Beneath the winter sun, we unveiled a feast for the senses. Our fresh, artistic wearable collection, inspired by the flavours and colours of the harvest was showcased to experience.
We wrapped up a unique interactive session by hosting a delicious lunch in partnership with Edible Routes, a conscious space that practices organic farming and permaculture, we gathered fresh produce to host a delightful lunch and interactive session. It was a harmonious blending of art forms, where food and fashion intertwined to tell a story of creativity and inspiration. Edible Routes aligns with Yavï’s ethos of working with natural materials, making it the perfect setting to showcase our latest collection, the ‘Food Art Story.’
The founder and designer of Yavï, Yadvi Aggarwal, draws inspiration from food recipes in creating this collection. She believes that the process of making food is an art in itself and has used this as the foundation for the ‘Food Art Story.’ The colours and structures of the garments emulate the delectable recipes she and her family treasured. Each Yavï piece tells a unique story, from the intricate patterns of a nature-inspired drink in a glass to a plate full of fruits, to the vibrant hues of freshly-picked berries.
We speak to Kapil Mandawewala, founder & CEO of Edible Routes, on his journey and how it led him to his interest in sustainable farming. He discussed how Edible Routes started as a workshop teaching people to grow food in urban spaces and evolved into a farm providing farmlets for individuals to grow their own food. He also spoke about the immersive experiences that Edible Routes offers to connect people with the process of producing fresh, healthy and sustainable produce.
Yavï: Could you share the story of the development of Edible Routes farm?
Kapil: Edible Routes farm was started in Noida, India in 2014 with the goal of teaching people how to grow food in urban spaces such as balconies, rooftops and backyards. As we began working with more and more individuals, we found that many people wanted to grow more than just a few herbs or vegetables. They wanted to be able to grow enough to sustain their families with fresh produce all year round. This is when the idea of farmlets was born.
A farmlet is a 1200 square feet plot of land that is rented out to individuals who want to grow their own food. We provide the space and the infrastructure, and the individuals take care of the planting, maintenance, and harvesting of the crops. This way, people can have their own little farm away from home where they can grow fresh produce for their families.
As our farm grew, we noticed that people also wanted to come out and enjoy nature and the outdoors. This is when we started to expand our offerings to include more experiential activities such as farm-to-table meals, guided tours of the farm, and workshops on different aspects of sustainable farming. We wanted to create an immersive experience that would allow people to connect with the process of growing their own food and appreciate the hard work that goes into producing fresh, healthy, and sustainable produce.
Yavï: Can you tell us more about the practices and principles of organic farming and permaculture that you use at Edible Routes?
Kapil: At Edible Routes, we use a variety of practices and principles that align with organic farming and permaculture. One of the key principles we use is to retain as much of the resources that flow through our land as possible. For example, during rainy seasons, we use techniques such as creating water channels and retention ponds to hold water on the land, rather than allowing it to flow away quickly. This helps to increase the amount of water that is stored in the land and provides more moisture for the plants. We also use a lot of leaves for manure, which not only helps to retain moisture in the soil but also provides essential nutrition for the soil microbes and plants.
Another principle we follow is to avoid any waste going out of the farm. For example, we recycle the grey water from our washrooms and kitchen into growing bananas. We also avoid the use of plastic, and we try to use all sorts of ecological materials, and source locally as much as possible. They are focused on creating a sustainable and self-sustaining ecosystem within our farm and creating a minimal impact on the environment.
Yavï: Can you share any challenges you faced while running Edible Routes and how you overcame them?
Kapil: We faced a variety of challenges while running Edible Routes. One of the main challenges was around changing people’s mindset and encouraging them to visit the farm instead of more traditional forms of entertainment such as malls or movie theatres. This required finding ways to make the farm experience more appealing and attractive to people. Another challenge was in educating people on what to expect when they visit the farm. Many people may have misconceptions about what a farm experience entails and we had to work to clarify and manage those expectations. Finally, we also faced challenges in raising awareness about the difficulties that farmers face in growing food, and in encouraging people to participate in and learn about the process of growing their own food.
Yavï: Can you tell us more about the future plans for Edible Routes and how you envision it to grow and evolve?
Kapil: We currently have three farms in Noida, Gurgaon, and Delhi and plan to expand to more cities within India, including Bangalore. Our larger goal is to create a community platform for people interested in living in harmony with nature, ecology and food.
Yavï: How big is your team and could you introduce your team to us?
Kapil: My team is about 15 people in the office and 10-12 in the field. We have key roles such as plant and technology experts, and Divya who handles operations and farmlets. We also have someone in charge of sourcing food products from local, natural, and organic farmers for our shop.
Yavï: How do you see the relationship between food and art?
Kapil: I believe food and art have a unique relationship. My experiences have shown me that food can be more than just nourishment for the body, it can also inspire the mind. I’ve noticed that those who are more interested in design and art are drawn to what we do at Edible Routes, and I think there’s a subconscious alignment between the two.
Bringing the brand to life in real life and bringing together members of our community is what makes our hearts full. It was an honour to celebrate Yavï’s newest launch in this intimate setting, sparking conversations, connections and joyful moments that we, at Yavï, plan to bring more of in our journey