Seeing as Washington was one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, we can only imagine that there'll be some folks celebrating Hemp History Week this week (it runs June 6-12, FYI). Here at Freeman, we're big fans of hemp clothing, particularly the super-comfortable tees, sweatshirts and other knits made by our friends at Jungmaven.
Jungmaven has made their wares out of hemp and hemp-cotton blends since the mid-2000s (and founder Rob Jungmann has been working with hemp since the early '90s), but hemp has been a big part of American agriculture since the first English colonists back in the 1600s (and before America, hemp had been farmed since 8,000 BCE). In fact, most of the founding fathers grew hemp on their farms, and the Declaration of Independence was signed on hemp paper! Westward-heading wagons exploring the frontier in the 18th century used hemp-based fabric to cover their wagons, and ships that circumnavigated the continent used hemp ropes in their riggings.
In the early 20th century, hemp production was halted with the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act, which made farming it prohibitively expensive. However, with the onset of World War II a few years later, the USDA was in such dire need of the product that its farming was encouraged. But, in 1970, its cultivation was officially made illegal via the Controlled Substances Act, and not coincidentally, the '70s also saw the rise of synthetic fabrics such as polyester.
With the advent of the legalization of cannabis throughout several states over the last few years, farmers have become more willing to grow hemp, but it's still illegal under federal law. That's not good – hemp is a sustainable, durable fiber that requires much less water for cultivation than cotton and yields a very breathable, linen-like feel as a knit fabric. Hemp plants yield longer fibers than cotton plants, require no pesticides, and every ton of hemp grown signifies 1.63 tons of carbon dioxide scrubbed from the atmosphere.
Here at Freeman, we've got lots of hemp-based products in stock from our friends at Jungmaven. We love its soft-yet-textured handfeel, its breathability, and the beautiful texture its unique fibers create. Check out all of the hemp-based tees we have in stock from Jungmaven here, and have a great Hemp History Week!
All photos courtesy Jungmaven