Eco-friendly expandable Vazu vases from Tel-Aviv Eco-friendly expandable Vazu vases from Tel-Aviv A chic yet sturdy addition to any tabletop, VAZU makes the case for the non-glass vase. (Photo: VAZU)

A flower vase so stylish that it outshines the prettiest of blooms

Foldable VAZU flower vases are less heavy and more fun than their glass counterparts.

The traditional flower vase has been greenwashed.

A design company called VAZU has developed a line of plastic, flat-pack vases that, when filled with water, expand into sturdy tabletop receptacles. Available in a range of playful and brightly hued prints and patterns, VAZU vases – a “vase like you’ve never seen” – are so eye-catching they might just draw attention away from the blooms placed within them. So be careful, unless you want a bouquet of envious gerbera daisies on your hands.

VAZU first released its product in Israel in 2006, then hit the global retail scene a year later, forging partnerships with Target and IKEA. VAZU maintains its design headquarters in Tel Aviv with a production factory just north in the city of Netanya.

While a plastic flower case may not immediately strike some as a shining instance of “green” design, VAZU is quick to point out that from a manufacturing and distribution standpoint, plastic – in this case, thin layers of polyethylene and polyester – trump glass. With melting points that are far less than traditional glass, products made from polyethylene and polyester (VAZU eschews their more toxic cousin, PVC) require far less energy than their glass counterparts. 

A VAZU vase

Given that VAZU vases fold up and ship flat within modestly sized envelopes, the carbon footprint involved with their shipping and distribution is also much smaller than their heavier bouquet-holding brethren.

And while manufactured from plastic, VAZU vases are tough enough to be reused repeatedly. When not in use, they can be stashed away in a spot where they won’t collect dust or hog valuable cabinet real estate.

As for the future, VAZU co-founder and chief design officer Chagai Strauss told From the Grapevine that “we are looking all the time for new innovations, new designs, new solutions, new packaging, etc. This is in our DNA and I think it can be seen over the years."

In addition to ease of storage and their low-impact nature, part of the genius of VAZU vases is that they can be presented as part of a bouquet or floral arrangement, not just as a temporary, I’m going-to-need-that-back vessel – a loaner. Gone are the days of presenting a friend or loved one with a lovely bunch of flowers only to have to hound them for the vase’s safe return a couple of weeks later. (Glass vases are like Tupperware in that regard.) Costing only $10 each, a VAZU vase is theirs to keep to be used again and again.

And then there’s the question of which type of flowers go best with each VAZU design. While the product imagery on the packaging of each different VAZU vase portrays what Strauss calls “our unwritten recommendation for flowers,” it’s ultimately up to the customer to play around and have fun with vase-flower pairings. 

“We trust our client’s taste,” said Strauss. “And anyways, taste will always be a subjective thing.”


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