Superyacht bio-flowers: business is blooming

Flowers that last up to a year – Gemma Harris talks to Ethereal Blooms, which provides environmentally friendly floristry for superyacht and maritime use.

From optimistic goals to increasing investment in sustainable technologies, the marine industry’s commitment to sustainability has exponentially increased in recent years. These developments do not end with yacht designers and builders; sustainability is also making its mark within the interior. 

London-based floral design studio, Ethereal Blooms offers 100 per cent real flowers, which are bio-treated to stay fresh on board for months without water or sunlight. According to the company, these ‘flowers of the future’ are a solution to onboard arrangements for both superyachts and cruise ships, and are designed to reduce waste and lessen the environmental impact of ‘fast floristry’ where flower arrangements are shipped across the world to be replaced every few days.

Joanna Hirst, yachting specialist at Ethereal Blooms, explains: “Although flowers may be considered an add-on, they are something that most yachts replace weekly, much more than other items on board. Using preserved floral arrangements reduces your environmental impact by over 90 per cent; across the industry, this is a huge impact.”

While onboard floristry is far from the biggest sustainability issue the marine sector faces, with some superyachts having more than 50 arrangements on board, floral decorations do add to the negative wider picture when it comes to onboard environmentally sound practices. With a long and complex field-to-consumer chain, each week, a fresh bouquet is estimated to produce over 56kg of CO2 emissions. The transportation impact is also amplified through the cold chain, with specific temperature-controlled systems required to keep the blooms as fresh as possible. Over $20 billion of cut flowers are shipped globally, and before they are even sold, 45 per cent of these are wasted. Not to mention what happens after the flowers have served their purpose. 

With Ethereal’s solution, flowers last up to a year at a time, reducing the need to source high volumes of fresh floral orders each week. Eliminating the requirement for a fresh flower supply in turn also reduces the cost implication. Tia Taylor, the founder of Luxury Learning, which provides money management knowledge and training to yacht crew, adds: “As a company that supports positive money management, Ethereal Blooms is a great sustainable and financial option.”

Sandra Murphy, marketing manager for global crew recruitment platform Meridian, encourages the use of sustainable floristry, explaining that “the upkeep can become a huge headache also and it is quite time-consuming. The overall environmental, economic, and social dimensions of providing a new concept on the idea of flowers onboard yachts should be considered.”

The gradual uptake of concepts such as Ethereal Blooms suggests that the industry is making sustainable steps, however small, and adds to a growing trend towards onboard sustainability and recycling.

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