A lot of florists complain about the current waste situation going on in the floral world. What happens to all those beautiful arrangements after a wedding or event? A lot of times they end up in the trash. Enter Repeat Roses. The company, founded by Jennifer Grove, provides a service that essentially recycles flowers, picking them up from one event, re-arranging, and sending them off to be used as smaller arrangements for beside tables.
At the time I learned about Repeat Roses, I was volunteering in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at New York Presbyterian Hospital as a baby cuddler. I often witnessed countless families in highly stressful situations and wished there was something beautiful in the unit that could offer them peace and serenity. I immediately connected to Repeat Roses. I am inspired by Jennifer's mission - a one-two punch of sustainability and humanity that takes the wastefulness out of botanical creation and provides joy for those who need it. Bravo, Repeat Roses. #itsplantporn
ipp:WHAT IS your background and what led to the start of REPEAT ROSES?
JG: I was working in the event planning business and witnessed a tremendous amount of waste, much of it being from florals - florals that were only being used for a few hours! The average wedding in the US creates 400-600 pounds of waste and florals make up a large part of that waste. I realized this was not limited to weddings - there are hundreds of events taking place every night across the country, most with beautiful florals that end up in the trash at the end of the night.
I was determined to find a solution that would benefit both the environment and the community. By combining purpose with profit, Repeat Roses provides a service that helps minimize the environmental impact of an event while bringing joy to the community.
Floral arrangements are typically a significant investment and discarded after a few hours - I want to do away with the idea of a single use floral arrangement.
ipp:how DOES the service work?
JG: Repeat Roses arrives at the conclusion of an event - as the night is winding down, we’re just getting started! We remove the arrangements from the vases - vases are left for the florist to collect unless we’re asked to recycle them.
The florals are quickly sorted and separated for composting and repurposing. Anything that cannot be repurposed is composted. The florals that are ready for repurposing are restyled into multiple, smaller arrangements suitable for bedside tables.
Within hours, we deliver the refreshed blooms to the nonprofit destination we’ve matched for the donation which can range from hospitals and cancer treatment centers to hospices and shelters. We act as matchmaker, pairing the event with the best-suited nonprofit organization.
After the florals are enjoyed the second time around, Repeat Roses reclaims the floral waste to insure it is thoughtfully disposed of via composting while the vases are reused and recycled into our system.
ipp:Why is a company like Repeat Roses important?
JG: Companies like Repeat Roses are becoming more important for a number of reasons. Consumers and businesses want to work with companies like ours that align with their values and are able to make a meaningful social difference and a measurable environmental impact.
Additionally, more environmental governance laws are requiring compliance and regulations to protect our planet. One example is the recent organics legislation now in effect in New York City requiring commercial venues to separate and manage their organic waste. Repeat Roses is an eco-responsible solution to the ugly problem of waste.
I’ve always appreciated the beauty of floral design and the joy it brings whether as part of an event, given as a gift or as home decor. I am so lucky to be surrounded by flowers as part of my job but my favorite part is seeing the smiles when we deliver the repurposed flowers and reading the thank you notes. The gratitude is tremendously rewarding and beyond anything I ever imagined!
IPP: Can you explain the composting service Repeat Roses offers.
JG: I wanted to create a zero-waste service so everything is composted, reused, recycled! Our composting is done in two ways:
First, we do a quick sort before repurposing the florals - anything that cannot be repurposed is composted. Some florals have a shorter life span or are too fragrant to go to a hospital. We also deal with foliage and branches that are often composted immediately.
The second step is collecting the expired flowers and vases after they have been enjoyed the second time around. The flowers are recovered for composting and the vases reused, rather than going in the trash. When flowers wind up in a landfill, they ultimately convert to methane gas and harmful pollutants because they can't decompose properly. By reclaiming the organic matter, we're not only helping divert significant waste from the landfill but it we're creating supercharged soil amendments for flower growers, farmers, gardeners and landscapers. This extra step ensures a zero-waste service, closes the loop and better serves the environment.
IPP: What is the future of Repeat Roses?
JG: We want to see Repeat Roses on every event planners’ checklist as a standard consideration. Our mission is to challenge how people view florals and envision a future where we’ve been able to inspire change and activate philanthropically-minded and environmentally conscious clientele to make an immediate positive difference across the world.
IPP:What is your spirit plant and why?
JG: My spirit plant is a Magnolia – feminine, graceful and strong in nature.