Waris Ahluwalia is helping people rethink wellness and wellbeing.
House of Waris Botanicals is not a tea company, but equal parts a solutions company and a celebration company.
“I’m tired of addressing people’s wants and want to focus on humanities needs. So long story short, I looked at something that was in my cupboard and in my home and in my life and I thought that’s not just tea, it’s a wellness product across cultures, across class,” explains founder Waris Ahluwalia.
Waris is a cultivated conversant of sorts. A jewelry designer – his former line landed him in Paris’s Colette and Vogue – he was a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist in 2009, and in 2010 he was inducted as a member of the CFDA. The same year, Ahluwalia was placed on Vanity Fair’s Best Dressed List, anointed British GQ’s second best dressed man internationally and included in Vogue’s 10 Most Impactful People list. In 2011, Ahluwalia held his first New York Fashion Week presentation at the Museum of Arts & Design, launching a line of scarves made in India. He is a frequent collaborator with Wes Anderson, appearing in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and The Darjeeling Limited. A list of accolades some of us may retire after.
Now comes the tea. Tea and it’s holistic properties date back hundreds of years to ancient practices and the study of natural medicine. Before black tea, there was chai for digestive aid. The seeds and what’s in the chai freshen your breath. A best selling blend for House of Waris Botanicals – Turmeric Honeybush – contains curcumin, the most powerful component of turmeric as a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. “The Western world is now discovering turmeric, it’s like they discovered fire!”
But in a society conditioned to find the shortcut – the quick fix – how do we enjoy the ride? How do we slow down? To use science and technology, but then to rely on our human history to align that into action. Waris is creating a world where both can coexist.
In a society conditioned to find the shortcut – the quick fix – how do we enjoy the ride?
“It’s not so much about the tea in itself, it’s not just earl grey. There are a lot of places you can get earl grey. It’s what it meant for society; when tea was brought to Japan from China by the Buddhist monks, what that meant and what that created in that society. The culture it created, the design that it created. The world that it created. That’s what we’re interested in.”
When we sat down with Waris in March his statement rings true now more than ever, in an almost comical sense that we should all be able to laugh at now… a few months ago, maybe not so much. “What we need more than ever, is being able to gather.”
Insert Dinner Club: a delicious gathering and exploration into the whole food healing powers of plant based nutrition, hosted by House of Waris. Stripped of health food store wellness, or the removal of dietary components like meat, Dinner Club focuses on wellness and wellbeing in a real and actionable way.
“This is a celebration of plants, we’re not even talking about meat. There’s no reference. Everything is always about what you can’t have versus celebrating what you can have. So our pillars are education, access and celebration. We’re in the business of celebration. We want people to rethink wellness and wellbeing.”
Until we can all gather again safely, House of Waris botanicals has taken their Dinner Club digital. Check out their instagram @housofwarisbotanicals to learn more and follow along.