Zero Waste

Committed to reusing and recycling

Flowers are all about sharing. For all of us at Secret Garden it is crucial to give back, hence we make sure every step of our creative & production process functions at minimum waste. All materials used are accounted for and either recycled or reused, a procedure embedded in the concept, design and development phases of each project. Paper and card boxes are pulped and repurposed and so are any necessary plastic items, which go to partners who recycle them or use them as raw material for new products.

We selectively collaborate with like-minded artists and handcrafters for the non-fioral items (e.g. vases, wreaths, candles, wrapping paper etc.), often in support of social causes and non-profit organisations. Since 2021, we have steadily achieved a 60% or more reduction in the florist foam used for our flower creations. Up to now, more than 14.6 tons of waste has been collected and composted through our efforts. Find out more about our push to give flowers a charitable second life!

Social Impact

Flowers and sharing have a common magical trait: they bring pure smiles and joy! We have made it part of our mission to share, whenever possible, any beautiful flowers that are still fresh with people who will appreciate them. It all starts at our workshop: we create bouquets, flower rails or compositions inside vases for a certain event. Once the function is complete, there is usually plenty of waste. But, it is time for an important selection: all good-looking flowers are separated and rearranged in bouquets of happiness.

Αdding a thoughtful layer to the post-event clutter, we collaborate with several charitable organisations such as DESMOS and BOROUME to redistribute these new bouquets to those who need some beauty and smiles in their life. Whatever flowers are no longer viable, are cut into smaller pieces and mixed with all the waste from the workshop, in order to be added to our compost. Read more about our composting procedures here. These are the ways in which we expand our products’ life cycle and we are big fans of cycles. Our aspiration is to bring joy into our local communities, while reducing environmental waste and supporting our collective future.

Thinking global means acting local

Flowers have powerful symbolisms. In order to keep the company’s environmental footprint low, we chose right from the start to minimise our imports from abroad. How is locality the key to sustainability you might ask. Unfortunately, floral distribution is one of the most environmentally hazardous businesses in the world. Packaging and transportation are endless, as producers and distributors must cover days of travel to reach their final stop. Inevitably, refrigerated trucks are used for flower distribution, consuming about 25% more fuel than the non-refrigerated ones and emitting greater carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

This is why buying locally is the best thing you can do to reduce the travel-related carbon footprint! Through the years we have cultivated close personal relations with the local producers building a solid trust between us. The quality of soil, being in sync with nature and its rhythms, supporting the local economy, reducing CO2 emissions, these are our ethical pillars. Seasonal fresh flowers from the whole of Greece arrive at our workshop every day and our spaces fill with the most magical smells! Visit our pop up store for a first hand experience of the Secret Garden magic.

One flower’s waste is another flower’s nourishment

Flowers have their very own circle of life. Plus, at Secret Garden we do not like letting things go to waste, so we decided to close the circle of floral waste. As open dumping of flower waste (or any kind of organic waste) can cause several environmental issues, by composting our waste, we can sequester carbon more effectively in our soil and create stronger, healthier, more resilient plants. Therefore, composting is a solution, a small step towards healing our soil and our planet, both part of our mission as a company. There are several ways to do this, but we are very lucky to have the Benaki Phytopathological Institute (BPI) by our side. Together, we tested four different ways of composting using only raw materials with care and respect for nature and natural processes. Secret Garden is uniquely placed to drive innovation in the field. In the last 9 months we have collected 22 tonnes of our own floral waste and have started experimenting with different uses of this compost.

The Process

We collect all the stems, older or used flowers and petals, shred them into smaller pieces and send them to our collaborators for the composting procedure to start. The whole process takes place in Paiania just outside Athens, at the Campanis Farm. There, the Benaki Phytopathological Institute team of experts take over and monitor the process. In constant communication with them, we fine tune and make sure the Premium Compost Soil meets the highest standards. Composting gives us premium soil that in turn benefits the plants, the flowers, the farmers and the environment.

There is a balance of wildlife and harmony. Big piles of flowers are created, fermented and monitored so as to give us the Premium Compost Soil Bag. This is how we continue to achieve zero waste production & support sustainability 100%.

Compost for You

Our Premium Compost Soil Bag is now available for you to acquire and use in your pots and gardens. It contains many nutrients, which will enrich your soil quality and is ready for use in all sorts of gardens; trees, shrubs, flowers and urban vegetable gardens will all benefit. The nutrients added back into the soil will help your crop yields, offer bigger blooms and healthier plants. The process of composting reduces greenhouse gas emissions because organic waste is allowed to decompose naturally through the process. Choosing to work with us you are reducing the organic waste that ends up in the landfill and helping our collective future.