Category: Hoodlamb

WHY HEMP SHOULD BE KEEPING YOU WARM THIS WINTER

Meet HoodLamb – The Amsterdam-Born Hemp Innovators

Fast fashion gets a bad rep (and rightly so!) from its focus on incessant consumption to its use of cheap labour and materials.

While awareness around these issues is growing, and many brands are taking new measures to address this, some, such as HoodLamb, which have fair ethics and sustainability at their core, are starting to get recognised.

HoodLamb began in the ‘90s in Amsterdam and was seeded by a love for Hemp (no pun intended). Over twenty years ago, HoodLamb’s founder Douglas Mignola moved to The Netherlands from California and set up a store dedicated to all things Hemp. “The jackets came later,” he says.

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Yes, HoodLamb’s roots lie firmly in the Amsterdam many tourists dream about, but over the years the brand has reinvented itself and today it focuses on producing slick, sustainable, and incredibly warm jackets.

But before we focus on the jackets, let’s backtrack to the 90s when Douglas, now in his early 20s and far from home, began his business with an instinct “that Hemp was going to be big!”

“I could go on about the benefits of Hemp. There’s no need for pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers, it requires half the amount of water than other agricultural crops, and it enriches, rather than depletes, the soil by shedding its leaves throughout the season.”

Douglas was right; Hemp was going to be big. And while he explains that over the years the brand has toyed with doing other products, the HoodLamb design team, headed by Annemarie Baurdoux, soon realised the material was most suited for jackets.

“It’s one of the strongest and most durable natural fibres available, and it’s sturdy, strong and thick.”

While vegans and environmentalists were quick to catch onto HoodLamb’s work, the brand has also gained popularity from unlikely celebrities such as Snoop Dogg (captured on MTV sporting the jacket while on tour in Germany) and TV celebrity Woody Harrelson.

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Today, HoodLamb’s image is high end fashion, but its love for all things sustainable – and Hemp – has remained.

While many brands use nasty chemicals to ensure their jackets are waterproof, HoodLamb uses a water resistant coating made from natural cellulose found in the inner core of the hemp stalk. Further, the inside of each jacket features “fake fur” made from recycled plastic – not only great for the planet, but snuggly and warm.

Beyond making a sustainable product, Douglas believes in sustainable production and chooses to work with factories he trusts to provide safe conditions.

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“We only work in the north of China where the air is cleaner and with factories who manage their wastewater well. I was so excited when I first saw a clean wastewater treatment plant” he laughs, “I remember showing it to customers.”

Anyone who works in the fashion industry knows that even an impressive water treatment programme is not exciting to customers, but this goes to show just how much care is given.

However he admits that when you’re small fish in a big pond, trying to do good, it can be difficult to remain competitive.

“We’re just happy there’s growing interest in sustainable fashion. And that stores such as Charlie + Mary are now exposing our brand to a new type of “conscious consumer.”

(Above, a factory worker participating in Fashion Revolutions “Who Made Your Clothes” campaign).
(Above, a factory worker participating in Fashion Revolutions “Who Made Your Clothes” campaign).

While Douglas admits there’s always room for improvement, for example they could choose to use no dye at all, he firmly believes  wearability is also key to sustainability.

“We consider ourselves Hemp innovators and we want to challenge the traditional notion of “sack-looking” Hemp,” he says.

“Our goal is to not only make ethical, sustainable clothing, but clothing that gets worn everyday. We think it’s criminal to leave clothing lying in your wardrobe.”

Images: Blogger Justine wearing Hoodlamb 

WHAT DOES SUSTAINABLE FASHION MEAN ANYWAY? DUTCH TV PRESENTER MILOUSKA MEULENS SHARES HER JOURNEY

Since becoming a mother, pursuing an ethical and sustainable life has been a high priority for Dutch TV and radio presenter Milouska Meulens (43).  Below, Milouska reflects on her sustainability journey and offers sound, practice advice for others. Lucy von Sturmer reports. 

An Awakening

Like many young women, sustainability wasn’t always the driving force behind Milouska’s purchasing decisions.

“When I went shopping in my early 20s, I only wanted to look good, and when I ordered something to eat, I didn’t think too much about where the ingredients came from.”

However all of this changed when she became pregnant.

“It’s a cliche, but I suddenly had this instinct to do whatever I could to protect the planet. I had this immediate feeling that I didn’t want to put any more pollution into the world.”

Small Steps – Buy Less & Start Swapping!

One of the simple ways Milouska and her partner Joris Marseille, (also a news presenter, and yes – they did meet on the job), have worked to become more sustainable is through simply consuming less and eating vegetarian.

“I feel fortunate because within my circle of friends, we share and exchange baby clothes and other things. It’s a nice experience, and because the children are all of various ages, we almost completely avoid having to buy new things. ”

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Sustainability – What does it mean?

For Milouska, sustainability isn’t just about individual actions such as using less plastic or reducing her carbon dioxide consumption. It’s bigger than that.

“Sustainability is about reaching out and connecting with one another, and also with nature. It’s about having an awareness that when we destroy the environment, we destroy ourselves.”

Ditching the High Street

If it were up to her, she might just wear her favourite sweater each day while presenting in her current role on “Early Birds”, a Dutch TV show dedicated to exploring themes around animal welfare and the environment in The Netherlands.

However, her stylist Chananja de Kok, has different ideas. Last year, when Milouska expressed her interest in only wearing sustainable clothing, the two of them embarked on a journey to find attractive, yet sustainable clothing brands.

“I knew exactly which fast fashion stores I wanted to avoid, and the “no” list was long, but we soon realised our “yes” list was empty.”

After some initial research, they found a few brands which promised safer materials and working conditions for those who made them, but Milouska couldn’t identify with the look. “It was too “outdoorsy.”

“I didn’t always want to look like I was on the verge of climbing a mountain, so it was a relief when my stylist found sustainable fashion stores like Charlie + Mary.

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Milouska wears her Hoodlamb parka in this cosy family picture. It’s made of hemp and has a sustainable fake fur lining!

Sustainable Fashion – An Urgent Issue

Today, fast fashion is widely recognised as the second most polluting industry in the world, and almost every month horrific events unfold such as the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in 2013 and the death of over 1000 workers, or child refugees being discovered on the supply chain.

Pursuing sustainability in fashion has never been more urgent, and Milouska believes we can no longer afford to keep our head in the sand.

“My generation was really able to say “we didn’t know” – because we didn’t. But we do now! Today, I refuse to wear things that I know were made by others in oppressive or dangerous situations. And I struggle to understand how we can ignore this.

Milouska believes that fashion is not only about how good something makes you look, but how good something makes you feel.

“And this is not only about your appearance, but who you are in the world too.”

 
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TAILOR TALK: THE TECH 4-20 BY HOODLAMB

Many years ago Amsterdam based label Hoodlamb set out to make the first truly stylish sustainable winter jacket using hemp. Like with all journeys, the path quickly became the destination, and the label’s quest to create beautiful outerwear that is both good for the planet and great to wear continues to the present.

One of the rewards of this mission has been the Tech 4-20 – the first truly technical hemp jacket in the world. With its sustainable innovation and tailored appeal it has helped define what eco fashion looks like.

This year the ambitious Hoodlamb team set themselves the challenge to make the Tech 4-20 even stronger and durable. The solution seemed clear – more hemp! So voila, hemp component upped in the shell fabric to 77%; adding to the strength of the woven fabric, as well as the eco factor, since there is nothing more sustainable in the world than natural, hand-farmed hemp.

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There are countless other features that make the Tech 4-20 kind of perfect. We’ve listed some of our favorites below:

Hemp Tailored
Careful tailoring, meticulous attention to details. Great fit. Everything you never expected from a hemp jacket. Dreams do come true.

10mm Satifur Lining
This innovative lining made with hemp and and recycled PET has amazing insulating properties and helps reduce the aggregate amount of plastic waste in the environment.

Hempulose Weather Treatment
Hoodlamb treats the outer shell of the Tech 4-20 with a hemp cellulose compound taken from the inner stalk of the hemp plant. This creates a natural resistance to water and provides a sustainable alternative to the chemical processes normally used in weatherproofing.

Rolling Paper Dispenser
Not to be missed – one of the features that put HoodLamb on the map in their more rebellious days. Quiet, unprepossessing, it’s still there…..

Secret Pockets
Everybody has secrets and Hoodlamb surely provided enough pockets for those!

Sunglass pocket
Neatly sewn into the shell, with a microfiber lining to help you keep your glasses safe and clean.

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FABRIC UPDATE: HEMP

Hemp is one of the world’s strongest natural fibres. Hemp enriches rather than depletes the soil by shedding its leaves throughout the season, creating rich compost. Insects don’t bug the hemp plant so it doesn’t need pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers and uses very little water. Hemp yarn is firm and though, making it the perfect fabric for bags, jeans and jackets.

The iconic winter coats of our newest label Hoodlamb are the perfect example showing hemp can be used to create beautiful fabrics. Hoodlamb uses hemp for the strong and protective shell fabric of the coats but also in their unique fabric blend which makes the label’s unique cruelty-free fake fur.

HoodLamb believes hemp is the answer to looking good and feeling great about it. The label’s commitment to promoting the use of hemp, the world’s toughest natural resource, hasn’t changed for over twenty years. By combining eco-friendly fabrics with innovative and timeless designs Hoodlamb shows that fashion and sustainability can be perfectly joined to protect the environment.