Bohohemp…PREPARE TO BE ASTOUNDED!
BohoHemp: Prepare to be Astounded by Hemp Clothing!
It takes a lot of effort to overturn old myths. Emma Parkinson from the beautiful business BohoHemp should know. Working hard to dispel the cannabis clothing notion, BohoHemp have discovered the wonder plant and want to share it with you. She says, “hemp has been used by mankind to make eco clothing since before recorded history. It is thought that hemp is the oldest cultivated plant in the world with uses dating back to the Stone Age”. Prepare to be astounded by hemp clothing!
Hemp…The Secret is Out
Its never been a secret what hemp can do. Its just…well, I defy you to find a plant more useful, more adaptable and yet more misunderstood than hemp. Surrounded by innuendo and years of cliche, the hemp plant is more than, and different to, its errant psychotropic cousin. It has been suggested that there are over 25,000 uses for hemp. Now more than a fringe fibre, hemp has gone mainstream high street and up market with use by the likes of Versace and Habitude.
Formerly restricted in use, US States such as Oregon, North Dakota, Vermont, Montana and West Virginia have followed a growing appreciation of its worth and backed its legal cultivation. Ironically, and historically, this is a move backwards, towards a plant once regarded by many in the US as more important than corn and soya, and a vital part of the second world war effort.
Ford Hemp Mobile
In 1941, that most iconic of American industrialists, Henry Ford, produced a car whose plastic frame was partially made of hemp and whose engine could be powered by hemp fuel!
Reclassifying its use in some American states, is bringing hemp out of the shadows as manufacturers design anything from hemp nappies, hemp protein foods, hemp oil to hemp houses made from hempcrete. Oh, and clothes. Manufacturers are very keen to explore alternatives to increasingly costly cotton, whilst being mindful of the need to satisfy environmental demands. Working with hemp, as with other plants like flax, manufacturers have found ways to create incredibly silky, smooth materials. I for one, am amazed by its adaptability and beauty.
In Europe the approach to hemp has been more forgiving and years of productive engagement and honing its use, have yielded some beautiful clothes.
Getting the best out of hemp as a clothing fabric has seen it blended with cotton, wool and silk. The hairy, fibre image associated with knotted rope and lifeless hippy clothing is a thing of the past as hemp appreciation develops and it becomes a future fabric.
A Selection of the Range Image: BohoHemp
Part of this hemp appreciation movement is BohoHemp. Created by Emma in 2011, BohoHemp is a labour of love brought together by a convergence of events in her life. She came into contact with Nomad clothing and,
“thought why not import it myself? I loved the whole catalogue and the idea of selling organic and fair trade clothing and so BohoHemp was born. I do feel like I have had another child, I am completely obsessed and I never stop talking about it, you could say I have fallen head over heels in love with hemp”.
At BohoHemp Ethics comes First
BohoHemp is a beautiful business with ethical values at its heart. Emma says ‘Our business is ethical fashion which is something that we are passionate about. We want to contribute and educate about consumer behaviour within the fashion industry and how we can all make a significant difference when choosing to buy into organic and fair trade clothing. The clothing industry is a cuthroat business and ethical business is big business now, but I want to stay true to my ethics and values and conduct my small business with ethics at the core of what we are about’
In bringing hemp clothing to the market place, BohoHemp clearly demonstrate what is possible from alternative thinking, stretching the conventional and thinking beyond traditional fabrics. Working with three designer producers from Europe – Uprise, Nomads and CAVVAS, BohoHemp is keenly aware of the what is important. They produce clothing ranges made with the peace of mind of certification from the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) organic cotton, the Fair Wear Foundation accreditation where clothing is made with workers wellbeing in mind, and Oeko Tex which certifies that products are free from harmful chemical substances. As Emma reminds us,
“let’s be a part of something really significant and think about what we wear. You don’t have to compromise on fashion and principals anymore. You can look good and know that your purchase of a hemp garment helps in the development of sustainable products through conscious consumerism”.
So why the boho? One presumes that boho is a state of mind, a bohemian, liberal outlook often associated with an aesthetic. In the mid-noughties (2000s), boho chic was associated with a particular trend towards folk and hippy disposition. Undoubtedly, it also relates to something other worldly, perhaps change leading influencers of the out-there avant-garde. I think BohoHemp is all of these and their range confirms this. Socks, leggings, bras and underwear compliment a really great contemporary mens and womenswear range. Using a range of materials, BohoHemp helps to dispel the perception that hemp is just for hippies. To address this outdated image, their manufactures have started to blend it with organic cotton (usually 60% hemp to 40% organic cotton).
“The environmental catastrophe that is conventional cotton production is widely known, with issues such as extensive agrochemical use, monocropping and immense water requirements topping the list of unfriendly growing practises. However, organic cotton doesn’t use the cocktail of pesticides and fertilisers sprayed on the conventional version. While hemp garments are often comparatively more expensive than those made from cotton due to higher processing costs and limited quantities, but its ecological superiority is clear”.
A beautiful business working with an environmentally friendly, sustainable material, keeping ethical fashion cutting edge, working with great designers with great credentials and values. Emma sums up the difficulty of appreciating hemp as a fabric…’with an online shop it is very difficult to get across the feel and quality of our clothing but beautiful is what they are. Not only are the designs funky and sexy but the feel of the fabrics are luxurious and soft. Beautiful is a word that is heard quite often from our customers on receiving our clothes through the post’.
For further information on the BohoHemp range visit their site http://www.bohohemp.co.uk/.
Just one more week of the sales and then new Spring/Summer collection 2013 arriving so an opportunity to get to know something beautiful. Very urban hemp, very boho