“The lifespan of a fresh cut flower is approximately 15 days.” This ephemerality inspired Sara Rosa Oppermann and Alice Soro Cilliara of Danish design company Reevein Studios to rethink blooms as keepsakes that will never wilt.
Reevein Studios’ latest release looks a lot like anthuriums, the waxy flower prized for its heart shape that is often associated with warmness, hospitality, and long-lasting relationships. Except when you look closely, these red and black blooms are not shaped like hearts; they are more like squares with hyperrealistic veining.
This is because they are not, in fact, natural flowers. They are made from recycled scraps—branches, cotton threads, tapioca flour, and recycled plastic bottles to be exact.
In an interview with Wallpaper magazine, Oppermann and Cilliara said, “Our designs are a bit rougher and not super romantic. We have a bit more of a biological approach and get very inspired by the anatomy of flowers, and the anatomy of humans, and the many striking similarities that exist between them.” The two liken the veins of their creation to human blood veins.
What initially drew the two into creating these faux flowers is the short-lived yet high waste-generating nature of fresh flowers. Flowers, for the most part, are part of human rituals, from weddings to funerals. But before they reach altars, tables, and foyers of private homes, these precious cargoes—in the United States, at least—travel between 1,500 to over 4,000 miles in refrigerated planes, boats, and trucks. “A significant environmental footprint for a product whose beauty lasts only a few weeks,” reads a report from climate and culture publication Atmos.
In 2020, when the world ceased to celebrate, the flower industry took a hit. A report by the New York Times reads, “[M]any flower farms’ crops were discarded. Since no one knew what was going to happen, new crops were not planted as usual.” Not to mention, its production and supply chain are among the most impacted by the drastic changes in global temperature.
Many individuals are finding creative ways to repurpose “used” floral arrangements: There’s a service for secondhand flowers, efforts to redirect post-event blooms to hospitals, homeless shelters, and temples; and locally, florists with a penchant for found dried plants. However, the duo behind Reevein wanted to focus on sustainable design in the first place. Each flower part of its Geometric Series is made of 70 percent recycled materials. New designs will be introduced every third of the month.
For its first campaign, Reevein teamed up with Laguna-based photography duo Cenon at Mav to create a mise-en-place of its faux flowers set against the romantic backdrop of soft silks.
Each handmade floral “sculpture” retails for DKK 350-450 (approximately P2,600-P3,500) depending on the size and is available to order through their website.