Nothing Says ‘I Love You’ Like Secondhand Roses

“Flower repurposing is one of the biggest things happening in the events industry right now,” said Nicki Fleischner, the founder of Plan with Purpose, a website that showcases ethically-minded event vendors. “There are more companies coming out of the woodwork all the time.”

Credit…Brittainy Newman/The New York Times

Jennifer Grove, an event planner, started Repeat Roses in 2014. Her company will pick up flowers after an event, restyle them, and transport them to a local nonprofit, like the Dwelling Place, a women’s homeless shelter and a regular recipient. When the flowers wilt, the company will deliver them to a composting facility. “To date we’ve diverted 197,137 pounds of waste from landfills,” Ms. Grove said earlier this month.

But Ms. Grove’s services aren’t cheap. Flower handling fees start at $1,750. This might explain the company’s heavy celebrity following.

Last Sunday, for example, Repeat Roses transported 590 pounds of florals from the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills to the nearby Ronald McDonald House and the East Los Angeles Women’s Center. And last February, it collected flowers from the baby shower for Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, at the Mark Hotel on the Upper East Side and took them to local charities, including the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge. The flowers were later composted.

Of course, people could also forgo flowers altogether, said Elizabeth Balkan, director of the food waste program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “We are not going to compost our way out of the flower issue, because there is still an enormous amount of resources used to create them,” she said.

In other words, why did the Duchess of Sussex, a self-proclaimed environmental advocate, have 389 pounds of flowers as part of her baby shower in the first place?

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