What is the Slow Flower Movement?


Flowers have been prized for their beauty and aroma for millennia and used for a variety of things. Flowers are present in almost every aspect of our lives. Any sort of celebration or solemn occasion feels incomplete without flowers, flowers are perfect as gifts and for worship. But all these flowers that we use daily in our lives are mostly mass-produced and are ‘fast flowers. One would think that growing natural plant life might not have an adverse impact but just like clearing rainforests to make way for agricultural land is harmful, so is the mass production of flowers. The issue stems from our increasing demand combined with the want for quicker and cheaper flowers. 

Most flowers available are flown around the globe in refrigerated planes produced in resource-intensive ‘cold-chain’ artificial environments for fast growth and are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. The outbreak of COVID-19 disrupted supply chains across the globe and the market for flowers was no exception it paved the way for many producers to rethink their production practices giving rise to the slow-flower movement. The slow-flower movement refers to a shift from expensive, exotic and far-flung flowers to local blooms sustainable alternatives.

The slow flower movement is based on the principles enumerated in the book Slow Flowers: Four Seasons of Locally Grown Bouquets From the Garden, Meadow and Farm. This movement is similar to that of ‘slow-food' and mainly focuses on utilizing the naturally growing native flowers instead of trying to acquire flowers and invasive species from across the globe. The word ‘slow’ in this movement refers to the promotion of methodical preparation of growing flowers to ensure a steady supply throughout the year. Understanding the particular region’s agricultural zones, growing requirements along with other associated factors is important to understand the viability of any floriculture initiatives. 

When the essence of the slow-flower movement is adopted by florists it will not only give the consumers an option to shop sustainable local flowers but will also lead to the growth of higher-quality flowers that thrive in their native lands. Most countries like the U.S. and others still rely on fast-flower production and supply chains to source their flowers. But the increase of local florists aligned with the slow-flower movement has prompted many exporting countries to reduce their production volumes as a result of decreased demand since sourcing local flowers has been easier than ever. The movement is only in its nascent stage but it’s still gaining momentum steadily and might even one day become the norm for all floriculturists around the world.

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