The Hemp Company’s role in the slow sustainable fashion movement

When you scratch the surface of The Hemp Company, you’ll find a rich history of the rag trade dating back to the 70’s when founder Jim McDonald first started his own business making jeans and casual clothing.

For years, Jim moved in fashion circles around the UK and Ireland. In fact, this is when he first met a newly graduated fashion designer, Evelyn Campbell, and commissioned her to design and make patterns for his brand JC’s Jeans. They have collaborated on several fashion projects over the years and Evelyn now helps us manage business at THC HQ.

Perspective changed in 1998 when Jim found himself selling unbleached cotton t-shirts to raise funds for ‘Friends Of The Earth’. A stranger enquired as to whether Jim was familiar with other natural fibres, like hemp and wool. The stranger explained that cotton is a major culprit in polluting our planet eg. 50% of all pesticides used in India are sprayed on land used for growing cotton, poisoning land, water, and people.


50% of all pesticides used in India are sprayed on land used for growing cotton


Jim’s eyes were opened and he immediately began a journey of researching hemp, and embarked on a global mission to locate hemp garments. He found more than he bargained for and brought back a diverse range of goods including foods, teas, body care, and of course clothes to stock the first Hemp Company shop.


So the two, hemp and fashion, have been inextricably linked in our eyes from that point onwards. Over the years we’ve kept our finger on the pulse when it comes to hemp fabric and fashion brands. Jim recently spent considerable time sourcing a new supplier of quality, sustainable, design-conscious hemp clothing products. As we prepare for the launch of this new range, we wanted to stop and take time to share the importance of sustainable fashion and how hemp clothing can contribute.


According to Pebble Magazine, the fast fashion industry churns out over 80 billion garments every year. That’s 10 for every person on the planet and is 400% more than what was being produced 20 years ago (in the early 2000’s).


The average piece of clothing is only worn 10 times and the majority of unwanted items end up either in a dump or are incinerated. In a landfill, clothing can take up to 200 years to decompose. That’s a long lifespan for something you purchased on a whim.

The fast fashion industry, producing and marketing cheap clothing has led to the impression that clothing is disposable. This is a viewpoint we want to reverse. We plan on bringing high quality, long lasting clothing to our customers that will be treasured for years to come. We are excited to share the new range with you soon. Keep an eye out for other blog posts in the coming weeks which will delve deeper into the use and benefits of Hemp in the clothing industry.