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april 2011 newsletter

april 2001 picture

vital ones,

This year marks major advances in the life of vital hemp. After eight years of mixed success making my clothes in China, I decided to move production to Los Angeles, where I can be involved with every stage of the process. I enjoy working with the local team, supporting our economy, and am proud of the new collection, that fits and feels amazing.

I look forward to the day when we can again grow industrial hemp in the U.S.A.. While our textile mills close, China produces almost all the hemp fabric in the world. Europeans make great strides with hemp, developing hempcrete for buildings that is lighter, stronger, and many times more insulating than ordinary building materials. Mercedes Benz, BMW and Audi use hemp plastic for the interior body panels of their vehicles, while US manufacturers must use petroleum-derived plastics, or import the superior hemp material at greater cost. Industrial hemp has become Canada's most profitable agricultural crop! The Canadians, who tightly regulate their industry, support farmers and the creation of countless food and beverage products that our citizens consume daily with an eye toward greater health. Just visit Whole Foods or Trader Joes and check out the wide range of hemp products (including body products) on the shelves--all courtesy of our intelligent neighbors to the North.

Our politicians talk of jobs, but stifle entire industries that would arise from the single decision to re-legalize the cultivation of a supremely valuable plant. So how do we change the unfair demonization of hemp? Organizations such as votehemp educate the public and lobby on our behalf. Our mission at vital hemp is to put hemp in the hands of the people by providing comfortable, stylish hemp clothing. Once the public and decision-makers become familiar with the joy of wearing hemp, it will become increasingly hard to persuade people that the source of this clothing is dangerous. It's hard to criminalize the plant that made your favorite t-shirt. As I've said from the beginning: "Hemp won't get you high, but wearing these clothes will raise your spirits!"

More than a decade ago I left academia because I found a great and good product that I still believe can tangibly change our world for the better. Some of you know that my partner Nancy and I recently had a child, our first, Eden Elsa Alcalay. It is also for her that I stay on this path, working for the paradise on Earth we can co-create, a world in which people drink hempy smoothies, use hemp building materials and wear hemp clothes--all derived from domestically-grown hemp, a world in which no good resource or idea is squashed or neglected, but championed and heralded throughout the land.

I'm excited to share the 2011 USA-made vital hemp collection with you. If you'd like us to send you (or your local store) a line sheet for wholesale ordering, or produce some custom clothes for your company, please visit the site and send us an email. We're debuting the clothes on our 8th anniversary at Topanga Earth Day, 4/23 & 4/24 (http://www.topangaearthday.org). In the meantime, I'll see you at the farmer's market.

And now, it's about time for my morning smoothie....

Ron Alcalay
hemperdasher

~satisfy your hemptations~