Here’s some hemp clothing we love! Hemp is more fashion forward than ever and brands are doing amazing things with hemp fabric.
Here’s some hemp clothing we love! Hemp is more fashion forward than ever and brands are doing amazing things with hemp fabric. Hemp fabric is more sustainable too, thanks to the use of fewer pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
We did some searching and picked out some awesome hemp pieces from clothing brands that everyone needs to check out!
Hemp food wraps, created by an Australian couple from local hemp and beeswax, are a new, sustainable alternative to plastic for covering food. The same business also offers hemp soaps and artisanal hemp paper.
After launching her hemp business with her husband, Maxine Woodhouse didn’t want to concentrate on products she felt were already being done, like oil and protein power.
So she chose something that would stand out – hemp beeswax food wraps.
Available in funky retro tie dyed colors, which makes them perfect for a dinner party, you might say they really are the bees’ knees of food wraps.
“We decided we wanted to have something different because we want our business to be a bit unique from everyone else, so we went ‘okay what if we dyed them and dipped them and we get our beeswax’,” Maxine Shea, co-founder of Australian-based business Hemp Collective and Fields of Hemp, told us.
LOCAL BEESWAX & HEMP COMBINE FOR SUSTAINABLE HEMP FOOD WRAPS
The locally made wraps, which can be purchased online, are all-natural, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, water-resistant and sustainable.
An Australian couple created sustainable hemp food wraps using local hemp and beeswax. (Photo: Hemp Collective)
The beeswax is sourced locally and infused with organic coconut oil and pine tree resin from the Byron Bay community in northern NSW, not far from where Shea and her husband and business co-founder Mike have a hemp farm for industrial use.
“People go ‘oh is it farmed from bees that are being harmed’ and we went ‘well no the bee keepers look after their bees,’” Maxine said.
With a background that includes studying and teaching about waste education, the product also fits in with the ethos of the couple and their business.
“We came up with the hemp beeswax wrap because we’re trying to eliminate plastic within our business. I come from that zero waste (belief) and also moving forward I think it’s important to do that for society,” Maxine said.
“There’s so much going on with plastic at the moment that it is an unsustainable product and it is killing a lot of wildlife, so the beeswax wraps made sense.”
Perfect for storing food and keeping produce fresh – from vegetables and fruits to flowers to kids’ lunches – the list of uses for the wraps is endless, say the Hemp Collective.
The biodegradable wraps, which can be moulded into a pouch or cone (no pun intended) are also easy to use, are water-resistant, and are easy to wash.
FROM HEMP FOOD WRAPS TO HEMP PAPER: HEMP IS WHERE WE ARE
Following their launch, the Hemp Collective unveiled their hemp paper and hemp business cards.
“I couldn’t find any hemp business cards. I thought ‘no one’s actually making them in Australia’,” the entrepreneur said.
“We went ‘okay you know what we could actually do wedding invitations, we could do all sorts of things with it.’ But the business cards were what we started out with.”
The fact that it’s a premium product again sets it aside from the others that do exist, Maxine said.
The reusable sustainable biodegradable hemp food wraps can also be turned into pouch or cone shapes for serving snacks. (Photo: Hemp Collective)
The Hemp Collective’s soaps come in myrtle, activated charcoal, lavender oil, peppermint and eucalyptus, and oatmeal flavors. Ingredients include organic cold pressed coconut oil, purified water, Australian hemp seed oil, and organic unrefined shea butter.
“There’s probably seven ingredients in there and it’s all either organic or Australian,” Maxine said.
Next up they will launch their hemp shampoo and conditioner bar range. A healing balm is also in the pipeline.
The main concern for their products, Mike said, is that they are producing high quality.
“We made sure that we got not just any coconut oil, we made sure that it either came from a sustainable source but also good quality,” he says.
“The same with the shea butter.”
MAKING HEMP FANS IN AN AUSTRALIAN TOURISM HOT SPOT
The couple’s business is based in the small town of Mullumbimby, not far from the tourist hot spot Byron Bay, with a wall of hemp that the community helped make for their office.
“We said we’re going to build this hemp wall. Ten people (said) ‘oh we’ll come and help’,” Maxine said.
“We hand harvested that hemp. The community has been amazing around here.”
The couple, who have been together for 17 years, were based in New Zealand, where they had a distribution company, before they moved to Australia in 2017.
In addition to hemp food wraps, Hemp Collective makes hem paper and body care products. (Photo: Hemp Collective)
Maxine had earlier given birth to the couple’s son who was diagnosed with a severe form of eczema. Maxine was later diagnosed with a brain tumor, a type that affects only one to two per cent of people. In New Zealand, they were given some CBD oil.
“When we came over here, we did a whole change and we looked at hemp and went yeah, I think there’s something in this,” Mike said.
“And then the food law changed (in November 2017) and that’s when we thought ‘well this is what’s going to get the wheels moving for the hemp industry.’”
The couple say they have recurring customers and their main customers are probably mostly female, but their ages are different.
“The soap gets an older demographic whereas we feel like shampoo bars and conditioner bars are going to be good for that travellers 18 – 35 type age groups where they’re kind of on the move,” Maxine said.
“It’s perfect for travel, you just shove it in your bag. You don’t have to carry all these big bottles.”
“Artists are loving the paper.”
HOPES FOR HEMP’S FUTURE IN AUSTRALIA
Maxine said there’s also some exciting things happening “behind the scenes”.
“We really want to start getting some infrastructure happening around the region, farmers growing but growing so they’re actually going to get better yields and outputs and also money because farmers are always struggling,” she said.
Maxine Shea poses with a collection of Hemp Collective products and a small hempcrete wall. (Photo: Ministry of Hemp / Pearl Green)
She said the Australian hemp industry was “stifled due to a range of different things”.
“It’s stifled due to thought process the fact that there’s stigma around the products,” Maxine said.
“Australia is behind due to its crazy policies.”
Maxine said her vision for the hemp community in Australia was one where people could collaborate but every single person could still have a niche within their business that sets them, their story, and their product apart.
“If everyone can work together you’ve actually got a bigger way of talking to government and getting things changed,” she said.
Today, we’ll explore how the American hemp supply chain is hampered by inconsistent laws and regulations. From growers to extraction to the final CBD oil you take, there are many steps along the way.
Today, we’ll explore how the American hemp supply chain is hampered by inconsistent laws and regulations.
Most people are unaware of the sheer complexity that goes behind putting their favorite product on the shelves. Exploring those complexities will help show how your favorite CBD product goes from plant to final product and explain the cost of CBD.
“Despite all the obstacles along the path of the hemp industry supply chain, brave individuals and companies have made a way for it to work,” said Keith Butler, co-founder and chief formulator for LifePatent.
LifePatent is one of our favorite CBD brands, so we reached out to Butler for an insider’s view of the process.
WHAT IS A SUPPLY CHAIN, ANYWAY?
To understand the CBD supply chain, we must first consider what a supply chain even is and what it means to a business.
A supply chain is essentially the bones & muscles of a company. The supply chain is comprised of raw material producers, system processors, customer service, truck drivers, factory floor workers. Hell, even the IT guys are part of it. This is why a good supply chain manager or team is essential in a healthy business. Whenever you buy, move, make, sell, service or repair you are using your supply chain. A supply chain is successful when all the links in the chain work together smoothly.
One example of a supply chain is the process that goes into creating coffee, from growing to roasting to the final cup in your favorite cafe.
Let’s consider a simple cup of coffee at your favorite cafe. First, farmers grow and harvest coffee fruit (probably somewhere in South America). Further processing happens before shipping coffee overseas or to America. Then drivers, packagers, trucks, fuel and further processing are needed to get it to the companies who order the beans.
Those companies (part of the chain itself), roast, package, test and ship those coffee beans to different retail spots. Then coffee shops grind the beans and make them into a cup of coffee for you to buy.
All of this goes behind making a cup of coffee. Keep in mind this is a simplistic version of the real coffee supply chain. The real thing is much more complex. Depending on size and scope, a business might cover just one aspect of the supply chain — such as coffee roasting. Or they might oversee the entire process from coffee fruit to cafe. The same can be true of the CBD supply chain.
THE HEMP INDUSTRY AND THE CBD SUPPLY CHAIN
The hemp industry is growing at a break-neck pace.
Valued at $3.1 billion at the end of 2017, the industry is currently projected to triple that figure by 2022. When you factor in last December’s Farm Bill, the industry is only going to grow faster. This is not simply an American story as Canada, France and China have successful and fast-growing hemp industries.
The hemp and CBD supply chain begins with hemp seeds.
Truly, the hemp plant is making a resurgence in popularity, mainly due to the robustness, simplicity, and ease of hemp farming. Not to mention over 50,000 different uses of the plant, from car panels in France, to hemp hearts grown in Canada and the massive hemp-textile industry in China.
Butler told us:
“The supply chain begins with the seeds. Today’s hemp genetics can be incredibly complex and equally as complex to acquire. With the explosive growth of the hemp industry, supply side beginning with something as simple as a seed can be a challenge. The companies who have access to the unique seeds and genetics are even harder to find. Once the seeds have been secured the supply side begins with the farming process.”
HEMP INDUSTRY SUPPLY CHAIN REQUIRES MORE INFRASTRUCTURE
This fast-growing industry has attracted many businesses, from retailers, producers, suppliers, farmers and so on and so forth. The supply-chain is growing just as fast as the industry itself. One simply needs to look at all of the different CBD-brands that have seemingly come from nowhere to see the pace of growth in the industry.
“Although hemp is a weed and is considered an easy plant to grow, making medicinal hemp is a little more complicated. The plant will require proper sun, moisture, nutrients and protection,” Butler said. “All of these factors will determine the level of medicinal quality which can be achieved, but the process takes months of time and patience not to mention luck and skill.”
But the support infrastructure necessary to power the hemp supply chain is still lacking in many places.
“Once the flower has been collected by the farmer it needs to be dried, again, a straightforward process which is not so simple. Sure, solutions are being created to simplify the harvesting and drying process, there are even systems which require no drying at all,” said Butler. “But these systems are few and far between leaving most farmers to do it and the old-fashioned way, by hand. Once the harvest has been dried it must be transported to the extraction facility.”
HOW CURRENT REGULATIONS INTERFERE WITH THE CBD SUPPLY CHAIN
But it’s not all rainbows & sunshine as the American hemp industry is seriously hampered by inconsistent federal and state level legislation.
While the aforementioned Farm Bill certainly helps, there are still major grey areas in the classification of hemp. The production of hemp is now federally legal, and the Farm Bill removed CBD from the Controlled Substances Act, but the industry is closely watching upcoming decisions by the FDA.
“Despite all the obstacles along the path of the hemp industry supply chain, brave individuals and companies have made a way for it to work.” — Keith Butler, LifePatent
“Things can get tricky here depending on whether you plant to extract locally, in state or out of state,” Butler commented. “For those who need to transport over state lines to extract a whole new set of obstacles arise in the supply chain.”
“Recent seizures of hemp being transported across state lines after the passage of the 2018 farm bill show us that many places didn’t get the memo. And worse yet some states have challenged the legality of hemp even after its removal from the controlled substance act.”
All cannabis businesses still have to operate on a cash-only basis. Banks cannot offer financial services such as bank accounts or business loans. Alongside the clarification of CBD products by the FDA, the financial side of the business is the biggest supply chain obstacle for cannabis and hemp companies to overcome. With continued bi-partisan support of the STATES act, this may soon be fixed.
THE DEFINITION OF HEMP ALSO POSES RISKS TO CBD BRANDS
Butler explained the definition of hemp, pinned to 0.3% THC, also causes issues:
“To date the definition of hemp outside of less than 0.3% THC by dry weight has not been defined causing a whole new challenge for the hemp products producer. When extracted a 0.3% THC hemp plant will create extracted oils which can be in excess of 3% THC now. A number that can be 10 or more times above the legal limit of hemp, but it is from the legal hemp plant but now the oils appear to the world as cannabis despite the fact they are hemp derived. It is this single undefined issue that drives the extraction, formulation and bottling of most hemp products. When the hemp is extracted the THC levels increase as do all the other cannabinoids.”
Third-party lab tests help ensure that the final CBD-infused products consumers purchase remain under the legal limits of THC, but the extraction process puts hemp brands at risk. Butler thinks the issue may need to be solved in the courts:
“Unfortunately, no one in the government has addressed this reality and until someone with the resources required to put up a fight gets stopped and arrested with hemp oil extract the hemp industry will continue in the conundrum of can I transport the undiluted oil from extraction to a different state for bottling and formulation.”
THE INNOVATIVE MODERN AMERICAN HEMP INDUSTRY
“Creativity and ingenuity are the hallmarks of the American people and those in the hemp industry are more akin to the pioneers, blazing the trails to a better future,” Butler told us.
So next time you enjoy your favorite CBD tincture, soft-gel, cream or simple hemp-hearts, keep in mind the complex CBD supply chain necessary to bring that product to your table. The issues above reflect that more legislation may be needed to protect the hemp industry, though fortunately Sen. Mitch McConnell and other hemp supporters in Congress seem to be willing to undertake the effort.
“I know for guys like myself and the people with whom I began this journey with nearly 40 years ago, we found a way and now hemp is legal,” Butler concluded. “For the future I expect the new pioneers will create new trails and find new ways to bring our beloved plant to the peoples of the earth.”
In Nimbin, Australia, bodies are being buried and burnt in brightly-decorated hemp coffins. The coffins, which are built with pressed hemp board from Germany and lined with hemp rope handles, are usually colourfully painted by local artists.
In Australia’s alternative lifestyle capital, bodies are being buried and burnt in brightly-decorated hemp coffins.
These hemp coffins are handmade at the HEMP Embassy in Nimbin, New South Wales, Australia. (Photo courtesy HEMP Embassy)
“I’ve got three on site at the moment that are made,” says Michael Balderstone president of the HEMP Embassy in Nimbin, a small town in northern New South Wales, where the caskets are designed, built, and sold.
“People ring up and order them. I can make one in a day. They’re beautiful.”
The coffins, which are built with a 19mm lightweight pressed hemp board from Germany and are lined with hemp rope handles, are usually colourfully painted by artists in Nimbin. The town, which hosted the 1973 Aquarius Festival, is Australia’s answer to Woodstock.
“It takes people all their life saving up for their funeral,” says Balderstone. “In Nimbin we want to wrap them in a cloth and compost them, but you’re not allowed so you’ve got to do the cheapest (thing) possible.”
The hemp coffins cost only between $700 and $900, he says. That’s similar to the cost of a regular coffin, but constructed from sustainable materials that will biodegrade more quickly.
“They are popular,” says Balderstone.
“Even my father, he was very conservative. Never got stoned but said, ‘I wouldn’t mind one of those hemp coffins.’”
“I’ve been encouraging people to buy them early, get in early.”
And they’re also versatile, as a sign in the window of the HEMP embassy highlights.
“Can be used as a broom cupboard or book shelves etc in the meantime,” it reads.
HEMP COFFINS ON THE RISE WORLDWIDE
According to small-scale manufacturer Rawganique, which makes hemp products, local demand for its willow-hemp caskets and coffins “is more than enough” for its single artisan workshop located on Denman Island, British Columbia. Their products feature organic hemp ropes, come in a variety of colors, are chemical and fertilizer-free, and completely biodegradable. Meanwhile, hemp burial shrouds are also available through Australia-based Life Rites.
The Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code has allowed the sale and consumption of low-THC hemp seed foods since November 2017. The move was described as a “landmark” by the not-for-profit Australian Industrial Hemp Alliance (AIHA).
The creator of these hemp coffins suggests they can be used to store books or cleaning supplies before death. (Photo: Ministry of Hemp / Pearl Green)
The Nimbin HEMP Embassy, formed in 1992, aims to educate people about the integration of hemp in people’s lives. The Embassy runs a shop and information centre “to fund our protest” against Australia’s cannabis laws. Its shop displays everything from a hemp surfboard to a hemp bees-wax food wrap, while its hemp bar offers a range of hot beverages and desserts containing the plant. Other restaurants and shops nearby also sell hemp products.
Balderstone is also president of Australia’s federally-registered HEMP Party, which will contest in the upcoming election in May.
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. (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. 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.
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
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. 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.”
As the hemp industry booms, it will inevitably product more waste. We looked at two startups recycling hemp and cannabis waste into useful products.
In a world of increasing pollution, two startups are trailblazing new techniques to reduce waste by recycling hemp.
The community based around hemp is famous for its holistic approach to life. Hemp advocates care about living cleanly, reducing their environmental impact, and trying to reduce waste as much as possible.
Previously, we reported on Sana Packaging, who use hemp to create sustainable packaging for the recreational cannabis industry. 9Fiber and Kindness 3D differ in that they’re recycling hemp and cannabis waste after it’s produced. They’re helping reduce pollution and helping their fellow human beings at the same time.
9FIBER: RECYCLING HEMP STALKS & FIBER INTO USEFUL PRODUCTS
9Fiber, based out of Silver Spring, Maryland are an agricultural technology company focused on recycling hemp stalk and stem waste. This startup takes hemp bio-waste that’s been put aside by other companies and processes it into raw materials that can be used to make a variety of products.
First, 9Fiber decontaminates any biowaste from federally illegal substances, removing the THC. Next, they process the waste further by removing fiber from the hurd, which is the woody core of the hemp plant. Then, the fiber undergoes final processing before it becomes usable for production. With the recycled fiber and gum-free hurd, 9Fiber is able to make paper, rope, textiles, fuel, bioplastics, fiberglass, hempcrete, and even livestock bedding.
In November, the Colorado Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program gave 9Fiber a $250,000 grant. The process to get the grant was a lengthy one, as many startups. With this new funding, 9Fiber plans to expand their operations into Pueblo, Colorado in late 2019. Hopefully, this grant can also help 9Fiber scale with the inevitable boom in hemp production. With the recent passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, 9Fiber’s future is looking bright.
9Fiber is recycling hemp by separating out the hemp fibers and woody core (hemp hurd). After processing, 9Fiber can reuse these materials in hemp plastic, hempcrete, animal bedding and more.
Adin Alai, 9Fiber’s CEO, told us, “our main goal is to create an entire circular economy.”
While the hemp industry inevitably produces waste, companies like 9Fiber can use that waste to produce other products. Not only is Mr. Alai passionate about his startup, but he believes that the cannabis industry has the potential to be a leading zero-waste industry.
KINDNESS 3D PRINTS PROSTHETIC LIMBS FROM CANNABIS WASTE
Meanwhile, up north in Nova Scotia, Canada, a prosthetic limb production company recycles plastic waste from local psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”) shops. After Canada legalized recreational use of marijuana, there has been a dramatic increase in plastic container waste. Based out of Halifax, Kindness 3D turns plastic packaging from psychoactive cannabis products into prosthetic limbs.
A student tries out a 3D-printed grabber hand at a school in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Kindness 3D takes plastic waste from recreational cannabis containers and turns them into prosthetic limbs. (Photo: Kindness 3D Facebook)
Starting as a 3D printing enthusiast, Jake Boudreau started Kindness 3D after coming across templates for prosthetic limbs in an online 3D printing community. Since the creation of the non-profit, he’s been able to send hands to a girl in Costa Rica and a woman in Brazil. He aims to not only recycle reusable plastic waste, but to help people who can’t afford the expenses that come along with prosthetic limbs.
As industrial hemp and cannabis legalization spreads around the world, companies like 9Fiber and Kindness 3D fill an important niche. Efforts like these are vital for reducing hemp waste, and to increase the utility of the hemp plant. Hopefully, recycling hemp will become commonplace, and recycled hemp biomass products can become part of our everyday lives.
Outperforming standard supercapacitors up to 200 percent, hemp-based supercapacitors could be the future of green technology. Hemp could be a key part of making our energy needs more sustainable.
Outperforming standard supercapacitors up to 200 percent, hemp-based supercapacitors could be the future of green technology.
At the Ministry of Hemp, we’re a little biased about our favorite plant in the world: hemp. But it seems like everyday we find newer and better ways that it can be used.
One innovation we recently discovered? Scientists discovered how to use hemp in supercapacitor electrodes. A supercapacitor is the lesser-known alternative to traditional electrical energy storage. Right now, a supercapacitor is the second best option for storing power, after batteries. However, more research could change that.
Supercapacitors could be the future of energy storage, and hemp supercapacitors could prove even more efficient than other materials.
Below we’ll introduce you to hemp supercapacitors and how hemp could play a part in our energy future.
WHAT’S A SUPERCAPACITY, ANYWAYS?
The most famous form of energy storage is the battery, an object that contains two opposing electrical terminals separated by electrolytes. When you turn on the power, a chemical reaction occurs between the electrolytes and electrodes, producing electric energy for your device. Since batteries rely on electrolyes, and electrolytes wear out, all batteries need to be replaced. In addition, batteries take a very long time to fully charge. Today, we use batteries everywhere; in our phones, laptops, and more recently, our cars.
Capacitors work very differently from the traditional battery. In short, a normal capacitor is comprised of two metal plates and an insulating material between the plates called a dielectric. In a capacitor, positive & negative build up on the plates. Rather than electrolytes, capacitors store electrical energy within the plates.
Supercapacitors on the other hand, are different for two ways. Their plates have a “bigger” surface area and the distance between the plates is much shorter. Supercapacitors are usually coated in a porous substance such as activated charcoal. These coatings are called the “supercapacitor electrodes.” The electrodes serve as more storage on the plates, giving them more surface area to store electricity. Think of normal non-coated capacitors as mops; which can only absorb so much water, and supercapacitors as sponges, soaking up much more water than its surface area. The website Explain That Stuff published a great explanation of supercapacitors in August.
Unlike batteries, supercapacitors charge almost instantaneously and last much longer than batteries. Their biggest drawback, preventing them from being the popular choice, is the amount of energy that is able to be stored within them. Right now, supercapacitors only store a fraction of the power of a traditional battery, but scientists are working hard to find a way around this problem.
THE MIGHTY HEMP SUPERCAPACITOR
Today’s supercapacitors commonly use graphene, a carbon nanomaterial to create electrodes. But making graphene costs up to $2000 per gram.
In 2013, Researchers at the University of Alberta National Institute for Nanotechnology found a more economical material in hemp. These scientists discovered how to process raw hurds (the plant’s woody core) into activated carbons through hydrothermal processing and chemical activation. The final product is one that’s able to soak up more electricity, providing better energy capacity. The solution produces not only a cheaper material — $5000 per ton — but one that performs up to four times better than graphene. Better yet, the solution uses the hemp stems, the part that is often left unused during other forms of hemp processing. With this, the entire plant is used, and no part is left to waste!
Hempcrete building material is one common use for hemp hurds or shivs, the woody core of the plant. Someday, hurds could be used in hemp supercapacitors too.
If this solution can be easily reproduced, it would affect far more than just the electronics industries. Supercapacitors represent a fundamental shift in energy storage. Imagine if every battery powered object used hemp powered instead! It would mean that hemp would be undeniable in its utilitarian value. Remaining anti-hemp governments would be hard-pressed to keep the plant banned from commercial use.
Not only will consumer products change with legal hemp, but if hemp supercapacitors are adapted to a larger scale, we might see a shift in the infrastructure of the entire country. The possibilities for this greener, cleaner, and sustainable crop seem limitless! With legal hemp, countless industries stand to benefit.
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.
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.
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’)
Scutching (Beating stems, which separates the desired fibers from the hemp’s woody core)
Hackling (combing of the stems to remove unwanted particles)
Roving (improves strength)
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.
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.
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.
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)
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. (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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.