Apparel company Hoodlamb may have started using hemp as a tribute to cannabis by the founders, but now the company sees hemp more as an ecological choice, not a scandalous choice. The company began in 1993 in Amsterdam by Doug Mignola who wanted a better post surf jacket and also loved the idea of working with industrial hemp. The name is also tongue in cheek for the hoodlums that might consume cannabis.
The hemp comes from Northern China and is grown chemical free on family farms, some of which are owned and operated by women. The raw fiber is then spun into a durable fiber that is used to make the fabric for Hoodlamb jackets. Even the water-resistant coating on the jackets comes from natural cellulose taken from hemp stalks. Hemp fabric alone would be pretty stiff and scratchy, so it is combined with organic cotton to soften the feel of the fabric.
Not only will these jackets keep you warm, but they are also vegan and environmentally friendly. The Hoodlamb line comes from cruelty-free sources and uses no animal products. The faux fur trim feels amazingly real. “Some vegans don’t like the idea of faux fur trim at all, but it is practical for bad weather,” said a Hoodlamb spokesperson.
The thermal insulation is called EcoDown and each jacket recycles up to 10 bottles. The company said, “It’s the one part of the jacket that uses something synthetic, but since we are recycling we feel that it’s a positive thing. Otherwise, these plastic bottles would just be trash.”
The products do have some slight nods to its roots in cannabis culture. There are secret pockets sewn into the jackets that are really hard to find. Just in case the wearer may have some contraband they may want to conceal.
So far, Hoodlamb has produced over 80,000 jackets and can be found in over 20 countries. The company had $2.6 million in sales in 2016. The surf crowd is especially fond of these jackets since it was created from a surfers point of view.
One thing the company doesn’t conceal is its commitment to Sea Shephard, a non-profit marine life conservation organization. The company exposes and confronts illegal activities on the high seas. 10% of every Hoodlamb X Sea Shephard purchase is donated to the mission and in addition to the Hoodlamb contributes at least one percent of its annual revenue to environmental causes.