Farm – Understanding the Land
To grow the future, we first needed to learn from the past and from those who understand the land best. In order to bring hemp back to Kentucky, we had to work with the farmers who never left.
Meet Brian Furnish, an 8th generation farmer and Director of Global Production at EcoFibre USA Inc., the parent company of Hemp Black. Brian hand-picks each farmer who grows for Hemp Black to ensure best practices are always followed. His goal is to keep local families farming today, and for generations to come and hemp is allowing him to do so. When federal tobacco subsidies expired, and consumer demand dropped, Kentucky’s agricultural economy fell with it. Farmers and their families had few options.
“This is about having the opportunity to return hemp to Kentucky,” says Brian, recalling a time when the state lead the supply of hemp in America. “…For many of our farmers, hemp is a paradigm shift. Production schedules change, social attitudes evolve, and the greater world wants to learn more about our crops.”
The modern hemp farm is indicative of agricultural innovation. Family farms are now working as part of bigger networks sharing a common agricultural goal. Dozens of former tobacco farmers exist in Kentucky ready to fulfill that need, and Brian is here to make sure that shared dream comes to fruition.
Our farmers understand what it takes to be successful at cultivating prime sources of hemp. Time, experience and heart will see the hemp revolution succeed.
“I am growing a crop that I am proud to tell people I grow. I no longer have to feel like my way of life is harming people as I did with tobacco. With hemp, it is only doing good for people and the environment. I am now proud to tell people that I farm hemp when asked.” – David Furnish, Hemp Black Farmer
Field – Restoring the Land
To nurture the future, we need to respect and protect the land. By doing this we restore the land and, in turn, allow ourselves to grow.
Having the ability to control how raw material is produced is an advantage not every company can achieve. We pass this achievement onto our stakeholders through the use of our sustainable management practices that all of our farmers follow. In doing so, we ensure that we are leaving the land in better condition than when we started. However, we can not take all of the credit, as it is hemp that has allowed us this opportunity.
From its limited need for irrigation and natural resistance to harmful weeds, to the plants’ sequestration of CO2 and replenishment of nutrients to the soil after harvest, hemp is like no other crop.
- Compared to other natural fibers like cotton, hemp requires only ⅓ the irrigation, almost all of which is provided from rainfall at our farms, helping to reduce our water consumption.
- Hemp is a fast-growing crop, maturing at 15 feet in only three months. This height allows it to naturally outcompete invasive weeds, forgoing the need for any chemical herbicides.
- As hemp grows taller than other crops, it allows us to have increased yields on smaller areas of land, thus minimizing our environment footprint.
- Hemp’s rapid growth is powered by the plants’ efficiency of photosynthesis, allowing it to sequester over 1.5 tons of CO2 per ton of hemp harvested. Overall, reducing the amount of harmful pollutants in the atmosphere.
- Once cut, our hemp remains in the field for a short time, returning nearly 70% of the nutrients into the soil, before being bundled.
As we continue to grow hemp, we are continuously learning how we can better optimize our processes to benefit all stakeholders, as hemp has done in nature.
Factory – Optimized in the USA
To better the future, we must always progress forward, optimizing our processes continuously and working with those who share a similar vision.
When undisturbed by human influences, everything in nature is used, leaving no waste behind. Hemp Black strives to make zero waste a reality in our modern age. Our processes are unique to Hemp Black; creating a disruptive eco-experience that delivers performance and value through textiles requires a lot of energy. Where others see this as a problem, we see an opportunity.
To deliver Hemp Black, the hemp undergoes a thermal transformation from a plant to a carbon powder. In doing so, we noticed that some of the energy needed to perform this process was lost in the form of heat. As nature leaves no waste, we shouldn’t either. This is why we are committed to capturing this energy and using it to heat our facilities and power our processes, reducing our impact on the environment and allowing us to provide carbon negative performance.
By constantly monitoring our processes, we can identify areas for improvements. Another area we are working to improve is our transportation impact. We found that by localizing many of our operations, we can reduce energy use by over 80% and CO2 emissions by nearly 25%.
We carry this vision through our supply chain by aligning ourselves with like-minded companies, such as Triad Polymers. Triad Polymers is a U.S. company who is committed to innovation, sustainability, and promoting American manufacturing. Hemp Black is working closely with Triad to create high-performance fibers from recycled materials that limit the impacts we have from microfiber shedding into the oceans. Triad understands the importance of continuous optimization to reduce our impacts.
HEMP BLACK – Living Better Today
Bettering the lives of those around us today, while improving the world tomorrow.
There is a problem with many fashion brands today; the items made no longer last to meet our needs as we grow. Hemp Black offers something different – something that will outperform the competition today, and improves your well-being tomorrow.
By using the intelligent design of hemp, we are able to elevate the natural performance properties and infuse them into the world around us. Hemp Black can deliver high-performance textiles, naturally and sustainably.
Benefiting from these capabilities now, without harming our future.
Moisture Management and Thermal Regulation
The human body is a sophisticated system, continuously working to adapt to the environment. Whether you are running or at yoga, the clothes you put on need to work with your body’s systems to maintain homeostasis.
The world can be a scary place, with thousands of potentially harmful microorganisms everywhere. While there are human-made antimicrobial treatments available, but they often come with health risks. We prefer the natural alternatives, as nature intended.
The sun is an amazing resource, from lighting up our skies all day in the summer, to providing that extra warm touch in winter. But as with other simple pleasures in life, it is best done in moderation to avoid overexposure to any ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Through Hemp Black, our textiles provide natural UV protection, allowing you to enjoy the sun longer.
The active lifestyle is not only tough on our bodies, but also on our clothes. We believe your clothing shouldn’t slow you down. With Hemp Black, your clothing can sustain your desired lifestyle.
HEMP BLACK – Improving Tomorrow
To be here tomorrow, we need to act today. We maintain transparency in all of our operations and processes in order to eliminate hidden environmental costs. Working together now, to improve tomorrow.
Through your support, we are able to continue to provide performance, value, and sustainability into everything we create. This will further the health and wellbeing of both our customers and the environment.
At Hemp Black, we are taking the first steps towards a sustainable future with you. We are minimizing the amount of cropland and water that is needed to produce performance textiles, restoring the damaged farmlands by removing harmful chemicals and replacing them with nutrients, and bringing farming home.
The improvement of tomorrow is not dependent only upon Hemp Black, but a collective of stakeholders across our planet, all working together towards the common goal of a better tomorrow. We are doing our part by growing and educating the world on the benefits that hemp provides to the planet and those who inhabit it.
The benefits of Hemp Black are still being discovered daily; our research reveals limitless possibilities, all of which further our goal of improving tomorrow. We believe in setting an example of sustainability. When we show the world what we can achieve, others will follow.