30 Dec 2020

Meet our Autumn 2020 Teams: PlantEra

By Will Spurr

Introducing: PlantEra

PlantEra aims to bring nature back into the lives of city dwellers. What began as a project to rescue 35,000 plants from being destroyed during the UK’s first COVID lockdown, has now blossomed into a hub for urban gardeners. This includes help selecting the right plants, understanding how best to care for them and getting them sustainably delivered to your door. 

Miranda Essex and Tom King were working as innovation consultants before the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the city began to slow down, they noticed a few things:

  • People were enjoying reconnecting with nature and finding fulfilment in gardening 
  • Traditional supply chains for plants were fragile and unsustainable 
  • People didn’t know where to start with urban gardening

These observations, combined with a passion for the natural world and a vision to transform cities into urban oases gave rise to PlantEra. In their first few months (whilst this was just a side-hustle), rescuing and selling thousands of plants from hard-hit growers enabled them to donate over £12,000 to the NHS. They also discovered a tribe of fledgling urban gardeners and shaped a plan to build their early momentum into a tech-enabled growing hub for urban gardeners. 

The impact potential for PlantEra is huge. From the perspective of sustainability, they are encouraging urban biodiversity, shortening food supply chains (to literally a few metres) and ensuring that each aspect of their product – from deliveries to compost – is kind to the planet. At the individual level, gardening has a wealth of positive impacts on our physical and mental health. These range from calming our minds to finding fulfilment in nurturing plants. They see gardening as an important way to find balance and reconnect to the natural world.  

Want to help them get everyone growing? You can head to their website and sign up to their mailing list or follow them on Instagram