A Journal exploring the value of plants and flowers
04-12-2017 Incubation Programme

Introducing Class 2: Clorofille

Words by Kelsey Lee Jones

Photos by Abel Minnée

Our Let it Grow Incubation Programme is now in its second year, bringing together a new group of entrepreneurs and innovators who all connect with plants and flowers in unique ways. Here we’ll be getting to know the faces of Class 2 in a week-by-week series.

A group of plant biologists with crafty hands launched Clorofille together in 2016. They’re based out of Copenhagen, offering urban farming kits and city workshops, with the mission to unearth the many creative uses for plants. Clorofille invites you to ‘grow your passion’ and plant a hobby on your windowsill. We caught up with founder Giulia Cavalli to talk about their latest (and favourite) experiments.

 

Hi Giulia, could you start by talking about the Clorofille mission. How are you connecting passion and creativity with plants and flowers?

Our aim is to show people the many different uses of plants – we want them to experience something more than having a plant just as a decorative object. We go behind the aesthetics of plants and use the plants for something. ‘Grow your passion’: the idea is to make your hobby sustainable by growing it on your windowsill. Your passion might be for painting, cooking (with gourmet flowers), cocktail/soap making or inventing new musical instruments for instance. We help everybody, from experienced gardeners who don’t really know what to do with their plants at the end of the summer, to people who don’t know anything at all. In our urban farming kits we offer cards with all the useful information on planting, plant growth, light, watering and feeding. etc.

Where was your love for flowers and plants born?

Being the daughter of two agricultural scientists [the same as founding partner Bianca Baldacci], the story I tell is one of growing up: like most of us having been in the car with our parents on a long trip, we would have played ‘how many red cars can you spot?’, with my parents it was ‘guess which kind of cultivation is in this passing field?’. It’s always been about what kind of plants are out there. We walked in nature pointing out different kinds of plants – that’s how it started. It naturally evolved and I decided to study biology, it was a little bit subconscious – but somehow I ended up having a PhD in plant biology.

‘Grow your passion’: the idea is to make your hobby sustainable by growing it on your windowsill.

Could you tell us the story of how your team met?

Our team works across different parts of Europe [Denmark, the U.K and the Netherlands] but it started with me asking Bianca if she wanted to start this project with me. I’ve known Bianca forever, she’s a good friend of mine and our mums went to school together. Then there’s Valentina Sechi, our product developer, who we met in Denmark while we were working at the University. She’s also a biologist and came on board after she finished her PhD.

What is it like to live in Denmark? Do you notice many green city initiatives?

Denmark is the place to be for urban farming and sustainable initiatives. Next to my place there’s an urban farming rooftop, many families go there every week to pick up their vegetables. I sometimes work together with them and I’ve hosted some workshops there. I have a garden, it’s next to a railway – there’s a garden integration project where half of the people working with them are Danish, half from outside Denmark – it’s a way to get into Danish society through gardening.

You offer a range of experimental workshops. Do you have any favourites that you like to host?

I would say that the most successful is the play-dough for kids. We make the dough using colours extracted from plants and a recipe using ingredients you usually have in your kitchen. It’s a great experience – the kids are really pleased with it! My favourite workshop (albeit a very messy one) is with paints and colours, in combination with mandala making – we go out into nature to collect things and bring them back to use.

Are there any future ‘passions’ you’d like to explore?

Yes – we have lots of new ideas and experiments to try out. One of our newest workshops involves using pumpkins to make musical instruments or birdhouses. We’d love to make a kit out of this idea so that everyone can grow their own musical instrument at home. We’d also like to create some greeting cards using sprouts that grow as a special message and can be used afterward.

Did you set specific goals for the Incubation Programme. What are you most interested in learning on the journey?

The main thing is that we want work out how to go further, learn how we can make our product better and work out which new ideas to explore. We want to answer some of the open questions and figure out our next steps. We’ve already learned a lot of things that we didn’t know, it’s been helpful to know how to approach the customer for example.

 

Each week we’ll be introducing someone new from our Incubation Programme. Make sure to check back and follow the journey.

 

www.clorofille.com

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