before bringing joy to someone; and the entire floral ecosystem is more sustainable.
One day soon, we hope that our efforts are obsolete. By then, who knows what other beautiful challenge we will have chosen to solve.