A New—and Charitable—Way to Recycle Floral Decor

A start-up company will pick up and resell floral arrangements, with part of the proceeds going to charity.

By Mitra Sorrells September 2, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT

Rebloom removed damaged or wilted flowers before delivering them to customers.

Photo: Courtesy of Rebloom

While finishing her M.B.A. at Harvard, Jennifer Soffen launched Rebloom, a new company that provides floral recycling services for events in New York and Boston and has plans to expand to the West Coast.

The concept is simple and provides a reuse option for an element of decor that usually ends up in the trash. Planners submit a request on the Rebloom website, and  the company follows up to get details such as the number of arrangements, a description of the flowers used, the original cost, and the time the event will finish. A few days before the event, Rebloom posts a photo and description of the flowers that are available for purchase, at a discount of 70 to 90 percent off of the original price. The information is shared on its website and also with a list of email subscribers, which currently includes thousands of people around New York and Boston. At the close of the event, Rebloom picks up the flowers from the venue, refrigerates them overnight, then delivers them to purchasers the next day. Rebloom keeps part of the proceeds to cover its costs and the remainder, as much as about 10 percent of the original floral budget, goes back to the host.

For corporate clients and weddings, Rebloom asks that planners designate a charity to receive the proceeds, and Soffen says every client to date has donated to a charity. Nonprofit clients, such as Charity:Water, keep the proceeds to offset their original costs.

“Event planners and florists tell us their clients ask all the time, ‘What happens with my flowers at the end of the night?’” Soffen says. “For nonprofits, their constituents want to go to these events, but at the same time may have in the back of their head, 'Why is the charity spending so much money on decorations?' So it allows them to say yes, we want to  make it a nice environment, but we are doing the most we can to make this a sustainable practice.”

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