Whether you read local or national news, you're undoubtedly hearing about today's milestone: Washington's first legal marijuana shops opened this morning. Clearly, the only way (well, one way) to celebrate this momentous occasion is to dress the part. After all, we are the Evergreen State.
With that in mind, here are some fun facts about Hemp and Fashion.
1. The word, "canvas" comes from the word "cannabis."
For real. According to our good friends at Wikipedia, hemp was often used to make sail canvas. Therefore, the word, "canvas" comes from "cannabis." Who knew?
Fashion application: We're surrounded by water. Why not rock a bag made from sail canvas? See other bags made from sail canvas in Friday Harbor at the Recology Store (formerly Cleanscapes) in Issaquah.
2. "Hemp doesn't wear out, it wears in."
The hemp enthusiasts at Hemp Textile Properties provide a laundry list of benefits of this fabric. As they tell it, Levi Strauss used hemp as a lightweight duck canvas for the very first pair of jeans made in California. And why not? The more you wear it, the softer it gets.
It's also naturally resistant to mold and ultraviolet light (I know you are always worried about that pesky ultraviolet light when getting dressed in the morning.) Additionally, hemp is more absorbent and will dye and retain it's color better than any other fabric, including cotton.
Fashion application: Maintstream retailers carry apparel made from hemp or hemp blends. Look for brands that consider sustainability a core value to find contemporary options carried in brick and mortar stores. Looking for something more unusual? There's no place like Etsy which reveals over 53,000 search results for "hemp."
3. It's not just for hippies.
Okay, Dear Reader. You and I have been together for a while now and it's pretty clear that you aren't super likely to purchase a top for nearly $2,000. However, what is more persuasive than seeing high end designers who are rocking hemp with absolutely no hippie, earthy or environmentally friendly influences to convince you that you don't need to channel your inner Joni Mitchell to wear hemp.
Fashion application: Keep hemp in mind when searching for something durable and long lasting. Scarves, hats and handbags are an easy entry point. Remember that your piece is going to last for a number of years, so make sure it will stand the test of time in fashion terms, as well.
4. Everybody's doing it.
Here's the thing about hemp, it's everywhere. Sure, as of today you can visit a local shop to purchase legalized marijuana. You have that same power when looking to purchase hemp. Even more likely, you may own some without even realizing it. It's common to see shoes, jewelry and handbags made with hemp. Even raincoats that use hemp rope for drawstrings. Once you start looking for it, you are bound to notice it all around you.
Whether or not you are a fan of the legalization movement, take comfort in knowing that hemp contributes to our overall aesthetic. It's functional and it can absolutely be fashionable, too. Looking for a way to commemorate today's milestone? Perhaps some shopping is in order.
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