Three questions to ask when buying dried flowers
In our blog post Naturally Dried Vs Chemically preserved flowers, we outlined the key differences between the two drying processes commonly used to dry flowers. There are a lot of businesses currently promoting their chemically preserved flowers as ‘sustainable’ and ‘eco-friendly’ choices, however they are far from this and it’s important to be aware of the differences in order to make conscious and informed purchases.
When you’re looking for your next everlasting arrangement, ask these three easy questions to your flower provider before committing to a decision:
1. What was the process used to dry these flowers?
All of our flowers at Know The Rose have been dried using a traditional, chemical-free method which involves hanging flowers upside down in a dark space for up to a month. This process is completely natural, and therefore the most eco-friendly option. If the flowers have been ‘preserved’ this generally means they’ve undergone heat treatment such as synthetic dying, bleaching, anti-mould chemicals or water-soluble plastic coating. Although the colours might be brighter and they may last a few extra weeks, these flowers are definitely not a sustainable option.
See below comparison of our naturally dried Blushing Bride Bunch Vs a chemically preserved bouquet. Notice how bright the colours are in the preserved bunch - If you go for a walk and can't find these colours out in nature, then that's a good indication that they've been treated with chemical dyes.
Image 01: Know The Rose / Image 02: via Pinterest.
2. Have these flowers been chemically treated?
Most dried flower providers aren’t willing to share these important details, so if their response to the first question was simply ‘these flowers have been preserved’, follow up with this second question, enquiring about the materials used to treat the preserved flowers. If they’ve been naturally dried like our flowers at Know The Rose, then the answer will simply be no! The traditional hanging technique does not require any chemicals throughout the drying process.
3. Can these flowers be composted?
This simple question could possibly be the most important one to ask. RMIT University environmental microbiologist Professor Andrew Ball says that as a rule, “if you are unable to determine the process used for the preservation and bleaching, then I suggest not to compost it”. The harmful compounds used throughout the bleaching process are not suitable for release back into the natural environment and should be sent to landfill after use. On the other hand, naturally dried flowers like ours can be composted after use, returning the organic components back into the soil where they originated from.
As always, if you have any questions at all feel free to get in touch, send us a message on Instagram or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org