Madelon van de Ven, Founder of PLNTY
Living in an urban city, can never get enough greenery or time in nature. Spending most of our days indoors, and in and out of office buildings, we subconsciously crave to be closer to the plant world.
We are inspired by Madelon’s vision in revolutionising our relationship with plants, and bringing life into our busy lifestyles. Read more about how she stays motivated and the meaning behind her work on our blog.
- What’s your story and inspiration behind PLNTY?
I’ve always appreciated the beauty of plants, but only learned the science and benefits plants have on our health until later. Plants purify the air, reduces noise, helps us focus better, reduces stress, makes us feel at home and (most importantly might I add) makes them happy.
To me, this epiphany was the tipping point: I started to realise how impactful it is to greenify my own life in the city. Since then, I have been true plant advocate, trying to convince as many people I come across to make their living and work spaces green and healthy.
Having moved around from city to city from Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Shanghai and finally Hong Kong, I was, once again, surrounded by a concrete jungle instead of a green one. But now I know what truly makes me feel ‘at home’ - transforming my living space into an indoor green oasis.
Visiting living and working spaces in Hong Kong, it became clear to me that I had a job cut out for me here. This is how PLTNY came to life - creating healthier spaces with stunning plant design, that are eco-friendly and easy to maintain. That's how I want to make plants work with PLNTY.
- Are we generally losing touch with nature?
Yes, I think it’s a global challenge and not specific to Hong Kong because people have continually gravitated to cities. It’s predicted that 80% of the world’s population will be living in cities by 2030. In Hong Kong, 99.7% of its population currently live in the city, so that’s almost everyone.
Before there were cities, we searched for landscapes in which we could thrive and flourish. So it's in our nature to be with nature and find places where we can live in the most comforting and peaceful way. Since we spend 90% of our times indoors, we lose touch with nature when we are stuck in a building all day. The challenge now is to making every city dweller aware of the positive impact indoor greenery can have on their day to day life.
- Have you seen more interest in plants and gardening since Covid-19?
Definitely! Demand for indoor greenery has grown and there’s now more awareness of the benefits that green spaces bring. What I’ve seen with PLNTY is that we often uncover a latent need people don’t realise they have. I think when people are made aware that their environment can be greener and healthier, they realise how much of a boost it has on their well-being and happiness.
I think our search to improve our well-being has been magnified by the pandemic as we often go back to this primary need in times of crisis. I hear a lot from businesses that they are looking to make work-life better for their employees as it’s so hard for people right now. This is where plants can have an impact through greenifying offices and spaces. It can help companies create attractive environments where employees can be more productive, thrive and be happier.
- Any advice you can give for having plants in small living spaces?
Not having so many free and valuable space in our living or working spaces requires a creative approach. Of course you can see where you can fit in a small table plant, but have you thought about a living green art piece on your wall? For example, a photo frame filled with moss can be beautiful, artistic and at the same time very functional: they clean the air and reduce noise because moss (and all other plants) absorb sound! Another idea is to make use of hanging plants. We are sure you have a corner in your house where they won't bother you.
- What’s your daily ritual?
My absolute top two: taking a cold shower to feel even more reenergized after waking up and filling my to go coffee cup with good coffee on my daily walk to my office in Sheung Wan!
PLNTY provides a tailored service inclusive of advice on types of plants for your space and environment aligning with your brand identity and personal style. Start living greener and book a free plant scan here.