Sage Flowers Has Launched an Inclusive Mentorship Scheme

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Aiming to redress a glaring imbalance in the floral industry, the FutureFlowers scheme gives people of non-white ethnicities a chance to learn the craft of floristry for free

If you‘re into flowers and live in London, you’ve probably heard of Sage Flowers. Founded in 2018 by friends Romy St Clair and Iona Scott-Mathieson, the independent, Peckham-based business’s contemporary approach to floristry has seen it become a favourite of the fashion industry and beyond. The pair have created pieces for Gucci, Fenty, Dazed and the Whitechapel Gallery, to name but a few. Far from your typical bunch of flowers, St Clair and Scott-Mathieson’s arrangements resemble beautiful Japanese ikebana displays – or even unique floral sculptures.

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, the duo launched their inclusive mentorship initiative FutureFlowers. The scheme is a free, three-month training programme for people of non-white ethnicities to learn about floristry and get a foothold into the industry – a predominantly white field where courses can cost thousands and internships are largely unpaid. “We have always been aware of the extreme lack of diversity in our industry,” Scott-Mathieson tells AnOther. “It grated on us – it was uncomfortable and it didn’t reflect the diverse area we live in, where our shop is, or the community and friends that we have. We knew something had to change.”

Currently entirely funded and taught by Sage Flowers, each course runs for three months and consists of five workshops, aiming to teach students the basic mechanics of floristry and the theory behind running a viable business. The final project sees students create a huge installation for a retail or gallery space, which have previously included displays at & Other Stories and The Garden Museum. “FutureFlowers is such an important and valuable programme,” says former student Charlotte Yau of the experience. “It felt so special to be seen, represented and supported in floristry, where historically there’s ’no space’.” 

In an effort to meet the growing demand for training, the pair have doubled their workshop capacity for 2022, though they still have hundreds of keen students on a waitlist. This year, they hope to expand the scale of the scheme to reach even more students, nurturing “those who have long dreamed of getting into the flower industry but have never been able.”

Learn more about FutureFlowers and donate at