In 2005, Rawganique.com becomes the only shop on earth with eco products made from certified organic European hemp fiber (in addition to organic linen and organic cotton). Ecolution, our partner in vision for a better world, has kindly set aside 60 acres of their hemp fields for organic certification (fully certified organic 2005) for the hemp clothing, footwear, accessories, & home products that they make especially for us and our customers, who won't settle for anything less than true purity and environmental sustainability. Rawganique.com's hemp products are, of course, sustainably made with no sweatshop, child, or underwaged labor involved at any step of the cultivation or manufacturing process -- this is something which we have taken pride in from the very beginning.
Eastern European hemp is grown without chemicals or pesticides of any kind and the hemp fiber is processed with natural, chemical free methods, which involve softening in water and combing clean with machinery. This leaves the fiber with the natural integrity of its long molecular structure, preserving its strength, durability, and ecological purity. Not all hemp fiber is processed in the same way. Chinese hemp is often processed with heavy caustic sodas and acid rinses which literally beat it into submission. This leaves the fiber in short, broken bits, lacking the natural strength of hemp, while the chemical wastes are dumped into the environment.
About organic hemp: Conventional hemp farming is already very ecological, since hemp requires no herbicides or pesticies and leaves the ground in a healthy condition. The next ecological step is to eliminate the use of synthetic fertilizers and attain organic certification, which makes doubly sure that no chemicals or toxins are used at any step of growing and production. Our European hemp (second year transitional, to be certified organic in 2005) is produced via strictly ecological methods of natural mechanical processing in marked contrast to the harsh chemicals used for processing of most hemp fibers in China.
What organic certification does, too, is ensure that any crop that is grown between hemp crops are also grown organically. Conventional hemp crops, while essentially organic, often share planting space in the off-season with rotation crops that are grown conventionally, with all the pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and other toxins that conventional agriculture entails.
Rawganique.com is proud to partner with Ecolution, an eco-focused hemp fabric weaver and manufacturer in the mountainous, ancient region of Transylvania in Romania, an emerging Eastern European democracy. Our philosophy is to maximize the hemp content and the naturalness of our products while maintaining the highest level of quality possible, keeping the integrity of the natural hemp fiber as intact as possible in the process. Also, because production at Ecolution is done in-house from the ground up, we can provide the assurance that the products we carry are ecologically and socially responsible.
Romania, where Ecolution's beautifully mindful products manufactured, boasts an age-old tradition of organic hemp craftsmanship, a democratic government that's about to join the Europoean Union, and the purest quality hemp available anywhere (not all hemp is equal in quality--Eastern European hemp is the purest there is).
Being about to join the EU, Romania has been certified to abide by absolute and uncompromising Western European labor and human rights standards which do not stand for sweat shop, slave labor, or any other unfair or inhumane working conditions.
Cannabis Sativa hemp is the most environmentally sound agricultural crop there is. It does not deplete the soil like cotton and many other crops. It requires no pesticides because it produces its own resins which act as natural insect repellents. It is also such a vigorous crop that it requires no herbicides. It out-competes most all weeds due to its extremely fast-growing nature, and its dense shock of leaves, 8 to 10 feet above the ground, choke out any remaining weeds (Popular Mechanics, February 1928). The hemp plant continually sheds its abundant foliage during the growing season, returning a great amount of organic matter to the soil in the form of humus, in the process enriching the soil in which it is grown. The roots of the hemp plants go down many feet into the earth, bringing much-needed nutrients to the top layer of the soil which other plants can also use. By contrast, conventional cotton is one of the most environmentally destructive crops, requiring 275 million pounds of pesticides annually.
Hemp can be used for over 25,000 applications in production including such areas as food, fabric, construction materials, paints and varnishes, biomass fuel, gasoline, paper, medicine, and more (Popular Mechanics, February 1928). The entire plant can be used for one purpose or other. Furthermore, in its natural state (when it is not chemically treated), hemp is actually three times stronger than cotton and much more resistant to weathering and wear. In fact, the original draft of the US Declaration of Independence was printed on hemp paper (National Archives). According to the US Department of Agriculture's 1916 Bulletin #404, hemp can make a superior paper with less sulfuric acid used in processing and is more than 4 times as productive as trees grown for paper use.