Fixing Fresh-Cut Flowers With a New Supply Chain

In what is one of retail’s more amusing ironies, the floral industry is not particularly green. The products are, of course, but the industry itself – particularly the segment of the market dedicated to the delivery of fresh-cut flowers – does not have a particularly inspiring environmental record. Flowers are water- and power-intensive to grow – and delivering them on demand can burn a lot of fuel.

When John Tabis founded the digital flower delivery service Bouqs seven years ago, his goal was to make the flower industry more sustainable. And while “sustainable” has become an increasingly favored (and thus increasingly vague) descriptor for many direct-to-consumer (DTC) businesses looking to take a new bite out of an old vertical, Bouqs was designed from the ground up to change the way flowers on demand are sold, by changing the supply chain that brings them to market.

As Tabis explained, the problem with the flower market is opacity – whether the customer walks into their local florist or picks up their phone to order a quick bouquet online, they don’t really know where those flowers originated or how they were grown. And the odds are good that the seller doesn’t know, either. The flowers come from a middleman, and their origin is largely unknown.

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