Viridis Luxe

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If you’re looking for super-comfy, but also sexy (and who isn’t? I feel like when I look appealing to the opposite sex, I’m invariably uncomfortable), check out Viridis Luxe‘s new Spring line. Viridis uses a luxurious hemp-cashmere blend for knits, and hemp-silk for their jersey shirts, as well as bamboo for the T’s. All this and the site explains succinctly the truth (and facts) behind hemp fabric too. A particularly ‘treehugging’ excerpt:

Currently 40% of the global timber harvest is used for paper products. If hemp is cultivated on only 12% of the European landmass, it will meet the ENTIRE WORLD DEMAND for paper and completely eradicate the need to cut trees for paper. One acre of hemp produces as much pulp for paper as four acres of trees. The average tree grows for 30-40 years before it can be harvested for paper products, compared to hemp, which can be harvested in 3-4 months

Hemp is an amazing low-impact fiber that’s super-tough and lasts forever, and needs no pesticides and herbicides. Hemp contains almost none of the active ingredient, THC that makes its cousin, marijuana, a drug, yet the short-sighted U.S. government is still outlawing the plant from being grown in American soil, so right now most hemp fiber comes from Canada and other countries whose governments recognize an eco-friendly crop when they see it.

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About Starre Vartan
Starre Vartan is editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life.

11 Comments

  1. Another interesting fact about hemp is it is the world’s most efficient carbon sequestration agent. The plant itself is over 75% carbon, compared to trees which are around 50% carbon, and because it grows large and fast it sucks CO2 from the atmosphere at a truly ferocious rate. The downside… you can’t then go and burn it as that simply releases the carbon again into the air.

    Interestingly the majority of large scale hemp crops in Europe have little interest in the stalks and simply burn them off, preferring to harvest the flowers (buds) and leaf. The leaf is usually turned into butter, cakes and so forth in places like Amsterdam, and the bud is sold as a central nervous system stimulant either illegally, or in more enlightened places (ie Amsterdam) through sanctioned retail outlets. Only a very small proportion of the carbon-rich stalk is processed into flax, fabric and paper, but slowly that is changing. One option to drive that change is the potential for large scale creation of carbon credits based on not burning off the stalks, and instead processing them into long-life components such as concrete additives (a process that dates back to Roman times), archival paper and other products that will last long enough to be considered a valid carbon store.

  2. Dave, some of your information is incorrect. Hemp plants ARE NOT the same as marijuana plants!!! Please don’t spread misinformation about hemp- there is enough out there already. Hemp has tiny amounts of THC, the active ingredient that makes the marijuana plant an intoxicant. HEMP IS A DIFFERENT from marijuana plants, which yes, are harvested for their buds only, which is undeniably wasteful. YOU CANNOT GET HIGH from smoking or ingesting any part of the hemp plant!!!! This confusion between hemp (used to make paper, fabric, or to eat) and marijuana (the drug) is WHY it is illegal in the United States to grow the hemp plant, which used to be grown to make dollar bills, rope, and fabric in the US throughout this country’s founding.

  3. Actually I know a heck of a lot about the cannabis plant. I founded the HEMP (Help End Marijuana Prohibition) party in Australia some 15 years ago and stood for election on the issue three times. I lived in Amsterdam for 4 years and got to know many cannabis growers. These farmers, mostly based in Switzerland, do not grow “industrial” hemp, but they do grow cannabis in industrial quantities. I do tend to use the terms marijuana and hemp interchangeably because I regard the mutant “low THC” version of the plant as an abomination.

    In reality the main difference is the fact that low THC hemp is grown much more densely than high THC weed. The higher the planting density the lower the THC. Yes there has been some selective breeding to reinforce that, and in some cases even some genetic engineering (a nightmare), but on the whole it is the same plant. So you are partly right, you can’t get high smoking low THC weed, but keep in mind that not all weed grown on an industrial scale is low THC.

    The THC content is not uniform through the plant. There is almost no THC in the stalks, little in the seeds, some in the leaves and a good old party sized amount in the buds. Industrial (ie densely grown) weed does not tend to bud up like weed grown for smoking, but I promise you, weed grown for smoking is still grown on a very large scale in some places. Someone after all has to supply the millions of tonnes of pot smoked in Dutch coffee shops every year.

    I have seen with my own eyes fields of what I would term “medicinal” weed being harvested. Crews of people pick it by hand and then sit around large tables “nipping”, removing the choicest buds and trimming them back for transport and sale in Holland (and smuggling into the UK). The stalk, and usually the leaf and tip too, are incinerated. This is a crying shame as that’s where some 90% of the carbon in the plant resides. I am very keen to change this practice such that instead of burning off these leftovers they put them to some industrial use. As a bonus they should be eligible to create JI or ETS carbon credits from the change in farming practice.

    A field of medicinal weed will sequester around 22 tonnes of carbon dioxide per hectare. A typical crop is grown on 100+ hectare lots in Europe (mostly Switzerland and Hungary), and, using crop rotation to keep the soil nice and fertile you can get two decent dope crops per year (interspersed with some leguminous crop like peas, or companion planted with basil or similar), so that’s a sequestration rate of around 5000 tonnes per year. With credits priced at around €15 – €25 per tonne this represents an additional income to the farmer of around €75,000 – €125,000.

    Add to this the high retail value for materials like Hemcrete®, and the farmer is suddenly making another €300k off their plantation. There are thousands of such farmers in Europe alone meaning there is the potential for sequestration of millions of tonnes of CO2. (if you’ve never seen Hemcrete® I recommend it – the Romans used to build with it, it’s light, strong and fire-retardant. Given also that concrete production accounts for some 5% of the world’s carbon emissions it is high time (pardon the pun) something was done about that too).

    I think I actually need to address this in a full blog piece on my own blog.

    Cheers

    Dave

    ps: The reason pot is illegal in the USA is nothing to do with any confusion between high and low THC plants, but a confluence of reasons encompassing DuPont’s invention of Nylon, Anslinger’s needing of some new laws to enforce after prohibition, basic racism on the part of William Randolph Hearst and his eagerness to fan the flames to sell papers, and many years of pure profits generated by the arms and ‘defence” industries out of the so called war on drugs.

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  5. beautiful clothes ! thank you for the article, very cool stuff. you’re making me very pro-hemp :) though I am equally, if not more “pro”-second hand clothing !

  6. What people appear to be forgetting, is that being environmentally conscious means reducing your overall consumption, not just consuming the same amount of “eco friendly” products.

  7. Sadly, discussing population seems to be taboo in all sectors of American life, across politics and lifestyles. Too many people inhabit this beautiful planet. When making a commitment to respect the Earth and care for it for our children and future generations, first and foremost, we commit to not overpopulating but rather, to limiting ourselves to small, well-loved families with 0, 1, or at most 2 children.

  8. These are beautiful clothes! Obviously it’s better to reduce consumption, but it’s so nice to have eco-friendly options out there when there is a need to purchase. Hemp is such an awesome material.

  9. These are lovely. I am amazed that Hemp is still an issue! Great to see it in high-fashion, but is it affordable? I’ve personally fallen in love with Bamboo fiber clothing! I’ve been wearing the Pine Cone Hill Willow line of lounge wear and recently discovered the softest panties and socks ever from Footprint (www.footprintco.com)!

    Your site is beautiful AND a great read!

  10. If anyone is interested in buying Viridis Luxe clothing we sell it at http://junoandjove.com. We carry a good selection of Viridis Luxe and other Socially Consicious/Eco-Luxury clothing. Just FYI. Thanks.

  11. Hey,
    Has anyone else had a quality issue with Viridis Luxe clothing?? It looks amazing in the photos I see but every piece of clothing I have ordered has horrible sewing with messy stitching, threads sticking out, holes… you name it.
    I do not understand how they survive with such a poor quality, highly priced product.

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