Silk Flowers — More Sustainable than the Real Thing

Silk Flowers — More Sustainable than the Real Thing

For decades, plastic flower arrangements have skewed the image of artificial flowers, pointing out their stylistic flaws but more importantly the environmental damage their production and use cause. Decades later, technology has evolved, and while a majority of artificial flowers are still produced using plastic and cheap fabrics, silk flowers have emerged as a top choice for both public spaces and homes. 

Debunking the Sustainability of Real Flowers

The fresh flower industry has made many pushes over the last few years to highlight their level of sustainability, and when you shop local, pesticide free and only picking seasonal, home-grown flowers it can seem sustainable. For a short while.

Thinking on a smaller scale, a home arrangement made up of fresh flowers will have a lifespan of 7-12 days depending on the bloom. Water will have to be replenished every few days, and additional plastic in the form of floral foam and plastic vials for watering are often used for arranging. The additional plastic, while ‘small’ carries its own environmental impact. After all, everything adds up.

But what about the big picture? Imagine a corporate setting, or a hotel, requesting multiple fresh arrangements of flowers every week. Account for carbon emissions during transport, and packaging fresh flowers are delicate, which means more delivery material is used to get an arrangement from a to b without losing a petal. Not to mention, because of their short shelf life most fresh flower arrangements need to be transported by air, which produces about 60 times more emissions than ship. 

All of this means public spaces, hotels, offices and events using fresh flower arrangements are using a less sustainable route than silk flower rental due to transport and replacement emission costs.

For comparison, in the case of artificial flowers, the majority of carbon emissions happen during manufacturing. For a silk flower bouquet to break even with the climate impact of a fresh flower bouquet, the arrangement must only be rented 2 times, which means that at Silk Prestige, we not only break even - we go above and beyond.

What about disposal?

Now, how many of these corporate/hospitality settings will actually dispose of the fresh flowers correctly?

Many assume that because fresh flowers are ‘natural’, they are biodegradable and will break down into dirt once thrown away. This is accurate only if the fresh flowers are composted correctly and allowed to react with air, water and microorganisms that break them down.  

In reality, less than 4% of flowers are composted correctly.

Truth is, trashed flowers will never be able to break down the same way as composted flowers. In the landfills that these arrangements end up, trash piles are so compacted that the trash cannot get enough oxygen, so they degrade anaerobically, producing Methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas with global warming potential approx. 85 times higher than CO2, over a 20-year time period. From this perspective, real flower arrangements aren’t the best choice in terms of sustainability.

At Silk Prestige, we know that the general opinion around artificial flowers can be pretty negative, with many  assuming artificial flowers are just plastic caricatures of the real thing. To that we say, you haven’t seen our arrangements!

Our silk flowers are perfectly-imperfect, with each stem and petal individually moulded and dyed. Each arrangement is unique, but also cost-efficient and most importantly, 100% sustainable. For every new client we work with we sponsor the planting of a tree under the Crann Easy Treesie Project, and provide each client with a personalised digital certificate.
When it’s time to retire some of our displays we either donate them to hospitals or nursing homes across the country under the Giving Joy programme.

The answer is clear. Silk flowers are the better alternative to real flowers for those concerned about sustainability, durability and effect. At Silk Prestige, we offer corporate flower rental, perfect for hotels, offices or events. Our arrangements come in seasonal editions changed throughout the year, or tailor-made versions, made exactly to your liking and delivered straight to your door.

Interested? Get in touch with get in touch at  for more information!

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