Patagonia states in a press release that in 2016 alone, the U.S. will import an estimated $500 million in products made of industrial hemp. “Unfortunately, here in the U.S. hemp has mistakenly found itself on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act even though it has no psychoactive properties. Industrial hemp is a crop that has the potential to lower the environmental impacts of textile production, empower small-scale farmers and create jobs in a wide variety of industries. On July 4, 2016, a petition will be delivered to Congress urging them to pass the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015/2016 (S.134 and H.R. 525), legalizing the cultivation of industrial hemp in the United States.”
The Brooklyn Fashion+Design Accelerator recently participated in a hemp workshop moderating a Hemp Work Group covering food and fashion angles. It’s interesting to discuss some pretty plain facts with hemp becoming legalized in the U.S. like how can we effect policy and how can hemp be effectively utilized in local fiber sheds and not get abused as cotton has, but the elephant in the room? How can we get the U.S. government to look at hemp as a fiber and not as a drug.
Harvesting Liberty, a short film Patagonia released yesterday was made to address the current status of industrial hemp in the U.S. Directed by farmer/surfer/environmentalist Dan Malloy and produced in partnership with Fibershed and The Growing Warriors Project, Harvesting Liberty tells the story of U.S. Veteran Michael Lewis and the work he is doing in conjunction with The Growing Warriors to reintroduce industrial hemp into Kentucky – and eventually all U.S. agriculture.
Read the full article by Amy DuFault here.
Check out the film below to learn more about industrial hemp in the U.S. and some of the people getting behind making what was once a (legal) American grown and sewn commodity, a reality for our future.