The Stem: Ethical, sustainable & doing wonders for our mental health

The Stem

I love having plants in my home. They bring me a kind of peace and calm and the more the merrier, I say. Sadly, I have not been blessed with natural green fingers, but my tried and tested formula (finely tuned over the years) is that if I just throw water at my plants on a weekly basis, they tend not to die.

More recently, I have become a little more discerning about the whole process of Keeping Plants Alive and now know what each one needs and when they need it… for the most part. Having plants delivered to my home in London is something I have always loved, but add in a new London garden centre that has ethics and sustainability at its heart, and I’m hooked.

The Stem hand-deliver their beautiful (and highest quality) plants, pots and accessories to people’s homes in the most sustainable way possible – all orders are hand-delivered by The Stem in electric vans, eliminating last-mile emissions and not adding to London’s already heavily polluted air. No plastic packaging is used (this is such a no brainer – I’m still amazed at the amount of plastic that enters my home when I haven’t asked for it) and all plants are delivered in hand-wrapped recycled kraft paper, which also looks gorgeous.

The Stem
Their Curved Fiberclay pots are absolutely gorgeous and again at a great price, from £16.
The Stem
The Stem sent me this beautiful ‘Money Tree’ – Pachira Aquatica. It costs £30.
The Stem
The Stem

For each customer order The Stem makes a donation equivalent to the cost of planting one tree, and The Stem has made further donations including donating all profits on World Earth Day, which I love. Tree planting helps to offset the carbon produced in the supply chain above The Stem – smart cookies, eh? Such a brilliant idea.

It doesn’t end there – since launching in October 2019, The Stem has financed the planting of over 5,000 trees through an ongoing partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects and even The Stem’s colour palette has been selected on the basis that the colours can be printed using vegetable inks with a lower environmental impact… they really have thought of everything.

Founder of The Stem, James Folger says, “Sustainability initiatives are embedded in our roots. We are doing everything within our means to make our business as sustainable as possible, with the majority of our efforts to-date focused on our distribution.”

The Stem
The Stem
Jumper: Zara

I mentioned at the beginning of this post how plants make me feel calmer and more peaceful, and I am not on my own. The impact of nature on mental health is a very personal topic for ex-banker James, who founded The Stem after battling his own mental health challenges while he was working in the City and realised that he found sanctuary amidst nature.

He says, “While working in the City I failed to develop healthy coping mechanisms to deal with the stress and ended up battling mental health issues. Travelling to remote places of natural beauty rebuilt my connection with nature and in turn my own sense of being.” 

The Stem
The Stem
Every order comes with a seed paper thank-you card that can be planted and will grow into wild flowers… I can’t wait to plant mine!

Having plants at home, caring for them and watching them grow definitely brings a sense of peace into my world and has actually been proven to help reduce stress and improve mental wellbeing. So during October, for every single plant picture that is uploaded to Instagram that tags them (@thestem_uk) and includes the #planthappiness hashtag, they will donate 50p to the Mental Health Foundation… and on World Mental Health Day they will donate 100% of their profits made from plants and pots, to the charity.

Well done, The Stem. You’ve only gone and made things better.

*Gifted items: plant & pot


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