I have just come upon the 2010 spring-summer advertising compaign of the Spanish brand Loewe, with Daria Werbowy. The top model posed in front of a wall covered with creeper and…BLUE Orchids! I have to admit that the blue orchids made me quite uncomfortable.
Everyone who has a little knowledge about flowers knows that this variety of Orchid, Phalaenopsis, exists only in white, rose, mauve, and rarely yellow colors. Although the flowers utilized in the shooting were artificial, it could mislead consumers. Furthermore, it is not only a question of aesthetics, but can be ethics.
We are talking more and more about ethics in the floral industry : environment, sustainable development, energy, fair trade, etc. Today I am treating another problem: Transgenesis.
Let’s see the introduction of a laboratory, Florigene:” Florigene uses genetic modification technology to bridge genetic gaps and rapidly deliver valuable improvements to flower species. The improvements to flowers – whether in shape, colour, vase life, disease resistance or other characteristics – have historically been achieved by cross-breeding of existing varieties. Florigene Moon carnations are an exquisite range of unique carnation varieties.” The company’s famous Moon carnations is a collection of carnations whose color varies from light lavanda to dark purple, which don’t exist in the nature. And the copany is working for, apparently, creating blue roses – not tinted blue roses that we can find at the Saint Valentine’s Day (how horrible!), but really “natural” blue roses.
I am not judging the commercial action of Florigene. Anyway, I am not against improving flowers’ vase life and disease resistance by using modern biological and genetic technologies. And new varieties and cultivars of plants have always been created, by crossing other varieties. However, I am always getting shocked by seeing artificial-colored flowers.
As for all others ethics subjects, each person may have his own opinion. Personally, I will never use blue roses or purple carnations in my floral arrangements.