How Hemp could help the world

Many are talking about it, even important newspapers, of the fact that “Hemp” is returning. What is it? Why does it sound like something vintage or belonging to the past? In this article we present our project and explain why we are certainly not the first to talk about the actual benefits that hemp could bring to us, and not to us only.

What is Hemp?

A hemp leaf in our hemp field in Rivalta, Parma

By definition, Hemp is a natural fabric. It derives from the plant of Cannabis, the same used for drugs, but actually the variety for textile use is not the same as the one used for drugs. So Hemp doesn’t derive from “psychoactive” varieties of Cannabis.

Hemp is the natural fabric providing the highest number of advantages.

It was the most popular fabric till the 1920s, then it suddenly and mysteriously disappeared and we are going to bore you in the two paragraphs below explaining the reasons.

The real advantages of Hemp

Hemp is the most durable natural fabric. Technically speaking, it is demonstrated it has more tensile strength than linen (flax), cotton and silk. The old clothes dating back to our grandmothers’ time demonstrate also its incredible durability. Its characteristics can compete with today’s synthetic fibers, such as nylon and polyester. Many people compare hemp to linen, but in fact they are totally different, since Hemp doesn’t wrinkle easily as linen does, it’s softer and more thermo-regulating (insulating), so it can be warmer than linen in cold weather and more comfortable in hot weather.

We have explained — hopefully exhaustively — the many advantages of hemp in this page, but some of them are summarized below:

  • hemp wrinkles and crushes less than cotton and linen. Also, the more you wash it the softer and more beautiful it becomes
  • hemp cultivation absorbs large quantities of CO2 (so it removes the most polluting substance from the environment) and requires less water, compared with other natural fibers. If everybody wore hemp clothes, we would avoid the development of synthetic fibers and we would clean the environment. There are so many authoritative newspapers talking about hemp as a solution to fight climate change. Obviously it would not save the world, but surely it would help it.
  • Hemp contrasts the proliferation of bacteria, which means no more bad odors on jackets, shirts and tees.
  • Hemp is thermo-regulating and insulating. So it keeps the body temperature constant. More than linen and cotton. Obviously it’s not a winter fabric, but if used together with other warm fabrics (as wool) it can be extremely versatile.

Opera Campi Project

Hemp won’t become popular if people don’t buy it

Opera Campi is a young Italian brand, launched by a team of 5 Italian guys. They pursue the ambitious goal to recover the fabrics which have been forgotten over time, like hemp. “La Canapa” (Italian for hemp) is the main fabric developed by Opera Campi. After years of research, they have launched a product, which, if understood and sold, could really help to start making hemp popular again. The product is a Hemp Jacket, which has been designed down to every single detail, is extremely elegant and sophisticated and gives full value to the fabric: our hemp. The jacket takes full advantage of hemp properties, since it can be very insulating and, since it’s so soft, it’s also very comfy. It’s almost a luxurious product, or, as we call it, a “Ruggedly luxurious jacket”.

It has been introduced on Kickstarter, a famous American crowdfunding website, whose operation is easier done than said. In short: on Kickstarter, a company introduces a new product, fixes a monetary goal (e.g. $ 100), and a duration (e.g. 30 days). Over the set duration, the project has to collect as many orders as possible, so that the monetary goal is reached before the deadline. If the project achieves the goal, every credit card will be charged with the amount each customer “pledged”; production will start and the products will be delivered within the promised terms. Otherwise, if the project does not reach its goal, nobody will lose money, but simply the project won’t start production.

So, if you want to change the way you choose your clothes, if you appreciate our project, our hemp scarf, our hemp beanie or our Hemp Jacket, you can help us on Kickstarter by “backing” the project with a reward among the ones you see on the project page.

If we collect orders on Kickstarter, we could give a sense and a value to Hemp, you will get a unique jacket and you will be among the first to have it, at a very good price.

The real “conspiracy” behind hemp disappearance

[caption id=”attachment_326" align=”aligncenter” width=”1131"]

From the left: Mr Du Pont of the plastics industry, Hearst of the per industry, and lastly their friend and politician Harry Aslinger, in the right bottom[/caption]

What we are going to tell you sounds like a conspiracy theory, but it’s not. The real question is not why hemp is not very popular, but rather why hemp has disappeared. Hemp was the most popular fabric until the 1930s, and after exhaustive study of documentaries, internet pages and direct interviews of “grandmothers”, who lived those days, we found the truth.

Hemp disappeared because of its incredible advantages, which were hampering the development of oil companies. While a synthetic product is patentable and hardly transferable, Hemp is a natural material, so it’s not patentable. In the 1930s, some tycoons in the oil industry, such as Mr. Du Pont (plastics industry) and William Hearst (paper industry), together with other tycoons in the pharmaceutical, chemical and petroleum industry, started massive advertising campaigns in order to hinder hemp growth and demand. Advertisements were made in order to create negative feelings for hemp and its uses, and to induce people to avoid buying hemp-made products. They even invented the term “Marijuana” to link hemp to its psychoactive negative effect and to associate it with Mexicans, who were often seen as “criminals and junkies”; Wikipedia explains this very clearly.

This huge and massive “staging” was influenced by the new synthetic fibers (derived from plastic) and by the invasion of cotton (which was cheaper to process and, thus, could generate more profits). All these reasons caused hemp to be banned in the United States, and, subsequently, in Europe, where Hemp production was very intensive, especially in Italy, which was the second largest producer in the world after Russia.

Request for a change: how hemp could help the world

our hemp yarns, just dyed

Nowadays, the vast majority of people wear more or less globalized clothes: low-end brands, such as Zara and H&M, often mixed (if it can be afforded) with some “niche” brands, such as Stone Island, Patagonia or Carhatt. They are all excellent brands. But the world is now full of the same ideas.

More than ever, we need something new, which has value not just because of its style, but also for its history and the emotions and benefits it can generate for you.

Hemp seems a perfect response to this need, it’s beautiful, different, really natural (cotton and linen requires pesticides, so they are not so natural as you may think), and could also help the world thanks to its power to purify and clean the air, more than cotton, linen and even trees.

Finally… Hemp is beautiful, has more personality than linen, and is reminiscent of a glorious past, with its stories and passions.

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