SuperEgo is making hemp cool again.
When Tommie Lark founded Superego, his mission was simple: Let’s change the standard of clothing to hemp. With hemp being more durable and breathable than cotton, hemp apparel offers a real, sustainable solution to the environmental damages caused by cotton.
As for Superego, their goal is to be more than a hemp t-shirt company. They are using hemp at the core to promote sustainability as a lifestyle
Ministry of Hemp sat down with Tommie to learn more about SuperEgo’s mission and the global movement of “Cut From A Different Cloth” (#CFADC)
Tell me a bit about where you’re from?
I was born and raised in Massachusetts, but decided to go to a Liberal Arts college in Connecticut. It was there we got the idea behind SuperEgo.
Wesleyan University is a very liberal college and it definitely influenced our thinking. My two other friends and I really started talking about how we wanted to start a brand that was different. We wanted to get into entertainment, music, or fashion – and with a twist that could differentiate us.
How do you best describe SuperEgo as a brand? If you could describe the essence of it, what would it be?
Superego is a lifestyle brand building a culture of sustainable living through quality hemp products and multimedia. We want to make hemp the new standard as we expand our catalog. We plan to expand our product portfolio to other lifestyle products.
What’s the story behind SuperEgo?
“At the core, we’re trying to change the standard of t-shirts through these hemp shirts.”
After realizing how sustainable hemp is and how many different applications there are, we wanted to find a way to introduce hemp to urban areas. We wanted to inform people on hemp’s benefits and sustainability without coming off too educational. We also wanted to get rid of its negative stigma with marijuana.
That was when we came across a unique organic hemp blend textile at the Hempest. So we started making our own shirts and built a community around the slogan “Cut From A Different Cloth” (#CFADC). We invited creative millennials around the world that resonated with being #CFADC to join our movement.
We’re trying to disrupt the fashion industry by showing people our products are different. We not only have our own products, but we also work with people on content and designs. For example, we work with creative designers to release their designs through our hemp shirts.
Through the years, we have been able to develop a community, activists, and thought leaders around this movement. At the core, we’re trying to change the standard of t-shirts through these hemp shirts. We are changing the very fabric of reality.
Central to SuperEgo is its #CFADC movement, could you explain the background of the movement and how customers have taken to it?
For us, #CFADC is not just clothing, it is a way to represent a lifestyle for everything from tech, multimedia, to fashion.
On average there are about 50–60 people unique users using the phrase “Cut from a different cloth” on twitter every day around the world.
How did you get introduced to hemp? Why are you so passionate about hemp?
I originally found out about it from marijuana. We came across its counterpart (hemp) and found that you can make t-shirts with it. So we dug deeper and found that there’s actually over 25,000 applications of hemp.
So we just started asking ourselves, “Why are we not making stuff with hemp anymore?”
You mentioned that you learned about hemp first through marijuana. Now that you’re the owner of a hemp business, what do you think about hemp’s association with marijuana?
“We need to educate people on the uses and benefits of this crop to show that there’s a clear difference between the two plants”
I think marijuana has a stigma that has caused the negative association to hemp. People say they can’t tell the difference between the two plants.
What we’ve done is to try to distance ourselves because the reason hemp was banned in this country in the first place was because they were associated and confused with one another.
We need to educate people on the uses and benefits of this crop to show that there’s a clear difference between the two plants
How has the hemp industry changed since you guys have been in it?
SuperEgo started in 2010, so we’ve been around for about 6 years now. We were one of the first brands to launch a hemp product for the younger generation back then. Since then, the biggest thing we’ve noticed is the political movements. It’s growing quickly – states have started legalizing it and farmers are starting to actually plant this crop.
What’s been really cool is that we anticipated this and it’s been amazing see it actually happening and hemp being more commercialized.
What has been the best part about being an entrepreneur, especially in the hemp industry?
Being an entreprenuer is great is because you’re your own boss. You have to have self-discipline but you know you’re creating value for other people and you get rewarded for it. You know you’re making a difference.
Specifically in the hemp industry, the plant is getting more commercialized, so this is helping with our growth. There is unlimited things we can do with this crop the more we educate everyone else about this plant.
How about challenges? Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs who are looking to enter this industry?
Being in the hemp industry, access to this unique fabric was pretty hard to get consistently, in terms of quality and quantity. So this has been a struggle for us. But now we have a more secure supply that we are using as the demand grows. This will help us scale in the US now.
We want to eventually be a “Made in the US” company – which is impossible to do now – while providing an affordable product for popular culture.
The negative stigma with hemp has been the biggest challenge and risk for being in this industry.