Flowords – winner of Hivos Design Competition

October 05, 2015 – Industrial Design

Allmost 85 percent of roses that are shipped to the Netherlands are from eastern Africa, where many flowers are produced under very poor work conditions. As part of the Hivos Design Competition the brief was to design a product for Power of the Fair Trade Flower that improves the visibility of Fair Trade flowers at retailers and homes. Out of 100 entries our Flowords add-on concept was selected as the winner of this design competition. Hivos announced that our design will be used in a pilot to test the concept in the Netherlands at a selection of retailers.

Flowords Concept – add-on for Fair Trade flowers

Flowords is an add-on product attached to the stems of Fair Trade flowers focusing on sharing the fair trade message. It aims at an improved visibility at retailers and a telling the fair trade story at homes. Customers are triggered by the Flowords to discover the meaning of the flowers and they will value the fair trade story as a result. When recycled the brown colored base part of the add-on becomes visible showing a quote of one of the African flower workers.


The challenge: Design a product that makes Fair Trade Flowers recognizable while

upgrading the visibility of the Fair Trade concept at both retail locations and homes.

Why a Fair Trade Flower challenge?

Today many flowers are still produced under very poor work conditions in mostly Eastern African countries. In 2012 the campaign of Hivos named Power to the Fair Trade Flower was launched to enlarge the production that is certified for proper work and a sustainable working environment.

In collaboration with Iris van der Nieuwenhuizen, student Plant Sciences at Wageningen University and Research centre.