Jennifer Jennette has the perfect career. As a yoga practitioner and instructor for over 13 years, Jennette decided to start a line of designer clothes that complimented yoga and natural living. The daughter of a scientist, master gardener and artist, Jennette knows better than anyone how important the earth is to maintaining health and happiness. After considerable research, she found the perfect mate for her yoga practice – natural, breathable clothes made out of nature’s finest fabric, hemp. Her company is called Surya Leela Designs.
Below you will find Jennette’s answers to several questions:
Why did you decide on using hemp-based material in your designs?
Jennifer Jennette: I was looking for eco-friendly knit fabrics to pair as leggings and tank tops with a woven flax linen skirt I was making. I found several sources that offered hemp/organic cotton blends as well as soy, bamboo and recycled polyesters. After researching the sustainability of all of those fibers, I found that hemp, like flax, was the most environmentally friendly, requiring the least amount of water and chemical processing.
Is there a significant difference in the texture and durability of hemp as opposed to more conventional, widely available fabrics?
JJ: There’s definitely a difference in texture and durability of hemp fabric. Hemp has a wonderful nubby texture when blended with organic cotton in knit fabrics and lends great durability, especially in a woven textile. Hemp is an extremely versatile fiber and can be used to make many different types of fabrics as well as many other products like twine, paper, and edibles like hemp seed and hemp oil which are high in omega fatty acids, very beneficial to the human body. Other plant-based fabrics, like rayon and viscose, take quite a bit of chemical processing, unlike hemp. So, when using those fabrics you have to be very careful to find out how the mill processes the waste from making the fabric and what kind of chemicals are used in breaking down the bast fiber itself.
Do you believe that hemp would make a contribution if grown in the United States for replacing or complementing existing fabrics?
JJ: Yes, definitely. In fact, right now in North Carolina, they have passed a law enabling farmers to grow hemp. There are some trial studies being done and I have a friend who is working with the NC Regulatory Committee to promote hemp growth and manufacturing in our state.
Do you find any other benefits of hemp as related to yoga?
JJ: Hemp is a sturdier plant that needs far less water and pesticide than a crop like cotton, for instance.
All matter has a particular ionic charge. In terms of energy or Chi, hemp has positive ionic charge, and plant fibers are infused with life force, unlike synthetics. That’s kind of esoteric, but you can actually test it with people and see that it is strengthening rather than negating, like synthetic products.
As more and more people begin to understand the importance of how nature can benefit our lives, people like Jennifer Jennette are providing examples of how contributors, like hemp, are essential in daily living.
Jennifer also shared knowledge of a new site, currently under development, called Hemptsy.com, that will promote hemp products. Watch for this one in the coming future.
Originally published: The Marijuana Times