BloomBack is a Singaporean-based social enterprise founded in 2017. By upcycling flowers used in weddings to make preserved flowers, BloomBack is dedicated to improving people’s well-being, reducing wastage of flowers and providing job opportunities to the marginalized in Singaporean society.
Although being little noticed, fresh flowers are often a waste item produced at weddings. An estimation showed that more than 100 stems of flowers are used for decorations at a medium-sized wedding (Blooms By The Box, n.d.). Sadly, most of the flowers are thrown away without being reused (Kramer, n.d.). At the same time, the global flower trade, valued at US$8.5 billion (Faux, Herbling & Munsterman, 2020), has a large ecological footprint as flowers from different origins, such as roses from Kenya and tulips from the Netherlands are shipped across the world in refrigerated facilities, causing significant greenhouse gas emissions (Fredenburgh, 2019).
BloomBack believes that flowers can help “spread Happiness, encourage Empathy, promote Acceptance and nurture Love” (BloomBack, 2021). While they cannot reduce the amount of fresh flowers used, they give the flowers a second life and use them to enhance the mental well-being of people. The e-commerce company transforms flowers discarded after weddings into preserved flowers and uses them as delicate floral designs for products such as glass domes, bluetooth speakers and diffusers. Through these processes, the lives of the flowers are lengthened. Apart from selling these design products, BloomBack also launches the Bloom It Forward movement to make preserved flowers into bouquets to donate to patients in hospitals and hospices. They believe that patients would recover faster as they benefit from the healing effects of flowers. They also collaborate with different organisations to provide training to their employees to better serve the beneficiaries, mainly the elderly and the sick.
Since its establishment in 2017, BloomBack has employed people from the marginalised communities, including single mothers, patients with mental illness and ex-offenders. Employees value the opportunity provided by BloomBack, as it is often difficult for them to find meaningful employment. BloomBack now collaborates with three organisations that provide medical services to the elderly and the disabled in Singapore. It provides trainings to the staff members of those organizations to enable them to deliver more empathetic services, and gives out preserved flower bouquets to their staff and beneficiaries to let them feel the love and care. One renowned campaign co-organized by BloomBack was its collaboration with Parkway Cancer Center in 2017. The two organizations distributed pink flower keychains to cancer patients to show them support, and to raise awareness among the general public on breast cancer. This collaboration earned BloomBack the “Best CSR Project” and “Best Marketing Campaign” at the Healthcare Asia Awards in 2017.
Bloomback. (2021). [Online]. Available at: https://bloomback.org (Accessed 2 July 2021).
Blooms By The Box. (n.d.). Bouquet & Arrangement Flower Quantities. https://www.bloomsbythebox.com/pub/bouquet-and-arrangement-flower-quantities.cfm. Accessed 2 July 2021.
Faux, Z., Herbling, D., & Munsterman, R. (2020, April 17). The Crash of the $8.5 Billion Global Flower Trade. Bloomberg Businessweek. https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2020-flower-industry-crash/. Accessed 2 July 2021.
Fredenburgh, J. (2019). The 4000 mile flower delivery. BBC. https://www.bbc.com/future/bespoke/made-on-earth/the-new-roots-of-the-flower-trade/. Accessed 2 July 2021.
Kramer, E. (n.d.). The Ugly Truth about Beautiful Weddings: They’re Full of Waste. Catalyst Wedding Co. https://www.catalystwedco.com/blog/wedding-waste. Accessed 2 July 2021.