Chandigarh-based Gen Z expert on living sustainably, Anya Gupta, is building an online community with whom she shares her wholesome and mindful everyday experiences. The organic and unplanned direction that led her to her digital career path is perhaps the reason her content resonates with her community of 18k and growing followers. Learning new things each day, Anya's posts cover her botanical findings, insights on sustainable fashion, and a lot of entertaining animal content. Offline, Anya manages her organic farm, a pottery workshop and store, along with a thrift clothing set-up.
- When did you decide you wanted to lead a sustainable life, and where did your love for botany come from?
It wasn’t really planned. I’ve been living life on a farm for a decade, so I think I’ve been a bit closer to “nature” than my peer group. Living life on a farm in a rural setting has made me appreciate the good things in life– clean water, homegrown veggies, solar power, co-existing with birds, insects and animals, the benefits of buying local, supporting local, building a community and so much more. A lot changed for me in 2019– the year I lost my dad. I questioned everything. The way I lived, the things I bought, the content I consumed and the content I put out for others to consume. The more I thought about the man whose daughter I am, the more I wanted to be his daughter in my behaviour, actions, and values.
- What is the purpose behind what you do as a digital influencer?
My purpose is to simply share my lifestyle, knowledge, and my daily life on a farm. It includes discussing aspects of sustainability in fashion, food, home and more - since I practice it in many areas of life. I enjoy using my platform to extend my support to small businesses and initiatives that I resonate with. Over time, it has become an online journal of sorts, to share my story.
- Describe yourself in 3 words.
Inexhaustible, private, multi-faceted.
- Tips on where to start if you’re wanting to live a mindful and conscious lifestyle?
Start department wise - pick an area like wardrobe, bathroom or kitchen, and start working towards eliminating harmful products and practices in those areas. It's easier to work with one dedicated space and you end up seeing results faster. You cannot buy your way into living sustainably or achieve it overnight. Patience is key, acknowledge your progress and give yourself an occasional pat on the back.
- Many brands are doing sustainable fashion, how can sustainability also be included in the house with interiors?
I think it’s important to only bring things into your home which you value immensely. Interior décor can include artisan-made items, investment art, and handcrafted products that carry a soul and story.
- A favourite winter food/drink sourced from your kitchen garden?
A delicious basil omelette with fresh crunchy lettuce from the garden, accompanied by a tall glass of orange juice. Eggs, basil, lettuce and oranges from my garden & orchard. Winter dinners are always spinach soup with a garlic toast; occasionally veggies roasted in our fireplace that is lit every day. Spinach from my garden too :)
- A day in your life looks like?
No two days in my life are the same. I take an hour or two to myself in the morning just breathing, enjoying my morning tea, greeting my dogs, feeding my cat. Breakfast is at ten, followed by a walk around our entire farmhouse which includes briefing the farm staff for the tasks of the day. I cherish my evening tea at six as I explore new music or do whatever I feel like at the moment. I value family time, so I always catch a few hours with my mum in the evening. Dinners are early and simple, sometimes they’re enjoyed watching our favourite sitcoms - Seinfeld, Friends are staples in our home.
- How would you describe your personal style?
Flowy, natural, organic, oversized, dainty, delicate - a few words I think of when I dress myself every day. Most days I prefer oversized hemp pyjamas and a kimono - with probably a basic organic cotton shirt underneath. This is the perfect attire for life on the farm. My winter wardrobe is nothing but the warmest, fuzziest shawls from Manali.
- What is a common misconception about what you do that you have always had to address?
Someone from my Instagram community asked me what I do besides swimming and lying down, while it’s flattering to know people think my life is made up of that, I actually manage a handful of things I do not necessarily discuss or disclose on Instagram/social media. I’ll admit - I kind of love that people don’t know what I do.
- Something new that you have learnt recently?
I’ve taken up the craft of punch needling! I come from a family of women who all know how to knit, embroider, sew and more. Although I don’t have too many crafty bones in my body - I’m really enjoying this new hobby I have picked up!
- What are some of the things you keep in mind when you buy from clothing brands that claim a conscious production?
In this age of greenwashing, I’m extremely particular about the associations I make and brands I support. In the case of an association, I always hop on a call with the founder to understand the process and ethos with which they run their business. A few points I always think of are:
Made to order - I always appreciate if the piece is being made afresh for me. This also means they have not been produced in large quantities already.
Customization - If they’re willing to make it in my exact measurements, I know that my first point is taken care of.
Fabrics - earlier this year I started creating a hemp-based wardrobe. But often I also indulge in silks, organic cotton when I thrift!
Packaging - I used to think packaging made up a big part of a brand's claim to being conscious. While a ton of brands gained my respect and admiration for their packaging, I soon realised that the true winners are brands that were able to keep their packaging simple and plastic-free.