October 16, 2016

My Greenfield Project

Wallis Evera - Hemp Clothing - Emma Jacket in Navy

Just for the record: hemp is a new thing to me, too. Until just a couple years ago, when I started this business, I didn't own any hemp clothing, I didn't know anyone else that owned hemp clothing, and I didn't know of anywhere one would even go to buy hemp clothing if they wanted to.

The concept of it only came onto my radar by chance, when I happened upon a book in the local public library, called "Overdressed: the shockingly high cost of cheap fashion," by Elizabeth L. Cline.  After that book, I was hooked -- I devoured every book and article I could get my hands on that related to Slow Clothes and the Eco-Fashion movement.

As I read, hemp kept coming up as this "AMAZING" fibre -- I read about hemp jeans that "last forever," hemp evening gowns parading down high-end runways, and came across so many claims that hemp was "the most eco-friendly fibre in existence." Natural, breathable, ultra-durable, versatile, low environmental impact, high yield, multi-use... and the list goes on.

It all made me wonder: if hemp is really all of these things -- if it really has all these incredible benefits -- then why isn't EVERYONE wearing it?

I really wanted to know. So, I started my exploration. 

My background is not fashion design; I'm coming at all of this from the point of view of a conscious consumer who just wants to find out the truth about hemp and its actual potential to change anything at all in the world. I'm playing with styles, hunting for fabrics, studying new technologies, all with the eye to answering this question once and for all. It's quite the journey to be starting this all from scratch. But it's my greenfield project, and it's a good one.

I started Wallis Evera because I had a hard time finding hemp clothing that I would actually wear on a regular basis (i.e. to my 9-5 office job). I can't say YET that our clothes will last 25 years because of the fabrics that we use, but I can say that our designs are meant to last that long. Classic styles, made from hemp fabrics that will wear in beautifully, rather than just wear out.