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Flower business comes up roses after scooping gold sustainability award

The Sustainability Awards. Credit: Sam Gavins Photography.

By Andrew Diprose [email protected]

Published: November 14, 2023 | Updated: 14th November 2023

A family business described as the world’s first-ever British-only flower subscription service has come up roses after winning gold at this year’s Big Sustainability Awards.

Sophie Townsend, Meadowsweet, making posies

Sophie Townsend making posies

MeadowSweet scooped the ‘SME Sustainability Journey’ category at the awards, held at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl.

Founder Sophie Townsend said: “We’re over the moon to have been recognised for our efforts to become a more sustainable business.

“It means a lot to us, for all the hard work the team have put in over the years.

“It’s truly an honour to win this award.”

MeadowSweet was founded in 2016 by Sophie from her studio in Bournemouth.

It uses exclusively 100 per cent British flowers and foliage through the year, providing customers with a sustainable alternative to imported – typically cold-chain, air-freighted – flowers.

They currently account for 86 per cent of all the cut flowers sold in the UK.

The gold was awarded thanks to MeadowSweet’s continued efforts to be as sustainable as possible and crucially, by eliminating air miles.

Sophie said: “When we first started out, we weren’t sure if it was even possible to run a British-only flower service all year round.

“In fact, we were specifically told that it wasn’t possible, by a particular trader at the New Covent Garden Flower Market.

“Nothing like being told you can’t do something to make you try harder!”

MeadowSweet works with British growers as well as establishing its own cutting garden to ultimately achieve 100 per cent British flowers in its posies all year round.

Sophie said: “It has become a little easier over the years to purchase British flowers from some of the larger under-glass growers.

“This has helped us to maintain variety and content during the winter and we’ve been 100 per cent  British now for six years.

“We love being able to connect our customers with nature and celebrate the diversity and seasonality of locally grown ingredients while also knowing that we aren’t causing harm to the environment.

“We hope that our product will remind people of the beauty of real flowers and inspire them to care for the nature on our doorstep.”

Read next: Dream comes true as Zoe, 20, launches her own flower shop

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