Muji and Uniqlo - Joining the Party
What do we think about big brands finally joining the party?
Ethically, do we align? or do we think it's greenwashing at its finest?
Green Washers Caught RED handed!!!
We have recently seen results from audits of H&M and other multinationals as they’ve been slammed for greenwashing while using hemp fabrics.
What is the impact of this on hemp businesses, the old souls who have been championing hemp fibre for years?
What are we going to do when the market explodes and demand outweighs the supply ?
Will the manchester and bed sheets industry also follow suit?
Will we start to see Sheridan, or Target rolling in the hemp bed sheets ?
With Hemp prices set to soar in the new year, and with the companies like Muji and Uniqlo starting to cash in on the wonderful properties of our sacred plant, we die-hard hempers have a moral conundrum. Do we cheer from the rooftops when we see the adoption of hemp in the mass market? Or do we worry for the future of our small businesses as demand outweighs supply?
Why Hemp will go up before it comes down.
Our little artisan hemp mill in North China is now competing in the market for raw fibre with multinational companies. And whilst we love that others are getting on board the hemp train, we feel as though there are some contrasting beliefs going on here, especially when we see Nike selling polyester on the rack next to their hemp shoes, or PU leather shoes in the next department across.
How do we as consumers wade through the bias? Despite our emotions, the reality exists that hemp needs this support. There will be a transitional period where it is expensive and then, with more and more mass adoption, the price of hemp will come down as farmers make the switch. So perhaps it is for the best…
Farmers felt the pinch, now all aboard the green train.
Some years ago, we wrote a blog ( I think it's unpublished still ) about the impact of Hemp Farming compared to Corn production in northern China. With hemp farming, farmers were making a profit and replenishing the soil at the same time. Compared to corn farming, this was highly sustainable and did not degrade the soil or reduce its precious nutrient stores.
The ecological benefits of hemp must be spread and must continue to grow (metaphorically and literally). The rest of the world, including Australia, needs to invest heavily in hemp fibre and, unfunnily, and if you have not heard my rant before, the ODC needs to drop hemp from the contraband list of “drugs.” It’s not a drug when used as fabric guys, get with the program.
Technology and Viability for Sustainable hemp textiles.
In the short term, there are some mechanical factors that will affect the viability of large-scale hemp production and supply. The required technology is not there yet, not across the whole board, and the characteristics of hemp bast fibre makes it quite hard for less experienced mills to weave. This creates increased wastage and then increased prices (that the mill incurs on us, the consumers).
So, I am gratified that large-scale companies are getting on board, and I hope that they will eventually adopt hemp fibre across their entire range (aim high, right?). Only then will I believe that they truly practise what they preach.
I am also glad to see more and more hemp in the market. I cannot deny that it excites me a lot. All that the eco-warrior in me wants to know is that we are doing a little to make a great change.
Accessibility Foe or Friend for the hemp community
What do you think ? Please leave a comment below - We always love to hear other perspectives on this conundrum, Hemp for the masses through the main stream of lower priced major labels.
Jo Dope co-founder
Image References; The Big issue and unsplash