nat-2™ BKK Flower Mrkt

A colab project of Irene Purasachit and Sebastian Thies / nat-2™

While flowers are beautiful, they have an incredibly short lifetime. Millions of flowers are planted, selected, cut, and transported across the world daily, ready to become precious gifts for loved ones or exquisite decorations before ending their long journey in landfills.

Various sources say 40% is the percentage of flowers grown commercially that are thrown away before they reach consumers’ hands.

As a case study, in Bangkok, Thailand, where the excessive use of flowers is rooted deeply into the way of life, lies Pak Klong Talat, a flower market with over 500 vendors that runs twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The market generates roughly one cubic meter of flower waste per shop per week, or approximately over 10 tons of waste flower daily. These discarded flowers are thrown away with their packaging intact, therefore they are not considered organic waste and can only end up in landfills or being incinerated.

What if we can extend the life of these discarded flowers?
What if we can utilise them in bio-based materials?

The Flower Project now results in a collection of sneakers with bio-based materials made of discarded flowers. As flowers are essentially plants, stems and leaves yield fibre. Petals contain less fibre but are vibrant in colour can be made into pigments. These two bases can then be made into limitless bio-based materials.

It is an ongoing research of ways to sustainably valorise flower waste. The project aims to provide a solution to cut this waste stream by turning flower waste into environmentally responsible materials. By integrating material production into the industry, we can divert nearly 100% of flower waste from landfills, direct recyclable wastes that come with flowers into their proper recycling processes, offer alternatives for unsustainable materials and enable circularity in the industry.

The other materials use in the 100% vegan sneaker are recycled PET bottles, real rubber, cork, reflective glass and nat-2™ bioceramic.

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