Lee Sansom on innovation within floristry

McQueens Flowers’ COO tells the Head of Quintessentially Experiences how change is blooming in the floral industry

Since being founded in the 1990s, McQueens has grown to be one of the world’s largest luxury floral design companies. However, floristry is notoriously wasteful; an issue which McQueens COO Lee Sansom is tackling head on. Under Sansom’s direction, McQueens is using its influence within the floral industry to implement and inspire change – from educating its clients and workforce to innovating new products and ways of working.

Inspired by his vision, the Head of Quintessentially Experiences Alexandra Wood asked Lee about the future of floristry and how McQueens is innovating change within the industry.

You’re clearly thinking about making floristry more sustainable, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone else in the supply chain is. How can you inspire others to make similar changes?

It's really important that, as a business, we continue educating our clients to ensure we develop sustainable designs. Everybody thinks the floristry industry deals with live products that can be composted, but you can’t compost dried wood or things with decorative colour. My biggest bugbear is painted wood because the paint means it cannot be recycled. We have already worked hard to educate clients about the impact of this on the environment, and they now understand what that material is and why we shouldn’t be using it, so they no longer request it.

Are you winning clients because of your sustainability credentials – or are your existing clients engaging with you more because of your efforts?

We take existing clients on our sustainability journey with us. We support them with education and understanding, such as classes in hotels about extending the life of their installations. In terms of new business, a lot of spaces have sustainable practices as a requirement, so we get approached as people know we’re trying to make the floral industry more sustainable.

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