Reducing Plastic One Seed Pack at a time

When I started Sow ‘n Sow 9 years ago, being an eco friendly business was at the forefront of my vision. I wanted to produce products in Australia with a low carbon footprint, using recycled materials where possible. Our Gifts of Seeds are printed in Australia on 100% post consumer waste recycled card and we produce everything within Australia. But more recently there has been something that I knew we could do better with.

Back when we started, we used paper envelopes to package our seeds within our Gift of Seeds packaging. They actually came from China, and the quality was less than impressive. The seeds literally slid out through the cracks in the folds of the envelopes! For fine seed like Poppy this was especially problematic, so we switched to little plastic zip lock baggies for poppy seed. With on-going issues with the paper envelopes, we ended up deciding to switch all of our seed types to the little zip lock baggies. I liked how the seed was visible, and also that the package was water proof and re-sealable so you didn’t have to use the seed all in one go.  But this has had me increasingly feeling uneasy. Especially with the plastic bag bans across many of Australia’s states and territories, it seems that everyone is now focused on reducing waste and reducing the use of single use plastics.  Which is so awesome! So those little zip lock baggies were really starting to weigh me down. It was time to switch, but the decision on what to switch to wasn’t an easy one.

We looked at heaps of different options, including getting a machine to package our seeds with. We might still do this down the track, but I wasn’t satisfied with the eco credentials of the packaging available for the machines, and the outlay was going to be significant.

In the end we decided to go back to the paper envelopes, but this time we’re having them produced locally in Australia by a family run envelope manufacture. This factory is literally located behind the business owners home, and they make beautiful, high quality envelopes. The cost? It is literally 10 times more than we were paying for the plastic zip lock bags. But it’s a cost that we are willing to wear in a bid to be more eco friendly.

So going forward you may start to notice the seeds within the Gift of Seed packaging in a lovely white recycled paper envelope. This won’t happen over night as many of our stockists will have stock that still have the Plastic Zip locks within them. But all newly packed Gifts of Seeds from today will be packed with these lovely recycled, Australian made paper envelopes. We are sure the dolphins will appreciate our small step in the right direction 🙂

We love Precious Wings

Just a quick note to put light onto the incredible charity Precious Wings. Sow ‘n Sow has proudly provided our Everlasting Daisy and Forget Me Not Gift of Seeds in support of the charity since 2013, when Kerry first contacted Michelle.

Precious Wings is a not-for-profit organisation who’s generosity and compassion is touching the lives of people who have experienced tragedy. Kerry and Kirsty began Precious Wings (formerly Project Butterfly) in memory of their two beautiful sons, Lachlan and Toby, after experiencing still births. They have since been driven to reach out to families who are experiencing the devastating loss of a loved one. They are able to provide comfort and support through giving families a beautiful and memorable gift as they leave the hospital.

They supply Memory boxes to families who lose a baby, who lose a child of up to 16 years, as well as for some adults. Miscarriage memory bags are supplied to early pregnancy units and emergency departments. They also provide hospital staff and families with support and advice in empowering families during the healing process. Precious Wings currently provide for 24 hospitals and funeral homes over Queensland.

 

 

A new Gift of Seeds for Mother’s Day

Introducing Snapdragons!

A classic cottage garden annual with bright colourful blooms which are great as a cut flower.  We picked snapdragons because they’re easy to grow and are exactly the kind of flower we would like to give to our Mothers on Mother’s Day.

Usually our packets have a brightly coloured top band with a colourful illustration on the kraft background. We decided to switch things around for this design, instead having a plain kraft top band and the illustration sitting on colour below. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out, all thanks to Daniella Germain our amazing illustrator & designer as usual.

A gorgeous, eco-friendly gift that grows featuring stunning illustrative artwork that mums of all ages will love.

Introducing the ‘Edibles’ mini collection

We are very excited to announce that our gorgeous new ‘Edibles’ mini collection is now available for purchase!

It was certainly time for us, 7 years in, to add some more edibles to our collection. And after realising recently that one of our best sellers is our ‘Trio of Herbs’ Gift of Seeds I feel more confident that people are keen to gift seed that is useful and delicious!

Leafy Greens contains a mix of Lettuce, Rocket and Spinach seeds. A very easy to grow mix that if picked regularly just continues to give. We’ve had a patch of these growing for months on end at my place, supplying a constant supply of fresh & crispy greens for our meals, which looks lush in the garden too. (those greens in the pics below came from my garden!)

I chose watermelon as the other variety to kick off the edibles range as it is just such a darn cute fruit, is sweet and juicy, easily grown from seed and who doesn’t love watermelon! Great for kids or anyone who loves to grow & harvest their own produce.

I hope you like them, and can’t wait to show our stockists these gorgeous new designs at Life Instyle in Melbourne next week.

We are at stand 1458 and looking forward to it! And thanks to Rikki Lancaster for the gorgeous pics 🙂

GPO Melbourne Makers Feature

The lovely Lucy Amon from Melbourne’s GPO came to the Sow ‘n Sow studio on a Saturday morning to take some pics and interview me for the Melbourne Makers series.

I was a bit hung over having spent the previous night out on the town (the first since having Bonnie!) so I was a little rough around the edges. Hopefully you can’t tell and hoping Lucy didn’t notice either 😉

We had a lovely chat and Lucy took some gorgeous pics of the studio. If only the studio was always this tidy!

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A Gift of Seeds for Kids

kids_seeds_giftbugx2_prop  wonderland_prop enchanted_prop_2Spring has arrived and with it our shiny new Enchanted Garden and Bug Wonderland Gift of Seeds!

Designed for creative & adventurous little souls, we decided that gardens aren’t just about pretty flowers but are about all the wonderful bugs, butterflies and little habitats they create in the garden.

Some of my fondest memories are of being completely immersed within the garden, playing, exploring & dreaming up adventures with my friends and sisters.

These glittering, playfully illustrated packets contain a mix of flower seeds that butterflies, birds & bugs all love, and are bound to bring life to your garden, and to foster the imaginative spirit in children of all ages.

The seeds are a mix of dianthus, cosmos, cornflower and allysum, all easy to grow garden favourites.

We again worked with the wonderful Daniella Germain who created the gorgeous illustrations, and Lauren McIvor on the pretty photos using real bugs!

As with all of our products, our Bug Wonderland and Enchanted Garden Gift of Seeds are made in Australia and are printed on 100% recycled card.

Available now in the Sow ‘n Sow webshop and via stockists Australia wide.

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A Gift of Seeds Display Stand

We’re very excited to introduce our new Gift of Seeds display stand!

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We worked with the wonderful Jeremy at Prototype Laser who created & makes the stand locally in Melbourne using sustainably-sourced bamboo. The stand very cleverly packs flat and can be assembled without glue or tools.

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Update: March 2014 – we now also have a more compact display stand! Here are some pics  Display_Small_webDisplay_Small_front_web

Sow ‘n Sow’s Spring Celebration Giveaway

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We’re just a few days in to spring and the weather here in Melbourne has already become warm and sunny. All we can think of doing is being outside, absorbing the sunshine, picking flowers and sowing lots of seeds! To celebrate the arrival of this glorious season Sow ‘n Sow is offering a selection of products from the Sow ‘n Sow webshop in a great big spring giveaway valued at over $200! We will be sending one lucky spring-chicken the following:

1. A set of our Geometric Plant Labels to mark out your herbs in a cheerful way

2. Our best-selling Gifts of Seeds Box Set to share with loved ones and celebrate the joy of gardening

3. A Set of 6 Gift Tags featuring the stunning illustrations of our Gifts of Seeds by Daniella Germain

4. Our latest product, the Speckle Wall Vase made in Melbourne by the lovely Chela of Takeawei Ceramics

5. An Australian Native Box Set featuring all four of our Australian Native Gifts of Seeds

6. And the very cool Sunprint Kit for taking photographic type prints of your favourite flowers, by placing them on the special sunprint paper and capturing images using sun and water.

To enter simply jump over to our facebook page and leave a comment on the giveaway post, telling us what your favourite spring flower is and why. The giveaway ends at 9pm on Monday the 9th of September. The winner will be picked at random and in the following days.

 

Billy Buttons, a Gift of Seeds for Christmas

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I’m excited to announce that our first ever Christmas Gift of Seeds is now available to purchase through our webshop and via our stockists Australia wide. Billy Buttons are a gorgeous Australian Native which flower with beautiful bright yellow balls on long stems, perfect as a unique and stylish cut flower.

If I do say so myself, these are perfect for kris kringle/ secret santa presents! Or send in place of a more traditional Christmas card, providing a gift and a card all together in one gorgeous package.

We chose Billy Button’s as they’re an extremely popular cut flower, they are an Australian Native and they’re easy to grow from seed.  Billy Button’s are also known as drumsticks or crespedia, or by their botanical name Pycnosorus globosus. The Billy Button’s Christmas tree design is also available as a gift tag, and the Christmas seeds can be purchased Individually or for better value purchase the Set of 4 which comes wrapped in twine and complete with 4 envelopes for posting.

The ever inspiring Daniella Germain did of course create the stunning artwork for the packet, not sure where we’d be without her! On a side note, Dany has just launched a fabulous wedding stationery business, The Paper Pinwheel offering gorgeous invitation designs.

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