april 2014 newsletter
tea towels we made for custom holiday gifts last year
Earth Day approaches, a day we pause to give thanks to the mother of all life, our amazingly diverse, beautiful home and resilient, forgiving planet. These days, I think a lot about how we take care of our human family, our animal friends, and the ecosystems that support us all. Eleven years ago, feeling a kind of restless urgency, I decided to leave the academic life for a life dedicated to promoting a greener, healthier way of life, championing industrial hemp as an unfairly criminalized crop that can help us thrive in so many ways. I figured: “We need to change attitudes before we change irrational laws. It’s kind of hard to demonize a plant when you’re eating hemp seed granola or wearing a favorite t-shirt made from the fabric we produce from the stalks.”
Eleven years ago, I set up the first Vital Hemp booth at the first Earth Day festival on the Santa Monica Promenade. I painted a sign on some hemp fabric a few days before, bought some used racks and hangers from downtown LA, and sold basic hemp clothing that we imported from China. Three years later, we were designing our own lines, choosing our own colors, travelling to farmer’s markets, festivals and opening a small store on Main St. Five years after that, we moved production from China to Los Angeles, where we found the best people in the trade—from pattern-makers to cutters to sewers to dye masters and printers—all working hard in family-owned businesses, keeping the garment industry vital in the USA.
Around the same time, we opened our flagship store on Main St. in Santa Monica, filling it with objects and music we love, and clothes we know you love. And the response has been wonderful. We’re so grateful for the support you’ve shown us: coming in for a chat, some tulsi tea or hemp ale; for your online orders, testimonials and wholesale orders, and for letting us hemp you out for eleven years!
If you’re in Southern California, and wonder what to do this weekend, come celebrate Earth Day with us in Topanga Canyon at the 15th Annual Earth Day Festival.
Looking forward to seeing you soon.
Thanks for being vital,
~satisfy your hemptations~