Among the most frequently asked questions posed to Pete, our founder, is “what was the inspiration for Wonderfruit?”. So we sat him down and asked him to tell the whole story, and here’s what he said.
“It was around 2012 that I started to feel like I wanted to do something that was creative, responsible, meaningful and that had impact. I think it had a lot to do with me being exposed to environmental awareness since I was very young. My dad created a campaign called Think Earth, which raised awareness around environmental issues. Basically he went out and coordinated with schools, universities, government agencies, the military and so on to restore forests and coral reefs. Mind you, this was in 1987 and at that time those issues weren’t as prominent as they are now, and for me, they didn’t seem relevant – it felt like something adults do, like a chore. So I was dragged along – I was too young to be properly involved and frankly i don’t have a fond memory of it – i remember it being quite tedious. When you’re growing up you don’t notice that you absorb these things, but somehow, despite my reluctance at the time, it stuck with me. I was struck by the sense that normal people have a responsibility to the environment – my dad wasnt a scientist or a conservationist or anything, he just wanted to play a role in protecting it.
So I was exposed to all that, but also i loved the art, and food and culture. I grew up in that counterculture of the underground electronic music scene of the mid nineties, and I really felt like I was part of something and it was powerful. So the inspiration for Wonderfruit came from trying to combine the two. I wondered, “How can we make a sustainable movement based on sustainable issues but make it fun and engaging?” So I called up an old school friend, Montonn – Jay, my now co-founder. I felt like he might be interested and found that he was at a similar point in his life and wanted to do something meaningful, but we didn’t have a focus yet, we just knew we wanted to do something good.
So it took a couple of years of brainstorming, on and off, to come up with the concept of Wonderfruit. At first it was going to be a one-day event, but we just kept adding content, and then I went to my first multi-day festival – Secret Garden party in UK – and I thought, “That’s a cool platform; you’re there for multiple days and it becomes a whole lifestyle.” It fit with all the content we were thinking about. We had some principles: everything had to be engaging, it had to be fun and relevant and done in a way that encourages you want to create a positive impact. We took that very seriously and it became the way that we selected or curated content for what became Wonderfruit. We wanted to create seamless solutions that make sustainable living fun and now, as Wonderfruit has evolved, our intention has become more focused, so that now we have a really clear ethos, which is:
We encourage, develop and innovate creative solutions for sustainable living and bring together a global community to celebrate them. We use our platform to catalyze creativity and make a meaningful positive impact.”
So that’s the story according to Pete, and you can hear more of the details and behind the scenes stories on Episode 1 of Wondercast – our podcast, here. But what about you? What’s your Wonderfruit story? What does Wonderfruit mean to you?