The Hemp Temple and Our Journey Back to Conscious Consumerism
We stumbled upon The Hemp Temple a while ago now, and have been swooning over their business ethics, beautiful garments and poetic philosophies ever since.
Not only does this Aussie brand make beautiful clothes from natural hemp fibres, but they stand up for what they believe in, and encourage others to do the same. This week we get deep and meaningful with Isabella from The Hemp Temple about sustainability, standing up for what’s right, and the journey back to conscious consumerism.
What is Hemp Temple, and why did you start?
The Hemp Temple is a hemp clothing business, with a mission to inspire and empower positive environmental and social change.
Our first intentions for creating a business was fuelled by a deep yearning for freedom in a way only self employment could meet, later we discovered the shadow of the fashion industry and we went through a total rebirth from which Friday Hut Road became the Hemp Temple. We chose to re-commit our brand as a way to create a positive impact on the planet.
Your brand isn’t just about beautiful clothes. It’s about activism. Can you tell us a little about Sacred Activist and what the movement is all about?
Over these past few years we have witnessed a powerful surge of social, environmental and political movements uprising all over the world that activated something within us. We felt deeply compelled to create a philosophy for change that embodied the entire spectrum. From the most intimate level of active self work to active participation in world movements for environmental, political and social justice. It’s about realising the interconnectivity of all environmental, social, political and personal issues and bridging the gaps, unifying our voices and unifying the movements for change. Sacred Activist came from a personal desire to have a way to identify with a range of movements, instead of creating or buying a thousand different shirts for every cause which is unsustainable we wanted to created one embodied approach that would allow us to move through whatever movement we were feeling at the time. It is a way of showing up in the world and saying I care about what is happening and even if today I only work on myself, I am devoted to doing something about it. So that is the fusion between activism and the sacred, a non-violent embodied and unified approach towards change as active participants of the inner and outer worlds.
You’re very forward about what you believe with your followers. Has this helped you build your online presence?
I suppose it has, seeing as we have not invested much into advertising over the years. Our community has slowly developed through the conversations we have with each other through our online presence, businesses only grow from shared beliefs whether positive or negative and whether those beliefs are obvious or not. Every purchase we make is an affirmation of a belief we hold. So in that way Hemp Temple has allowed us to reach out into the world and build a community through shared beliefs.
We express our beliefs because we feel that is the depth of transparency people deserve when buying from a business. Transparency is a form of empowerment, it gives the people access to the conscious choice and radical responsibility which develops healthy communities. So we don’t hold back on what we feel, or think or who we are even as our philosophies evolve and perspectives change, because that is the quality of conversation the world should be having.
It seems more and more brands are beginning to draw a line in the sand and stand up for what they believe in. Is this about small business taking back their power in the absence of responsible governance, or is it just good marketing?
I feel it is a reflection of the collective shift in consciousness that is occurring worldwide. One affects the other, conscious leaders create new trends and the new trends influence the market. Minds will change the market and the market will change minds. Some voices are more prominent, some intentions are more pure; but what matters is that we are all on this journey together and that these trends will affect us all, reaching even the most barren places. Eventually it will create a new system where the government will realise the people power because the people will be dictating the money, which is what governance feeds off.
Not only are people seeing through the BS which is what traditional marketing as well as politics are all about, they are bored of it. Eco-consciousness, diversity, body positivity these trends are just an uprising of the reclamation of the right to be who we are and love ourselves deeply in that. That is why business is changing because soon they won’t be able to market to a lack of self worth.
In our increasingly uncertain times, do you think that all brands have a responsibility to share what they believe with their audiences?
I believe that all brands and all people have a responsibility to be authentic, transparent and truthful. What we are lacking in this world is Truth. That is why the journey to Know Thyself is so pertinent, for so many of us still carry limiting beliefs that were passed onto from our family of origin and society which often don’t reflect what we truly feel. So rather than brands simply sharing their beliefs, I feel they need to commit to self work as an essential component of being a leader, which is the role of business. I think businesses have a responsibility to not just express their beliefs but to act upon them. To show up for the people and the planet in what they do, not just what they say.
It seems people are becoming far more conscious of the impact their purchases have on our world, would you agree?
In my reality, for sure. But I am often reminded in those perennial bubble popping reminders to widen my perspective and take in the larger world. The younger generations are definitely more conscious in their consuming, that I feel is strong.
Why hemp? What made you want to create all your products from this particular fibre?
When we were early in our journey of business, we came across the documentary The True Cost where the penny dropped on the complex issues within the fashion industry. The information shook us to our core and the decision was to either throw in the towel or go all hemp, which we have learned was like a miracle fibre. A week later we received our first sample and haven’t looked back. No fibre is more sustainable than hemp, so it was a no brainer. We decided we had to be in the industry to change it.
Hemp, requires about half of the amount of water to grow than cotton and is naturally repellent against insects, so most hemp fibres are totally chemical free. Hemp also grows a lot quicker ad produces about 200-250% more fibre than cotton grown on the same amount of land. As a material, what makes hemp more amazing than other fibres is its high durability and strength, its natural bacterial qualities and the fact it is generally highly breathable. Hemp can be woven into an incredibly vast array of materials, which are only just beginning to be released into the marketplace.
What do you think is next for the clothing industry? Are there any trends you’ve noticed or any shifts in consumer behaviour you’ve found interesting?
With the state of environmental crises we are in it is safe to say the future of the clothing industry is very fragile. We’re in a time of revolution and no economy is secure. So what survives this time of change will be the brands who are radically environmentally conscious and who also go the extra mile and reinvest their energy into social issues. Upcycling, re-invention, clothes swapping, repair services and sustainable materials. No fibre is more sustainable than hemp, so it’s going to be a hemp revolution or boycott fashion which is a movement already rising through the Extinction Rebellion movement. Whatever industry we are in, we will all have to make sacrifices but in contrast to what’s at stake and what people are already losing to climate change, it is nothing. We only have a small window to save the earth, so we have to be fluid and changing and remember what really matters. The grass beneath our feet, clean water, air and food, the people and the planet we love.
Thank you, Isabella - we love your brand!
[Photo Credit: @artemis.rising.photography]