Two really sound companies, making really sound products. We’ve featured both these brands a few times on the blog, over the years. But next month, July 2016, US Congress will be facing a decision on whether to legalise industrial hemp farming, for the first time in over 70 years.
The Jungmaven head, Rob Jungmann, has been pioneering the environmental and industrial efficiency benefits of harvesting hemp, as opposed to cotton, since the conception of his clothing label. In recent times, a far bigger brand with more commercial say and outreach has also joined his fight; Patagonia. In turn, they are mobilising the likes of Michael Lewis and his Growing Warriors scheme (which helps former service men and women back into work) via grants, advice and contacts.
For the avoidance of doubt, although a cannabis plant, hemp is grown without any psychoactive properties. Jungmann and the team at Patagonia, along with Michael Lewis and the other like minded believers in hemp shown in the film, have seen the plant’s potential, but have faced immovable obstacles in the form of the DEA, after the plant was places on the controlled substance list 70 years ago.
When you watch this short film made by Patagonia and read interviews with Rob Jungmann, you can’t help but feel like putting your head in your hands and wondering where it all went wrong.
The founding fathers of America “used it for food, feed, fibre and fuel.” But it’s been illegal to grow in the country for the past 70 years. This is despite all the history and the fact that it’s kinder to the soil than cotton, doesn’t require crop rotation so therefore takes up less land, and it has stronger weaving properties than cotton too.
This illegality could change next month and Jungmaven’s dream of everybody having a hemp t-shirt in their wardrobe by 2020 could come true. Especially when the end products are filled with the loving care that Michael Lewis instills in his young daughter, who is helping sow the seeds of their next crop a little too enthusiastically, “We don’t wanna sacrifice quality for speed, okay? We can’t do it.”