It’s no secret the fashion industry alone is one of the biggest contributors of pesticides worldwide, a fact that the team at Afends are out to change and take proactive green step forward in.
Welcome back to Planet Positive, an editorial piece celebrating and showing brands that produce both ethical and eco-friendly products making a positive change for a sustainable future.
Afends and their passionate use of the magic fabric is something we’ve admired for years. The ‘Hemp Revolution’ movement, to put it simply, is their way of promoting sustainability to their own consumers as well as the wider surf and fashion industries. Yes, it’s directly related to the use of hemp in clothes, but it also highlights so much more. The campaign message as a whole looks to highlight and capture how incredible the plant truly is, whether it be in fuel, medicine, building or otherwise.
It’s been now over two years since the brand has redirected to pay homage to the simple life pre 1820’s, when 80% of fabrics, clothes, sheets and more were made from hemp, before the introduction of cotton. Since discovering these key learnings, a conscious effort to educate consumers on the dangers and environmental impacts the fashion giants are causing has been a priority, as well as the implementation of new manufacturing processes to ensure they are doing their part towards a sustainable, brighter future.
“Hemp per acre can produce more fibre, more oil, more medicine and more food than other plant we have in this world.” – Jono Salfield, Afends Co Founder and Brand Manager.
Now, here's some quick facts:
1. Marijuana and hemp seeds originate from cannabis plant, but hemp and marijuana are not the same. Agricultural hemp contains almost no tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that causes you to get high.
2. Hemp can grow naturally almost anywhere in the world without pesticides or herbacides, unlike cotton which relies on these chemicals.
3. Growing hemp requires far less water than any other for fibre.
4. After harvest, the hemps soil can be used for years thanks to its high quality and rich nutrient properties.
Intriguing, right? To learn more about The Hemp Revolution and dive deeper into its importance, we caught up with Co-Founder, Jono Salfield. Tune into the feature clip below and continue scrolling to talk more about why sustainability became a key focus for the brand, the process of how the garments are made and one message Afends wants to leave you with. Once you're done, shop the full range of hemp goodies here.
Why did the sustainable side of things eventually become front of mind in the Afends culture?
We believe there’s more to a brand than simply producing “cool” products. We live in an age where consumers and businesses alike are becoming more aware of the damage our lifestyles and habits are having on the planet. Afends is committed to sustainability and creating a permanent change within the fashion industry that moves away from the exploitation of people and the planet. We aim to drive action, cultivate change and continually innovate new ways to become more sustainable.
Describe the process of how the garments are made, from originally having the plant in a field to then becoming a tee or otherwise.
All clothing garments are made from some sort of fibre, whether that be synthetic (made from oil) or natural like Cotton or Hemp. Creating a garment from Hemp is much the same as creating one from Cotton or Polyester. The Hemp fibre is collected and woven into a material. The material is then cut, sewn together, possibly printed and packaged ready for sale.
The manufacturing of Hemp fibres have the smallest impact on the environment and will generally create a stronger garment due to the length of the fibre itself. This makes it the most sustainable fibre to use by far. Most of the environmental impact of the clothing industry happens at the raw material stage, so if we can help make this a cleaner process, we feel it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
Tell us more about why this ticks all the boxes sustainability wise?
As far as ticking all the boxes sustainability wise that is hard. Especially on such a large scale. However, we start at being aware, educating ourselves as much as possible and making the best decisions for the business and the environment. Afends is moving towards better raw materials, being transparent about all our factories (this launches March 1st so keep an eye out) and then striving for better quality products that last longer.
What’s one message you want our audience to know? How important is it to realise the effects this positive change can have on the world and the environment?
It’s simple, always question what you're buying. Support companies that are environmentally conscious. Afends is an Australian company that employs locals from Byron Bay.
We are plastic free and are striving to make more of our product range from sustainable raw materials. We will aim at moving progressing every day to be more environmentally conscious and sustainable in every angle of the company and brand messages