Gather Kindly Please: Filippa Harrington Discusses Conscious Dining
When it comes to conscious living, we’re all about cultivating a community that’s as passionate about the planet as we are. Whether it’s discussing our views or sharing our enthusiasm, we’re always happy to engage in a meaningful way with our fellow eco-warriors. So when we crossed paths with Fillippa Harrington, co-founder of Gather Kindly, we were immediately drawn to her conscious dining philosophy, and wanted to hear more about Gather’s story.
Take a look at what we discovered in our recent interview with her:
Boody: How did Gather Kindly begin and who was responsible for starting the company?
Filippa Harrington: Gather is co-created by Daniela Puccini, and myself Filippa Harrington. We met five years ago, soon after I moved to Cape Town and connected over food instantly. At first, this connection presented itself as a joy of nourishing our friends, family and community and playing with flavor, texture and colour.
As our friendship developed, and our independent experiences within the world of food, farming, wellbeing and gastronomy widened we were drawn to collaborate together in a formal sense, as a way of sharing a voice we felt lacking in the food space, and in Cape Town culture at large. A space where integrity is constantly evaluated, a space of wholesome nourishment that is eco-friendly, farmer-friendly and people-friendly and a platform from which to generate a make-it-yourself-culture, of information share and mindful ways of consuming and being.
Boody: What was the inspiration behind Gather Kindly, and what makes it unique?
Filippa Harrington: I’d like to think a few things. I think our personal backgrounds, both in where we come from and what we do creates a unique way of working with food and sharing information.
Daniela is a fine-artist and classically trained chef, and I have worked in the not-for-profit sector supporting environmental organizations and urban farming initiatives, and my food skills are self-taught, with a keen awareness for nutritional integrity. Daniela’s food roots are Italian, and mine are Swedish. I embrace traditional Swedish food-culture methods of food preservation and fermentation, as well as connecting to the land through the use of wild food flavours such as local seaweeds, indigenous edibles and wild herbs and greens - which support a way of eating that is compassionate towards our own well-being, and that of our planet.
Discovering the echo of these food practices, namely fermenting, foraging and the eating of wild greens, in traditional Southern African food culture has created a deep understanding of their universal importance. In terms of our projects, I would say our relentless commitment to supporting small-scale farmers who grow food without the use of chemical pesticides is unique… unfortunately!
Luckily, more and more food projects are integrating more environmentally friendly kitchen practices and sourcing policies, but we really need chefs to lead the way and be a bridge between farmer and consumer, and use their skills to show how environmentally conscious dining can be delicious and nourishing. We also are wholly committed to providing individuals with the information and skills to make positive changes in their own lives, we don’t want to just feed people – we want to be sure they can take these practices into their own kitchens and own lives.
Boody: What does conscious dining mean to you?
Filippa Harrington: Thinking about more than what’s easy, more than our whims and more than just ourselves. Taking a moment to think of the bigger picture connected to our food choices. To ask questions. To acknowledge that maybe what may seem cheap now, is costly to the planet and our own health.
Boody: Do you have any conscious living tips for our Boody fans?
Filippa Harrington: We have immense power as consumers, every time we spend money, we are choosing to support something good or something not so good. What we buy is noticed, and the more ethical and environmental our buying decisions are, the availability of these products will grow and other companies will be forced to change how and what they are doing. Choosing one eco-friendly habit to commit to per month is a good starting point, and you’ll soon see how quickly these become natural practices, rather than something that creates stress or asks for more time in your life. And never underestimate the positive impact you alone can have on this world – it’s limitless!