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The primary innovation associated with Props is an economic nutrition label. In the simplest terms, this is a label that lets consumers know where their money is going and what its impact will be.
Of course, people are used to seeing nutrition labels on their food and beverages, which help them make informed choices about what they eat. Similarly, nutrition labels on floral products will help consumers make informed decisions about where their money goes after they buy the product. According to Jayme, economic nutrition labels are particularly interesting when buying and sourcing locally because the consumer can see how much money is staying within the local community.
Jayme and Ashley are acutely aware that flower shops are associated with a lot of waste and single-use materials. This is why one of their primary goals, as Jayme said herself, “was to come up with alternative solutions and be more conscious of what they are doing, producing, and disposing of.” Jayme related this goal of Props’ to the UN’s 12th Sustainable Development Goal, which is related to responsible consumption and production. Jayme and Ashley have made a huge effort to source materials from wholesalers which have the same dedication to supporting their community and having a positive impact on the environment. According to Jayme, “there has been a trickling effect … other shops are demanding these things from our wholesalers, so we see that everyone is trying to do their part where they can.” She also said that they “feel like leaders in the city in terms of [reducing waste and supporting responsible consumption].” They want to do all that they can to inspire businesses and move toward more sustainable and ethical business practices.
In terms of the inspiration behind the business itself, both Ashley and Jayme were inspired by their passion for creating beautiful flower arrangements. From a young age, the co-owners enjoyed working and experimenting with flowers, as they thought they were such beautiful and effective ways of creating a welcoming atmosphere for any occasion. Jayme further explained in the interview that from her experience working at the Common Roots Urban Farm, she developed an interest in sustainable agriculture. She also saw the need for flower shops to support local Nova Scotian farmers and reduce their large carbon footprint when working there.
The economic nutrition label was inspired by Fogo Island Inn, but Props will be the first local business to use it. They haven’t started making the economic nutrition labels yet, but have been given the go ahead by the Fogo Island Foundation and will make one for several of their products in the future.
Props has been making and will continue to make a great overall impact on local businesses and customers alike. Jayme and Ashley have become leaders in the Halifax community by promoting responsible consumption and production. They have been able to inspire many other local businesses to follow along in their footsteps in buying from local farmers as well as reducing their waste and use of plastic. In the long run, the increase of sustainable businesses in our community will amount to a larger increase of our society’s contribution towards fighting climate change. Props encourages buyers to become more mindful of climate action, economic growth, and responsible consumption, and may inspire community individuals to create change in other aspects of our society.
Sourcing products locally, reducing waste, and supporting responsible consumption are appealing to customers, which in turn helps create Props into a successful local community business. Props is very popular in that their customer retention and loyalty is high. As Jayme said, “customers buy from [Props] because they know they are getting high quality, natural, and environmentally friendly products while supporting a lot more people in the community than just our business.” As a small local business, customer loyalty is extremely important as it can bring about many new customers through word-of-mouth marketing. Though sourcing local products does raise the cost of Prop’s floral products, individual buyers recognize and justify themselves by understanding that they are contributing in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals when buying through Props.
Economic nutrition labels are a great marketing tool that will benefit Props once they are implemented. The labels will show prospective purchasers where their money goes and how much of it is spent locally. Allowing customers to see how their purchasing choices contribute to the places and things they value is appealing for them, which will in turn increase business loyalty and boost sales for Props.
By choosing to source local and organic products, Props plays a large role in improving social and environmental conditions. Supplies that are made, grown, and sold locally have to travel a shorter distance to their final destination. This is critical in lowering global carbon emissions and overall air pollution. Additionally, by sourcing locally, Props is supporting other suppliers and manufactures in their area, which improves the economy by increasing local employment. Their active commitment in reducing waste, recycling everything possible, and composting all perishables also contributes to a more sustainable planet with less human waste.Showing customers how their purchase impacts the local and global environment and economy through the use of economic nutrition labels, will give Props the chance to help their customers make conscious and informed purchasing decisions that positively affect their society and the planet.
Furthermore, by implementing these strategies that work towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (specifically Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption, and Climate Action) in their business, Props is influencing other local companies to move towards more sustainable, responsible practices.
Ashley MacNeill, Co-Owner
Jayme Melrose, Co-Owner
Props Floral and Design is a flower shop located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They have been running since 1998 and were taken over by the current owners, Ashley McNeill and Jayme Melrose, in 2019. Before taking over, Ashley worked for Props, while Jayme worked with Common Roots Urban Farm, which grew and sold flowers to Props at the time. Since teaming up and buying the business, they have pivoted to focus more on plant life and retail. They sell home décor and provide floral arrangements for weddings, commercial spaces, and homes. Props has a passion for flowers and saw an opportunity to implement several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in their business, including: #8 Economic Growth, #12 Responsible Consumption, and #13 Climate Action. They created a sustainable business by emphasizing the importance of economic growth by incorporating local flowers, and finding everyday solutions in reducing the carbon footprint of their shop to aid in responsible consumption and climate action.