Rachel is the owner of Hedge, a florist and gift shop in Stirchley. Her passion is sustainable and seasonal flowers – from March/April to October/November she sources only British grown flowers, meaning that they have a lower carbon footprint than other options, because they have not been transported across the world.
Within the shop she also sells her own gingham collection (cushions, placemats, napkins and scrunchies), made from linen. Linen is made from flax, which is a fantastic crop as it needs little to no pesticides or fertilisers, is grown in northern Europe so isn’t transported as far as other fabrics, has a high yield and is biodegradable. It is also anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, hypo-allergenic and thermoregulating! They also have their own brand of cold-pressed soaps, which are ethically sourced and organic, as well as jewellery, bags, candles, cards and pottery. Their shop is definitely worth a visit!
What do you need to consider to ensure that the flowers you source are as sustainable as possible?
- Avoiding Florists Oasis (the single-use foam used to make floral arrangements), as it is made from plastic and formaldehyde, and when dissolved gets into our waterways as microplastic
- Sourcing British, in-season garden flowers, that are grown outside in a sustainable way (i.e. not in heated greenhouses, or using chemicals)
- Flowers are delivered in buckets, avoiding unnecessary plastic use
- Wrapping bunches of flowers in compostable butchers paper and tying with string, rather than using plastic and sticky tape
- Encouraging customers to compost their flowers at home (rather than putting them in general waste) once they have died
What do you love about running your business?
“The people I’ve met, the friends I have made and the lessons I’ve learnt. Knowing that we are offering something completely unique in Birmingham, rooted in sustainability and being a part of an ethical supply chain and the beginnings of what is hopefully huge change for the good in the flower industry.”
And finally, what do you love about Birmingham?
“The people. It’s so central. It’s maybe the UK’s best kept secret that it’s actually rather good here.”
You can find Hedge on Instagram (@the_hedge) or online (https://the-hedge.com/), or visit their shop on Pershore Road in Stirchley.