From Victuals to Vertical Farming

The Power of Sustainability, Health & Humanity

This week Figure Eight hosted a special conversation featuring Waris Ahluwali, (actor, activist and founder of House of Waris), Colin McCabe, (founder, Free Rain) and Samantha Moritz (VP, Strategy at Willo Farm) and was moderated by Chloe Sorvino (Food & Agriculture, Forbes). 

Together, we explored the intersection of a centuries old tea industry, adapto-gen infused sparkling water and the most advanced vertical farm ever and how they’re transforming how we think about sustainability. 

Keep scrolling to learn more about each speaker and the work that they’re doing through their brands. 


Waris Ahluwalia, actor & designer, is driven by a deep and abiding desire to create stories, products and experiences that captivate, transport, and shift perception. In 2007, he founded HOUSE of WARIS - a company dedicated to exploring design through craftsmanship. 
HOUSE of WARIS Botanicals is a further extension of Waris' ongoing commitment to creating a more thoughtful way of living. Rooted in plant science and indigenous knowledge, their proprietary line of adaptogenic blends and thoughtfully sourced organic teas offer a delicious solution to everyday stress.

“Today, tea is a rare oasis in a world of noise and distraction.” - Waris Ahluwalia


Most known as the Co-Founder of cult-favorite salad chain, Chopt, Colin McCabe is also a father, athlete, outdoor enthusiast, and entrepreneur who founded Free Rain.  

Colin noticed a gap in the market when looking for delicious, convenient and functionally beneficial beverages. Turning to inspiration he found in nature and the surprising power of adaptogens, this led to the creation of Free Rain, a refreshing sparkling water that actively enhances mental and physical function.  
Free Rain is a member of 1% For the Planet, an organization whose members contribute at least 1% of their annual sales to environmental causes.

“I would not have started Free Rain if there wasn’t a way to connect it to a charitable cause,” says McCabe.

Our drinks are fueled by natural ingredients, so we have a responsibility to try and protect the planet in any way we can.”


Samantha Moritz is a 25 year strategic business development, marketing, channel executive, health coach and yoga instructor. She currently is the VP of Strategy and Operations at  Willo Farm. 

Willo utilizes state-of-the-art indoor vertical farming technology to bring agriculture into the 21st century - and directly to consumers' front doors. Founded by Sam and John Bertram, who were looking to use their degrees in robotics and advanced engineering to make a listing difference in the world. 

Willo is on a mission to unleash the power of plants to feed, fuel and heal a growing population. They have delivered a platform that can deliver affordable, sustainable solution at scale to nurture the 1.1 billion people from all walks of life - without harming the planet they call home.