Ministry of Hemp

Ministry of Hemp

America's leading advocate for hemp

Tag: Hemp fashion

NoCo 6: Hemp Farmers Plan A Sustainable Future At NoCo Hemp Expo

10,000 people attended the sold-out 2019 NoCo Hemp Expo, better known as NoCo 6, held for the first time in Denver, Colorado. From the latest in hemp technology to discussions of regenerative agriculture, the event left us hopeful about hemp’s future in the U.S.

Judging by the sixth annual NoCo Hemp Expo, or NoCo 6, the American hemp industry is poised for explosive growth in the coming years.

Begun in 2014, the NoCo Hemp Expo celebrated its first year in Denver, Colorado on March 29 and 30. An estimated 10,000 people, the largest attendance ever, crammed into the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Center for the sold-out show. The move to Denver came after the 2018 NoCo Hemp Expo outgrew the event’s former location at a convention center in Loveland, about an hour’s drive to the north. Organizers are already looking for a bigger home for the 2020 event.

While there were numerous CBD vendors vying for attention, NoCo 6’s expo hall also featured the latest in hemp innovations. All through the event, panel discussions looked to the future of a fast-growing industry, with a focus on building sustainable hemp in America.

HEMP INNOVATION ON DISPLAY AT NOCO 6

The legalization of hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill promises to open up new uses for hemp, thanks to an increasing supply of U.S. grown hemp. It’s clear from NoCo 6 that the industry is already reinventing itself.

The NoCo 6 hemp fashion show, organized by Enviro Textiles, showcased the growing variety in the field. Highlights included a tailored hemp suit, silky hemp robes, and even hemp backpacks.

Photo: Hemp guitars and a hemp ukelele from Silver Mountain Hemp Guitars, on display at NoCo 6, the 2019 Noco Hemp Expo in Denver, Colorado.

Silver Mountain Hemp Guitars, part of the WAFBA family of hemp brands, on display at NoCo 6 Hemp Expo in Denver, Colorado.

Morris Beegle, the founder of the NoCo Hemp Expo, also showcased products from his WAFBA family of brands. These included hemp notebooks, hemp clothing, and hemp instruments from Silver Mountain Hemp.

Going even deeper into hemp’s potential, high-tech hemp brands showed off the latest in hemp innovation. Green Spring Technologies impressed us with their injection-molded hemp plastics, and their hemp 3D printing display. We were equally excited about PF Design Lab and their bicycle frame made from hemp!

There was also a delicious variety of hemp and CBD-infused foods to sample, from Hempress’ hemp chai tea to decadent CBD chocolates and cookies from Incentive Gourmet.

GROWERS & ADVOCATES PLAN A SUSTAINABLE HEMP FUTURE

Sustainability was a recurring them of the panels at NoCo 6.

A panel of regenerative agriculture experts described hemp as part of a larger solution to the environmental crisis.

“It’s not just about hemp standing alone,” said Tara Caton of the Rodale Institute.

Mike Lewis of Third Wave Farms agreed. Sustainable farming isn’t just about the crops but about “giving back to the land but also the people and community around the farm.”

A Kentucky hemp grower, Lewis also founded Growing Warriors, an organization that helps veterans become farmers.

One of the most forward-thinking groups at NoCo 6 were the members of the indigenous farmers panel. Marcus Grignon, of Hempstead Project Heart, warned about the dangers posed by patents on hemp. Environmentalist and Native American hemp advocate Winona LaDuke led the panel in calling for investing in an “indigenous hemp economy.” They also called for more hemp education, so that the next generation is better prepared to sustain the hemp industry.

Journalists and hemp media professionals also gathered on a panel, moderated by Ministry of Hemp Editor Kit O’Connell. The group also included representatives of Cannabis Now, Honeysuckle Magazine, and the Nutrition Business Journal. Recurring themes were the continuing normalization of hemp after decades of stigma, and the need for better, clearer, more transparent language when reporting on hemp and hemp products like CBD.

WHILE BARRIERS REMAIN, HEMP BOOM SHOWS NO SIGN OF SLOWING

There are still challenges facing the industry. The USDA has yet to release its guidelines for hemp growing. The FDA is considering how to handle the boom in over-the-counter CBD supplements. And there are still barriers preventing people from participating in the hemp industry. A clause in the 2018 Farm Bill bans most people with drug felonies less than 10 years old from participation in the hemp industry. No other crop faces similar restrictions.

Overall, though, the mood at NoCo 6 was upbeat and the event left us hopeful. After navigating the crowded halls of the convention center, it’s easy to believe hemp sales could reach $2 billion by 2022, or even before.

With so many passionate people excited about our favorite crop, it’s hard to imagine any barriers the hemp industry can’t overcome. Whether it’s ensuring consumers can access safe, reliable CBD oil, or exploring the future of hemp plastic and textiles, the future of hemp is developing right before our eyes.

Drew De Los Santos, Jessica St. Cyr, and Matt Baum contributed additional reporting for this article.

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Hemp In India: Exploring The Growing Hemp Industry In India

Mansi Shah of Hemp Fabric Lab tells us about sustainable fashion and hemp in India. Although hemp was legalized in 1985, the industry is still growing.

Recently, we got in touch with Mansi Shah of Hemp Fabric Lab, to learn more about hemp in India.

Hemp Fabric Lab makes innovative textiles that are either 100 percent hemp or blend hemp with fabrics like organic cotton, Tencel, silk, and wool.

As hemp activists, we’re always striving to make things better where we are. Often keeping our focal points on concerns of our country and what we can do within our local communities. Similar efforts are being made across the globe.

A collection of hemp fabric in a variety of colors and textures from Hemp Fabric Lab.

A collection of hemp fabric in a variety of colors and textures from Hemp Fabric Lab. (Photo: Hemp Fabric Lab)

Considering hemp grows naturally in India, it comes as no surprise this resource has been used for generations. But what about the modern hemp industry?

HEMP IN INDIA: A GROWING INDUSTRY

Numerous designers have already incorporated Hemp Fabric Lab into their work. Photo: A female model poses in front of a subway car in India, wearing flowing hemp fabrics.

Numerous designers have already incorporated Hemp Fabric Lab into their work. Image courtesy Mies Studio by Seerat Virdi, created for India’s first Circular Design Challenge organized by Lakmé Fashion Week, Reliance and UN Environment.

“The modern hemp industry in India is at a highly nascent stage,” Shah explained, “even though, paradoxically, the use of hemp fibre and seed for a range of applications — rope, fuel, food — has been commonly acknowledged for several centuries in India’s rural communities.”

A growing number of agriculture training programs and practices are spreading across farming communities to spread knowledge of hemp. Similar to the guidelines set by the Farm Bill in the U.S., India’s goal is for all hemp grown contain less than 0.3 percent THC.

“Over the past half a decade, the interest in and demand for hemp-based products is on the rise, as may be seen with the increase in the number of women artisans and weavers in rural Himalayan villages,” Shah continued. “[those villages] have increased the quantity and quality of indigenous hemp handloom products, such as shawls, stoles, accessories.”

According to Hemp Today, investers recently poured around $150 million USD into the Indian Industrial Hemp Association. Not only is the IIHA hoping to expand on this booming global industry, but they’re also seeking to incorporate more native Indian hemp strains. Unfortunately, most wild hemp in India  contains above 0.3 percent THC. Therefore, the association is seeking to raise the federal limit to 1.5 percent THC.

LAWS AND REGULATIONS SURROUNDING HEMP IN INDIA

It’s interesting to note that the county’s laws surrounding hemp have been looser than that of America’s for the past few decades.

India’s Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) of 1985 allows state governments the freedom to establish their own policies in terms of commercial cultivation. That is, “as long as they provide verifiable scientific and operational evidence that hemp cultivated shall not be diverted for misuse.”

After centuries of use before prohibition, hemp in India was re-legalized in 1985. Photo: Young hemp plants grow, seen during the sunset in Northern India.

After centuries of use before prohibition, hemp in India was re-legalized in 1985.

Still, there remains strict guidelines in accordance to the federal government. So much so, only two states in India — Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh — have developed an official set of policies governing the research and cultivation of hemp.

Of course, these efforts can be seen as similar to America’s recent hemp accomplishments. However, the biggest difference is India’s been able to grow hemp legally since 1985, as long as all laws are followed.

It’s due to this and efforts made by IIHA which have allowed for India to explore the different products hemp can create. According to HomeGrown, successful Indian hemp companies include foods and drinks and, of course, fabrics for clothing. In some ways, hemp in India seems more diverse than the ever-growing CBD market here in America.

Yet, the interesting aspect of all this is India’s demand for hemp didn’t grow until recent years.

INTEREST IN SUSTAINABLE FASHION

A male model poses in a long-sleeve white button down shirt made from hemp. White hemp shirt by India’s first hemp-based fashion brand, BLabel. Brands and designers of all sizes are exploring hemp fabric in India.

White hemp shirt by India’s first hemp-based fashion brand, BLabel. Brands and designers of all sizes are exploring hemp fabric in India.

Hemp Fabric Lab came into the picture when they noticed the Indian textile industry lacked easy access to natural fabrics. With that came a demand for sustainable fashion.

However, unlike other fabric companies, Hemp Fabric Lab offers customers the option to purchase a few meters of fabric. They did not want to force individual creators and small companies into minimum order quantities.

“Early on, we also focused strongly on becoming a brand name, with strong market, goodwill, and credibility,” Shah proudly told us. “We continue to work towards that goal through the kind of collaborations we do with [other] brands, as well as our social media voice.”

These kind of sales not only allow for other companies to develop their own sense of fashion, but for the fashion industry as a whole to start incorporating hemp.

RE-IMAGINING INDIA’S AGRICULTURE

“Agriculture in India is at an inflection point,” Shah said. “With a litany of problems plaguing the agrarian rural backbone of the nation.”

These problems range anywhere from an overdependence on intensive commercial crops (such as cotton and sugarcane) to socio-economic factors causing people to leave the countryside and move into the cities. In turn, these leaves rural parts of India ultimately unproductive.

Yet, through all the complications, Shah and her team believe hemp can be a solution to India’s agriculture.

“With hemp’s short cultivation cycle less requirement of water and agriculture inputs, combined with the price premium which can be commanded in the marketplace for hemp raw material and hemp finished products, it’s become increasingly evident to farming communities, government, and industry that hemp is a requirement for the heart of India’s next green revolution.”

Hemp’s ever-growing popularity in India is noteworthy. As is happening across the world, there’s a demand for organic materials and foods. India is no exception and many have been seeking out hemp’s eco-friendly material.

“Over the course of the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of organizations which are beginning to work with and trade hemp-based products in industry segments. However, India’s contribution to the global hemp market is currently less than 0.5 percent. We don’t view the upsurge in companies as competition — rather, we choose to view it through the lens of establishing a burgeoning industry.”

HEMP FASHION PROMOTES ACCEPTANCE OF HEMP

Hemp Fabric Lab allows artisans and small companies to order small amounts of hemp fabric, helping to promote hemp's acceptance in fashion at every level. Photo: A woman in a matching blue, off the shoulder shirt and pants made from hemp fabrics.

Hemp Fabric Lab allows artisans and small companies to order small amounts of hemp fabric, helping to promote hemp’s acceptance in fashion at every level. Image courtesy Sui Mue, a sustainable fashion brand based out of New Delhi, India.

One of the greatest ways to promote hemp is by allowing hemp to have an influence over the fashion industry. This is the final goal of Hemp Fabric Lab which we discussed.

“Our core offering is a wide range of hemp fabrics in woven, knits, and handloom varieties,” Shah told us. “Our parent company Bombay Hemp Company [or BOHECO] largely manages all aspects of industrial hemp from food to textiles to clothing to medicine.”

This cooperation Hemp Fabric Lab and BOHECO have found hopes to develop clothing which will make its way amongst the masses.

“Our B-Label clothing range comprises of semi-formal work wear and casual wear all made 100 percent from hemp, hemp and organic cotton, as well as hemp and lyocell blends that do well in a tropical country like India.”

Their main target is people between the ages of 21 and 50 with a focus on clean, easy-to-wear silhouettes that will allow people for easy, on-the-go clothing.

HOPE FOR THE FUTURE

As Shah mentioned, the hemp industry in India is still just coming into existence. With that, everyone involved has a lot of work to do. Not only in growing this industry, but also in teaching the rest of the world the many benefits of hemp.

“We’re hopeful, having had the support of the Indian government and thought leaders,” Shah said. “It has immensely helped BOHECO in its 6 year journey as an agro-socio enterprise looking to change the perception of industrial hemp.”

And what better place for this industry to occur than India? 60 percent of all districts in the country see natural, wild-grown cannabis. Furthermore, the link between India’s historic culture and hemp is strong. With the input of “modern technology to improve the quality of hemp and its base raw material, it wouldn’t be exaggerated to say that we shall soon see India reclaim its natural piece at a leadership level within the global hemp industry.”

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2018 Hemp Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals: Holiday Savings On The Best Of Hemp

Thanks to these hemp Black Friday deals, it’s never been easier to try hemp or share hemp with a loved one. Ministry of Hemp found great offers from 9 of our favorite hemp brands.

Thanks to these hemp Black Friday deals, it’s never been easier to try hemp or share hemp with a loved one.

While countless people use CBD, the beneficial supplement made from industrial hemp, that’s only just the beginning of what hemp can do. Every part of the hemp plant is beneficial in some way. Hemp can become paper, food products, even hemp plastic containers and hempcrete homes.

While the future is going to bring amazing innovation to hemp technology, humans have been feeding, healing, and clothing themselves with hemp for centuries. With hemp returning to America at a massive scale, there’s never been a better time to add our favorite plant to your life.

Whether you’re a long time fan or new to the benefits of hemp, you’ll want to take advantage of these Black Friday hemp deals. Ministry of Hemp reached out to our favorite brands to bring you great offers and exclusive coupons to get you started on your holiday shopping. Not only that, but these hemp brands can keep you and your family stylish, well fed, and relaxed all through the winter.

A woman in a watch and rings uses a laptop to shop online. Our Black Friday Hemp Guide brings together deals from 7 of Ministry of Hemp's favorite hemp brands.

Our Black Friday Hemp Guide features deals from 7 of Ministry of Hemp’s favorite hemp brands.

This Hemp Black Friday Guide is a companion to our 2018 CBD Black Friday deals guide, which we published yesterday.

TOP HEMP BLACK FRIDAY DEALS OF 2018

Below, you’ll find special offers from 7 of our favorite hemp brands. We’ve included everything you need to take advantage of these Black Friday hemp deals.

Click below to jump to a brand, or read on to see all the Black Friday hemp sales. These brands are listed in a random order, because we love them all:

WAMA Underwear (Ministry of Hemp Black Friday Hemp Deals)

WAMA Underwear

  • What’s the deal? Get 50% off WAMA underwear during Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday!
  • Do I need a coupon code? No. Discount is automatically applied at checkout.
  • When is this deal available? This deal is available from Black Friday (November 23, 2018) through Cyber Monday (November 26, 2018).

WAMA are a successful Kickstarter product and it’s easy to see why. Their hemp undies are soft, comfortable to wear and durable, and a favorite pair of our editor.

Hemp Horizon (Ministry of Hemp Black Friday Hemp Deals)Hemp Horizon

  • What’s the deal? Get 20% off all Hemp Horizon products from Black Friday through the end of the month!
  • Do I need a coupon code? Use coupon code BLACK FRIDAY 2018 at checkout.
  • When is this deal available? This deal is available from Black Friday (November 23, 2018) through November 30, 2018.

Hemp Horizon makes beautiful and stylish “conscious clothing” from hemp and blended hemp fabrics. We love how they’re expanding what’s possible in women’s hemp fashion.

Hemplete Hemp Protein Bars (Ministry of Hemp Black Friday Hemp Deals)Hemplete Hemp Protein Bars

  • What’s the deal? But one box of Hemplete Hemp Protein Bars and get a second box for 50% off!
  • Do I need a coupon code? Use coupon code MINISTRY50 at checkout.
  • When is this deal available? This deal is available from Black Friday (November 23, 2018) through Cyber Monday (November 26, 2018).

Hemplete Hemp Nutrition Bars are vegan, gluten-free, made from non-GMO ingredients and without added flavoring. Most importantly, they’re delicious: our editor ate one of their peanut butter bars for breakfast while working on this article.

iLoveBAD Organics (Ministry of Hemp Black Friday Hemp Deals)iLoveBad Organics

  • What’s the deal? Get 15% off all iLoveBAD Organics products during Black Friday weekend!
  • Do I need a coupon code? Use coupon code MOHOLIDAY15 at checkout.
  • When is this deal available? This deal is available from Black Friday (November 23, 2018) through the following Sunday (November 25, 2018).

iLoveBad Organics also make an incredibly comfortable pair of underwear our editor loves. They also make wonderful warm hemp socks, hemp t-shirts, and life-changing hemp blankets.

Kushed Candles (Ministry of Hemp Black Friday Hemp Deals)Kushed Candles

  • What’s the deal? Get 20% off all Kushed Candles products during Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday!
  • Do I need a coupon code? Use coupon code ELF18 at checkout.
  • When is this deal available? This deal is available from Black Friday (November 23, 2018) through Cyber Monday (November 26, 2018).

Kushed Candles blends hand-poured soy wax candles with premium essential oils and fragrances, including the scent of hemp! Founder Alison Joy believes the unique properties of hemp essential oil help “relax the mind and soothe the soul.”

Hippie Butter (Ministry of Hemp Black Friday Hemp Deals)Hippie Butter

  • What’s the deal? Get 15% off all Hippie Butter products from Black Friday and throughout the holiday season!
  • Do I need a coupon code? Use coupon code MH15 at checkout.
  • When is this deal available? This deal is available from Black Friday (November 23, 2018) until December 25, 2018.

Hippie Butter is best known for their delicious hemp seed butter, but their full product line includes so much more. They offer a wide range of “honest & healthy food” from hemp seed chocolate to hemp seed coffee and even hemp oil soaps and skincare products.

Vital Hemp (Ministry of Hemp Black Friday Hemp Deals)Vital Hemp

  • What’s the deal? Get 12% off all Vital Hemp products from Black Friday and throughout the holiday season!
  • Do I need a coupon code? Use coupon code VITALHOLIDAY18 at checkout.
  • When is this deal available? This deal is available from Black Friday (November 23, 2018) until December 24, 2018.

Vital Hemp makes soft and luxurious hemp clothing for both men and women. We loved checking out their products at this year’s Hemp Industries Association conference. You can even use this coupon code at their retail store in Santa Monica, California.

One Planet Hemp (Ministry of Hemp Black Friday Hemp Deals)One Planet Hemp

  • What’s the deal? Get 20% off all One Planet Hemp products during Black Friday weekend!
  • Do I need a coupon code? Use coupon code BFHEMP20 at checkout.
  • When is this deal available? This deal is available from Black Friday (November 23, 2018) through the following Sunday (November 25, 2018).

One Planet Hemp offers hemp apparel, along with posters and educational materials promoting hemp and a healthy planet.

Tree Free Hemp (Ministry of Hemp Black Friday Hemp Deals)Tree Free Hemp

  • What’s the deal? Get 20% off all Tree Free Hemp products during Black Friday weekend!
  • Do I need a coupon code? Use coupon code BFHEMP20 at checkout.
  • When is this deal available? This deal is available from Black Friday (November 23, 2018) through the following Sunday (November 25, 2018).

Tree Free Hemp is a custom hemp printing service. Our Ministry of Hemp business cards are printed on hemp paper by Tree Free Hemp, and they always get complements when we hand them out.

Bonus Cyber Monday Hemp Deal: Dr. Bronner’s

We wanted to give a special mention to another of our favorite hemp brands: Dr. Bronner’s!

Dr. B is not just a great example of the power of hemp, but also an incredible leader in renewable energy and other sustainable business practices. Give Dr. Bronner’s a visit on Cyber Monday for a 20% discount on all their products.

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How Hemp Fabric Is Made & Why It’s Better

Hemp fabric could be crucial to creating a more comfortable, more sustainable world. Hemp fabric is softer, stronger, resistant to odor, and protects the wearer from UV rays. It’s also better for the planet.

Hemp fabric could be crucial to creating a more comfortable, more sustainable world.

What would you do if we told you that you could buy a T-shirt that lasts longer, is cheaper, and harms the environment less than your average cotton T-shirt? You’d probably tell us that’s impossible, but you’d be wrong. So very wrong.

That’s because hemp clothing exists, and it has all of those advantages listed above and more.

WHAT MAKES HEMP FABRIC BETTER?

Hemp clothing has numerous advantages.
Patagonia's hemp "Fog Cutter" sweater is perfect for chilly fall days, an example of a durable but comfortable and fashionable hemp fabric.
Hemp fabric is deliciously soft on the skin, and is known for growing softer with each wear. It’s also naturally resistant to bacteria and provides natural UV protection. That means it protects your skin, and retains color better than other fabrics. As you can see, hemp fabric is quite practical. It literally prevents you from getting stinky, gets softer with more use, and is stronger and longer-lasting than cotton.

And it’s not only practical but stylish too. Hemp fashion is a real thing, and there are many companies that produce appealing hemp clothing. To name a few: Hemp Horizon, iLoveBad, and Patagonia’s hemp clothing collection. These companies are producing awesome clothing; clothing that makes us want to drop hundreds of dollars on sweaters and underwear. Just look at Patagonia’s Fog Cutter Sweater, it’s perfect for Michigan’s chilly fall weather.

Style isn’t the biggest upside of hemp, though. The biggest advantage of hemp fabric is its production methods and hemp’s environmental impact (or lack thereof).

HOW DO YOU MAKE HEMP FABRIC?

The production of the clothes that we use everyday aren’t something most people think about. Clothes are simply things that we buy and wear. Most of us aren’t aware of the hyper-complex supply chain systems needed to bring that simple cotton t-shirt to our local Walmart. That sentiment is true of all fabrics, including hemp.

Let’s take a quick dive into how hemp textiles are produced.

A dense field of green bamboo-like industrial hemp stalks grows tall in the summer sunshine. Industrial hemp can be harvested for thousands of uses including hemp fabric.

A dense field of green bamboo-like industrial hemp stalks grows tall in the summer sunshine. Industrial hemp can be harvested for thousands of uses.

Recreator, another hemp brand we love, outlined how hemp fabric is produced:

  1. Cultivation
  2. Harvesting
  3. Retting (The process whereby naturally occurring bacteria and fungi, or chemicals, break down the pectins that bind the hemp fibers to be released. Common techniques consist of soaking in water, or laying on the ground and letting dew do the ‘retting’)
  4. Breaking
  5. Scutching (Beating stems, which separates the desired fibers from the hemp’s woody core)
  6. Hackling (combing of the stems to remove unwanted particles)
  7. Roving (improves strength)
  8. Spinning (can be wet and dry spun)

Recreator explains in more detail, but it’s a labor intensive process. Modern day production methods of hemp are closely related to the traditional methods but done in a much more efficient manner, with the invention of more effective modern equipment. The core principles stand: grow hemp, break it down, separate the fibers, and then spin into a textile.

HOW HEMP FABRIC COMPARES TO OTHER NATURAL FABRICS

How does hemp production compare to other textiles?

Cotton: Cotton is grown in fields, like hemp, and is harvested by cotton harvesters, those big machines that can harvest cotton at a super-human rate. Then, like hemp, cotton is put through a “ginning” process, in which the fibers are separated from the seeds. The fibers are put through multiple processes that further refine them, like scutching, hackling and roving. Once the cotton is ready, it is spun into fabric.

Wool: This material is easier to process, as it takes less steps to reach its final product. One needs to harvest the wool, then process it via techniques called ‘carding’ and ‘combing’ that smooths and refines the wool, and then weave or knit it into the fabric. Although easier to process,  cattle farming creates its own carbon foot print and a great deal of waste. Not only do you have to use energy and water to process wool, but you have to feed, clean, and maintain the sheep. Sheep who produce methane-dense waste and require more resources to survive than a plant.

Folded hemp fabric and hemp rope and string sit in a wooden box, on a wooden table.

Right now, most hemp products in the U.S., including hemp fabric, are imported from China, increasing cost and carbon footprint. That could change with total hemp legalization.

Right now, most hemp products in the U.S., especially outside of CBD oil, are made from imported hemp. This increases both the carbon footprint, or environmental cost of making hemp products, and the final cost that you, the consumer, pay to buy them. We hope that some of this changes as hemp is fully legalized in the U.S. in the near future.

HEMP IS A SUPER PLANT & FABRIC IS JUST THE BEGINNING

While hemp is harvested and processed similarly to other fabrics, its main advantage is through the hemp plant itself.

Hemp uses about 5% the amount of water it takes to grow cotton and can often be rain-fed. Hemp can grow in almost all soil conditions, and unlike cotton (which depletes the soil of nutrients) hemp’s deep-reaching roots preserve the topsoil and subsoil. Hemp grows densely as well, leaving no room for weeds and competing plants and is less vulnerable to insects, which means little to no use of pesticides. Lastly, hemp grows extremely fast, only needing 120-days to be ready for harvest. We’ve compared hemp and cotton before, and while not everyone agrees, we think hemp is the winner.

Don’t forget that we’re only talking about the stalk of the hemp plant, which is the part used to make hemp fabric. The leaves and seeds are used to make hemp oil, hemp fuel, and other products that each have their own benefits.

We’ve come again to a conclusion that we’ve come to many times before: hemp is a super-plant. From its practical uses to environmental sustainability, the hemp plant comes out on top, out-performing all competitors.

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2018 Hemp Industries Association Conference: Hemp Thriving In America Despite Legal Barriers

The 2018 Hemp Industries Association Conference revealed a thriving industry that’s growing rapidly and passionate about the future of hemp. From discussions of hemp’s legal status to sampling CBD popcorn, we share our highlights of HIACON 2018.

The 2018 Hemp Industries Association Conference revealed a thriving industry that’s growing rapidly and passionate about the future of hemp.

Ministry of Hemp just returned from the Los Angeles Airport Hilton, where “HIACON 2018” took place from November 2 through 5. Hemp will be a billion dollar industry soon, even though this plant still exists in a legal gray area in the United States. Industry leaders and newcomers alike gathered at the conference to share their newest ideas, and get a better understanding of hemp’s future as those laws shift.

A crowd gathered in one of the ballrooms at the Hemp Industries Association Conference. Hundreds gathered at the Los Angeles Hilton for the 2018 Hemp Industries Association Conference, where they discussed the future and potential of hemp in America.

Hundreds gathered at the Los Angeles Hilton for the 2018 Hemp Industries Association Conference, where they discussed the future and potential of hemp in America. (Ministry of Hemp / Kit O’Connell)

In addition, a two day exposition showcased hemp and CBD products ranging from established brands and freshly launched innovators. The expo was open to the public for one day, and numerous LA residents and tourists alike stopped by to see the offerings.

This year marked the 25th anniversary of the Hemp Industries Association, a sign that they’ve cemented their leadership role in the industry. A packed schedule of workshops and panels brought the highs and lows of hemp to life for the audience. Here are some favorites from our visit to HIACON 2018.

HIACON 2018 LOOKS AT THE FUTURE OF HEMP FARMING IN AMERICA

Of course, one of the biggest topics of discussion at the conference was hemp’s legal status.

After decades of prohibition, hemp was partially legalized in the 2014 Farm Bill which allowed for state-based hemp research programs. U.S. farmers grew over 25,000 acres of hemp last year, but there have still been legal challenges and numerous barriers to the industry’s growth, mostly at the federal level. An effort led by Sen. Mitch McConnell resulted in a historic amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill which would make dramatic changes to U.S. hemp laws by officially taking it out of the purview of the Drug Enforcement Administration and into that of the Department of Agriculture and the Food & Drug Administration.

Unfortunately, political upheaval in Congress, and politicians’ focus on midterm elections, left the Farm Bill’s future somewhat uncertain. Most of the conflict is not about hemp, but rather other controversial provisions in the bill which cover issues like food stamps. In one of many well-attended legal discussions, Jonathan Miller of U.S. Hemp Roundtable joined representatives of Hoban Law Group, who are some of the country’s top cannabis & hemp lawyers. Miller speculated that the midterm elections could be good for hemp.

2018 HEMP INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE: LEGAL CONSEQUENCES OF FARM BILL, CANNABIS PODCASTS & MORE

A newly Democratic U.S. House of Representatives could also be the best chance for changing the hemp legalization amendment’s most controversial provision. The Senate version of the 2018 Farm Bill contains a clause that bans anyone with a felony drug conviction from growing hemp. Currently, the House version of the Farm Bill doesn’t contain any hemp legalization language at all, opening a window where some fixes could be introduced.

Later, hemp lawyer & lobbyist Courtney Moran explained how the Farm Bill would change 6 different federal statutes and change the policies of multiple government agencies. She also suggested some alternatives to the drug felony provision of the current version of the Farm Bill:

While any felony ban seems regrettable to us, Moran suggested what could be temporary solutions to allow some people to remain in the hemp industry. These include changing the ban to exempt anyone whose felony is more than 10 years old.

Dr. Karyemaitre Aliffe, a biochemist and cannabis expert that works with Charlotte’s Web, gave another great presentation. Dr. Aliffe discussed the similarities between how cannabinoids like CBD work on the brain with the action of everyday pharmaceuticals like Tylenol:

Annie Rouse of Anavii Market introduced us to Harry Anslinger, the first drug czar, the subject of her fascinating “Anslinger” podcast. The second season is about to launch!

We also loved hearing an update from Kris Kimel of Space Tango about their successful effort to send hemp into space.

There were too many other great panels to mention them all, but it’s safe to say everyone came away from HIACON 2018 more informed than they arrived.

HIACON 2018: FROM CBD POPCORN TO HEMP FASHION

We loved seeing the innovation from new CBD brands at the 2018 Hemp Industries Association Conference. We got to meet Brett Levy from Holsticorn, inventor of CBD-infused popcorn:

Kazmira let us sample their delicious CBD vapes:

And all weekend, people were sipping delicious CBD seltzer from Queen City Hemp, with 5 mg of CBD in each can.

Established hemp brands also brought their best to HIACON 2018. We browsed the latest hemp fashions from Vital Hemp:

And basked in the natural vibes of the Charlotte’s Web booth, complete with a fake campfire:

We also enjoyed a sneak preview of Lazarus Naturals beautiful new CBD tincture labels, which should help CBD consumers make more informed decisions about dosing.

And of course, no hemp expo would be complete without Dr. Bronner:

There’s so much happening in hemp that it can’t be contained in any one article, or any one event. More than anything, we saw a hemp industry full of people that are passionate about hemp, and determined to help hemp spread across the planet.

Special thanks to Beowulf Jones for covering HIACON 2018 with us and contributing to this article.

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Hemp Horizon Brings Flowing Elegance To Women’s Hemp Fashion

A new UK company is blowing away outdated ideas about women’s hemp fashion. Hemp Horizon offer a diverse range of items, featuring everything from tight-fitting high-necked dresses to more free-flowing outfits with elegant bows.

A new UK company is blowing away outdated ideas about women’s hemp fashion.

Putting aside the health benefits for a moment, how do you feel about clothes made from hemp? You’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s an heavy, course material, mostly popular with hippy-types who favour function over fashion. While most hemp clothing companies trade in little more than simple t-shirts, Hemp Horizon offer a diverse range of items, featuring everything from tight-fitting high-necked dresses to more free-flowing outfits with elegant bows.

Hemp Horizon is redefining women's hemp fashion and spreading awareness about hemp's potential. (Photo: Hemp Horizon hemp culottes and hemp two-tone t-shirt)

Hemp Horizon is redefining women’s hemp fashion and spreading awareness about hemp’s potential. (Photo: Hemp Horizon hemp culottes and hemp two-tone t-shirt)

Their products blend hemp with other organic materials, demonstrating not only its versatility, but also how much hemp production has been refined over recent years.

“Hemp is very much misunderstood,” said Karen Kay, head designer at Hemp Horizon.

“Forty years ago the fabrics made from hemp were crude, and didn’t have the refinement that today’s mills can produce,” Kay told us. “Now, when blended with fine silks and other organic yarns, hemp is soft yet durable.”

Kay works closely with business partner Steve Esser, who looks after marketing. Zoey Kay models the products.

We spoke to Karen Kay about the values behind the brand, the development process, and why hemp is a perfect fit for the future of fashion.

A ‘REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT’ IN WOMEN’S HEMP FASHION & HEMP AWARENESS

“[Hemp’s] the perfect choice for high quality, comfortable garments that look great, feel good, and last for years,” Kay said.

This is the most remarkable aspect of Hemp Horizon’s products: the fabric used is light and silky, making for items that wouldn’t look out of place at a luxury high-street store. It’s a far cry from the rough, scratchy hemp-based clothes of yesteryear.

Zoey Kay models the Hemp Horizon hemp silk wrap shirt. Hemp Horizon creates comfortable, elegant women's hemp fashion, and is now expanding into menswear too.

Zoey Kay models the Hemp Horizon hemp silk wrap shirt. Hemp Horizon creates comfortable, elegant women’s hemp fashion, and is now expanding into menswear too. (Photo: Hemp Horizon)

The design philosophy is simple, Kay said. “High quality, flattering and comfortable with a unique design which is unmistakably Hemp Horizon.”

She continued, “Our tag-line is ‘Awareness Is Key,’ as we’d like to be a part of this revolutionary movement around this magnificent plant.”

Of course, the hemp world has its fair share of unscrupulous traders attempting to capitalise on its increased prominence in the mainstream media. Happily, Kay and Esser take an altogether more reputable approach.

“We searched the globe for mills that produce fine hemp-blended fabric, sourcing from China and the USA, and we’re now looking also to source from Eastern Europe to reduce our carbon footprint.”

These environmentally-conscious credentials play a major part in the forward-thinking philosophy that underpins Hemp Horizon.

“We hope that our customers will appreciate our endeavours and belief,” said Kay. “We are very aware of the eco-friendliness of hemp and the other organic fibre we use for our garments.”

HEMP HORIZON PART OF INCREASINGLY POPULAR UK HEMP INDUSTRY

Hemp is one of the most eco-friendly crops on the planet. It uses very few pesticides, and can often be grown almost anywhere. Hemp is ideal for a future in which sustainability becomes ever-more important.

“As well as being the base fibre for creating high quality fabrics it’s a high yielding plant with a very diverse range of uses,” agreed Kay.

Although CBD derived from hemp is becoming more popular in the UK, there is still a lack of understanding about hemp’s legal status.

“We’ve never had any legal issues,” Kay said. “But we have found that people need to be educated about the simple fact that hemp cannot get you high.”

As an independent business, Kay admits that getting things off the ground hasn’t been easy:

It’s been quite a long journey to get to this point, almost two years — designing the garments, creating templates for the patterns and investing in machinery, all to ensure we’re totally self sufficient. Our development journey has been challenging, and required a whole new learning curve. There have been delays along the way, mainly in terms of investment as this project has been totally self-funded.

For now, Hemp Horizon’s range is mostly focused on women’s clothes such as t-shirts, skirts, dresses and jackets. There are plans to expand.

“We’re planning to launch a more extensive range of men’s products in early 2019,” said Kay.

Currently this is limited to a smart herringbone design cap made from 100 percent hemp, and a pair of bamboo wood sunglasses.

Hemp Horizon has no plans to move into hemp-based health products, in part because of ongoing confusion between hemp and psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”).

“As the public become more aware of the differences then we can look to cross sell all the benefits.”

HEMP LEGALIZATION BRINGS A NEW ERA OF SUSTAINABLE FASHION

Hemp has been grown for centuries, used for everything from paper, rope to food and has a range of uses far beyond the benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids.

With the prohibition era juddering to a halt across the Western world, we can look forward to more forward-thinking companies using hemp in increasingly impressive and sustainable ways. Fashion is just one industry to benefit, as both the public and government authorities realise just how useful this plant can be.

As for Hemp Horizon, the products speak for themselves. This boutique brand is a cut above the rest, not only with their stylish range of products, but in how they point toward a future where eco-friendly hemp becomes established as the most important crop on the planet. Like so many others, Kay believes hemp can be a key part of creating a more sustainable way of life.

“If everyone is thinking more consciously we can help contribute to the healing and sustainability of our planet for the future generations.”

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Review: iLoveBad Boxer Briefs Are Super Comfortable, Soft & Breathable

iLoveBad boxer briefs are blended from organic cotton and ethically sourced hemp for undies that are both comfortable and sustainable. iLoveBad makes all their products in the U.S. in small workplaces with fair labor practices.

iLoveBad boxer briefs quickly became a favorite pair of undies, especially after “breaking in.”

Hemp fabrics are known for both their durability and becoming more comfortable over time. These boxer briefs, blended from hemp and organic cotton, were no exception. The fabric grew softer, and seemed to fit better with every wash. Thanks to hemp’s superior breathability, they stayed fresh feeling even in the Texas heat.

Beyond making a great pair of undies, iLoveBad is dedicated to making sustainable, healthy products in an ethical manner. Customers can feel good about how iLoveBad makes their boxer briefs, in addition to how good they feel to wear.

A shirtless man seen from behind, holding a guitar and wearing iLoveBad boxer briefs in black.

iLoveBad boxer briefs are a comfortable, breathable choice for even the hottest weather.

We were paid a fee by iLoveBad and offered free products in return for our honest opinion. If you purchase a product from one of these links, we’ll receive a percentage of sales. We only select the highest-quality hemp products for review on our site.

Read on for our full review of iLoveBad Boxer Briefs and more about the care iLoveBad puts into every product they make.

SUPPORT SUSTAINABLE, ETHICAL HEMP WITH ILOVEBAD

iLoveBad began with their signature hemp blankets. Founders Brittanny and Daniel discovered that natural fabrics like hemp cured a night sweating problem that was keeping Daniel awake. After designing a great blanket, iLoveBad expanded into other essentials like underwear.

While hemp fabrics are better than cotton for the environment and for wearers, iLoveBad takes their products even further when it comes to sustainability. iLoveBad make all their products in the U.S. using ethically sourced hemp and organic cotton. They partner with small, employee owned manufacturers in the United States that promote fair labor practices and clean working environments. You can read about their passionate, diverse team on their website.

iLoveBad also donates a portion of their profits to important causes like LA Habilitation House and Corazon de Vida Orphanages.

Three pairs of iLoveBad boxer briefs resting on a wooden background.ILOVEBAD BOXER BRIEFS OFFICIAL REVIEW

  • Highlights: Organic Cotton & Hemp Boxer Briefs from iLoveBad are ultra-comfortable and breathable, making them great for everyday wear in almost any weather.
  • Sizes:  Available in Small Through Extra-Large.
  • Price: $24.00 in black or white, or mixed 3-pack for $63.00
  • Customer Service & Shipping: Fast customer service. Standard shipping on a pair of hemp undies started at $2.79, with faster options available for an additional fee.
  • Features: Soft, comfortable boxer briefs that are great for work and leisure. The waistband is looser than most undies, but they were comfortably snug in the thighs and didn’t slip.
  • Materials: 64% Organic Cotton, 28% Hemp and 8% Lycra
  • Other: Women’s panties also available. iLoveBad accepts returns during a 100-day “Happy Shopping Window” to ensure customer satisfaction.

iLoveBad sources their hemp from a cooperative in China, which their supplier visits regularly to ensure high standards in both growing and working conditions. In addition to iLoveBad Boxer Briefs, they also make hemp socks, t-shirts, and of course, hemp blankets.

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Hemp Blankets Can Drastically Change Your Life for the Better

Daniel Ong of iLoveBad started learning about hemp after suffering from night sweats. That led him on a journey to rediscover hemp’s promise and, eventually, the creation of organic hemp blankets, socks, and underwear.

My journey to creating organic hemp blankets began with a bad night’s sleep.

In late Winter of 2010, I suffered from mysterious sleep sweating which woke me up every hour of the night. Extremely uncomfortable & sweaty, I would disgustingly peel off the blanket to dry myself. Moments later, the sweat would dry and the winter chills would resume. This process of sweating, waking, taking the blanket off and putting it back on repeated for well over a week.

Then one day while chattin’ with my mom in her bedroom, I noticed she was using the exact same blanket. In that moment I had an epiphany: the blanket could have been the reason for my sweating. I asked her if she had been sweating abnormally in her sleep as I had. To my confirmation, she’d exclaimed, “Oh my God! How’d You know?!”

After Daniel Ong suffered from night sweats, he and his wife began creating organic hemp blankets and, soon after, other hemp clothes seen here.

After suffering from night sweats, Daniel Ong discovered that synthetic fabrics might be to blame. He and his wife began researching alternatives, leading creation of organic hemp blankets and later other hemp clothes too.

It was that moment that led to the creation of iLoveBad, but for us it’s always been about more than making hemp clothing or a comfortable blanket. We believe hemp can make people’s lives better, as we discovered when we researched hemp blankets.

UNDERSTANDING SLEEP SWEATING & SYNTHETIC FIBER BLANKETS

Beginning that day, my wife and I began researching as much as we could about this night sweating problem.

With just a few hours of google searches, we realized that intense sleep sweating, otherwise known as Hyperhidrosis, was somewhat of a worldwide epidemic that seemed to have no clear answer.  Further, we discovered the blankets we were sweating under was the cause of the sweating because it was made from synthetic fibers (Nylon, Polyester, Acrylic, etc) that are known to be non-breathable, which means that those fibers keep oxygen from entering our bodies through our skin (our body’s largest organ), causing our bodies to suffocate & overheat.

If you own a microfiber couch or a car seat, you can detect the sweating against your skin. Over time, I believe that prolonged exposure to these fabrics causes our bodies to suffer. Even though our bodies are magical in their ability to restore balance, this sweating is extremely counter-productive. Sleep is supposed to restore our bodies, but instead they work overtime!

Realizing all this, we immediately sought for a blanket made with natural fibers. Surprisingly, there were very few options to choose from. Granted, it was 2010 when this was taking place prior to the organic/natural living craze that had swept the world. The blankets we had seen were either too small, too thin, or not soft enough. The only one that came close to what we were looking for cost about $500!

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CREATING OUR OWN HEMP BLANKETS

So instead of purchasing something to get by, we decided to make one ourselves. That decision led us to the re-discovery of hemp, a forgotten weed-like plant that was once the staple of American agriculture.

Because of hemp’s renewability (grows rapidly like weeds), versatility (can be used for so many different applications), and environmental benefits (in that it doesn’t require a lot of water to grow as well as pesticides to ward off bugs), it was an easy fiber choice for us to go with.  We then found a local fabric vendor in LA along with a seamstress to help us design & sew the blanket.

We spent about $200 to complete the project and the results were beautiful. Our blanket feels incredibly soft, being that it’s fleece, and magically stopped my mysterious sleep sweating!

We loved it so much that we had to make more for friends and family. The growing excitement over our organic hemp blankets eventually evolved into a business that now includes undies, tees & socks. All our products are comfortable, but they also bring awareness to the incredibly dynamic hemp fiber as well as the many benefits of natural living in general.

WHY HEMP MATTERS: IT’S MORE THAN JUST HEMP BLANKETS & SOCKS

There were a lot of reasons why we could’ve gone with hemp as a business and every single one of those reasons would validate its use.

However, the one aspect that really motivated us to go with hemp was the fact that it was erroneously labeled as a Schedule 1 drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Hemp was banned banned as a crop by the United States Government for nearly a hundred years, until 2014.

Further, the U.S. government used propaganda to demonize this harmless plant. The goal of all this was to coerce our society to believe that all forms of cannabis, including hemp, will get you high and do really scary things. Ironically, the government still allowed hemp imports, leading many thousands of dollars to flow overseas annually.

A young child holds a hemp leaf. A deliberate campaign of misinformation led to the demonization of cannabis in all its forms, including industrial hemp.

We’ve all been misled at some point in our lives and though it’s not cool, it is what it is. This situation however really bums us out because it reminds us of how unaware & gullible we can be as a society and as individuals. Being unaware doesn’t have to be unhealthy but this lack of awareness led us to judge, criminalize (unjust imprisonment), and destroy the lives of so many people & groups associated with it over the years.

I bring this up not to be sour but rather to remind our collective society to reserve our judgement about everything. Chances are, we really don’t understand them to begin with. We often fear that in which we don’t understand (especially drugs like Marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, MDMA, and LSD); we all know this.

When you think about it, you’ll easily deduct that fear is the root cause of our insecurities. Fear leads to our anxieties, depressions, and a host of psychological disorders. Likewise, it inevitably stunts creativity! By reserving our judgement about the unknown and perhaps even embracing them as a creation of a higher being, I believe this will drastically mitigate our fear and subsequently dispel the anxieties that comes with it. Again, there are so many reasons to champion hemp back to its glory days and we’re all about them.

But because the most common mental illness in our society is anxiety, we also care to promote the ideology and mental benefits that comes with supporting hemp.

NATURAL FIBERS & ORGANIC HEMP BLANKETS HELP YOU REST

To sum it all up, blankets made of synthetic fibers (such as Polyester, Nylon and Acrylic) are non-breathable.  This blocks our skin from the necessary oxygen it breathes in. Blankets made of natural fibers such as hemp, organic cotton, wool, silk and so forth are more breathable. Naturall fibers allow our bodies to effectively collect the oxygen it requires.

Supporting hemp teaches us about the idea of reserving judgement and fear towards the unknown, like hemp and even other currently illegal substances. We honestly believe that this conscious effort will raise awareness for unconditional acceptance and love for all (the good and the bad), reducing anxiety and inspiring limitless creativities within us all.

Working together, we can all meet our daily hurdles en route to manifesting our highest aspirations.

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