Fashion and Beauty

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Oregon: Hemp takes step towards mainstream

By Eco Textile News

An industrial hemp blended yarn has been successfully spun on conventional cotton ring-spinning equipment without modification and then knitted into jersey fabrics in trials sponsored by Hanesbrands Inc.

The hemp yarns were spun at North Carolina State University using fibres made with the ‘Crailar’ enzyme process from Naturally Advanced Technology, which uses enzyme technology to produce soft, comfortable textiles made from hemp and bast fibres that can better compete with cotton.

Tim Pleasants, Spun Yarn Lab Manager, NC State University, said, “We successfully carded and spun a blended Crailar yarn on our cotton ring spinning system. The resulting 20/1 Ne ring spun yarn was knitted into a 5-ounces per square yard jersey fabric. This is the first time in my 23-year yarn spinning career that I have seen hemp processed on conventional cotton spinning equipment.”

Earlier this summer, British Colombia-based Naturally Advanced Technologies (NAT) raised nearly US$2 million through a private placement of its shares and more recently signed a new promotional deal with Costco’s US stores.

UK: Famous Eco-friendly Fashion Manufacturer Now Available from Major Web Store

by Charlie Mann,

The Viridis Luxe line of ethical fashion clothing is now available from The Viridis Luxe mission is to provide sustainable luxurious clothing to those who are making the choice to tread lightly on our planet, while continuing to enjoy fashion, luxury, and style. Viridis Luxe has reinvented one of the world's oldest cultivated fabrics, and launched a luxury brand of hemp clothing.

The Viridis Luxe aesthetic is the embodiment of effortless chic. Their signature organic fabric, exclusive to Viridis Luxe, is a revolutionary blend of the finest cashmere with long-fiber hemp. The Viridis Luxe line also includes exotic bamboo T-shirts and their exclusive sheer silk-hemp collection of jersey tops. Viridis Luxe is committed to making beautiful clothing using ethical, sustainable, eco-friendly methods.

With global warming and sustainable agriculture on everyone's mind, elegant clothing that benefits the planet is proving irresistible to celebrities like Amber Valetta, Uma Thurman, and Scarlet Johansson. They are just a few of the luminaries cosseting themselves this winter in enlightened luxury including lush wraps and sweaters adorned with the nifty VL embroidered logo. They are discovering the phenomenal qualities of hemp, and feel good about themselves as they enjoy this wonderful fabric which promotes a win-win situation.

Australia: Hemp bags a design of the times

BY TINA LIPTAI, The Standard

HEMP bags featuring artwork by Port Fairy pupils will hit the streets next week after the designs were unveiled yesterday.

The See Change In Port Fairy Project is a community initiative which aims to eradicate plastic bags from the town by offering a unique reuseable alternative. The bags were launched at the opening of the four-day Victorian Landcare Network Forum and community expo at Port Fairy's Victoria Hotel.

Every pupil from Port Fairy Consolidated and St Patrick's primary schools submitted artwork with an environmental theme as part of the project.

Project co-ordinator Genevieve Grant said the designs on the bags were chosen at random.

"I just picked up where the children from both schools were heading with their studies," Ms Grant said.

"It really is about the children passing on their knowledge to the community about sustainability and promoting a better understanding of how we should protect and look after our home, where ever we live."

The bag also features the See Change logo, designed by Port Fairy artist Ess Warmuth.

The bags will be officially launched when pupils from both schools march down the town's main street with banners and the bags on Monday from 11.45am.


Oregon: Interior Design Firm Launches Exclusive Line of Hemp Bedding

By Press Release 365

PORTLAND, OREGON - Sue Augustyn Interior Design (SAID), a full-service design studio and retail showroom, today announced the launch of its new exclusive line of hemp bedding. The duvet covers (available in full/queen and king sizes) feature a simple, custom design and a clean look for the bedroom, all made from environmentally friendly fibers. The bedding is complemented by a line of hemp roman shades.

"Our customers are looking for specially designed products that are also good for the planet," said Sue Augustyn, principal of SAID. "Hemp provided the perfect canvas for creating our new line of bedding. By coupling this crisp, 'green' fabric with subtle design touches, anyone can create a room where they can actually feel good about going to sleep at night."

Hemp is a fast growing crop with a high fiber yield that doesn't require the use of pesticides. It also is beneficial to the soil as it suppresses weed growth, replenishes the earth with nutrients and nitrogen, controls the erosion of topsoil and actually can clean up toxins from the ground itself. In addition to its outstanding environmental benefits, hemp is strong, durable and resistant to mold and ultraviolet light.

The Netherlands: Hemp Instead of Cotton

By Thijs Westerbeek

Cotton cultivation is a disaster for the environment and the farmers who grow cotton don't see many benefits from their labour. However, if researchers at the Netherlands' University of Wageningen get their way, things will be very different in a few years' time thanks to the new varieties of hemp they have created.

There's a small field of hemp less than ten kilometres east of Wageningen, but it doesn't look very promising. The plants have all been chopped down and have been left, exposed to the elements, rotting on the ground.

Even though the hemp field doesn't look very prepossessing, the investigators from Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR) are extremely pleased with the crop, as this new hemp variety may be able to break cotton's monopoly position as the textile crop of choice. Leaving the hemp to rot is simply part of the production process.

Visitors to Dr Ton den Nijs' office - a plant researcher at WUR - are invited to try on the jeans that are draped over the desk. At first glance, the jeans do not appear to be particularly unusual. However, the fabric is strong yet supple and once you have them on, they are remarkably comfortable.

Fibre crops

The secret behind these jeans is that they are almost entirely made from hemp. It's not the hemp variety that you get high from but hemp as a fibre crop. The plant is doesn't contain a single milligram of THC, the main psychoactive substance found in hashish and marijuana.

California: Beauty that's relevant

By Dinna Chan Vasquez

The Body Shop has always believed that business has the power to make the right kind of difference in the world.

Over 50 percent of the company’s products contain Community Trade ingredients or are produced through the Community Trade program. The Body Shop’s target for the year is an ambitious 65 percent. This program creates sustainable trading relationships with disadvantaged communities around the world and provides income to over 25,000 people across the globe.

Through the program, the company obtains sesame seed oil from Nicaragua, aloe vera from Guatemala, honey from an organic source in Zambia, shea butter from Ghana and bladderwack seaweed from Ireland.

How cool is it that your bottle of lotion helps provide a means of livelihood for communities?

In 2007, The Body Shop was the first company to have sourced sustainably harvested palm oil and introduce the ingredient into the beauty industry, working in partnership with a certified organic producer in Colombia.

Early this year, the introduced 100-percent post-consumer recyclate bottles while all polyethylene terephthalate or PET bottles contain a minimum of 30 percent recycled material, with a target to convert to 100 percent in the next 12 months.

The Body Shop also continues to raise awareness and funding for women affected by domestic violence. The Stop Violence in the Home campaign has run since 2003 and raised more than 2 million pounds.

Health: Skin churns out marijuana-like brain chemicals, Body's own cannabinoids help keep skin clear and healthy

By Robin Nixon

Marijuana-like substances made by the skin are necessary for a healthy complexion, a new study concludes.

The skin has joined the growing club of organs that is known to produce "endocannabinoids" — the body's own reefer. The biggest producer of endogenous pot is the brain.

Significantly, the new study pins down long-suspected connections between brain and skin and between stress and zits.
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Your thinking skin
In the skin, explained lead researcher Tamás Bíró of the University of Debrecen, Hungary, these compounds help the sebaceous glands protect us from harsh outer elements, such as the drying effects of wind and sun. Cannabinoids are thought to have a similar role in the leaves of the marijuana plant.

Among its protective functions, "endo-pot" stimulates oil production and tells hair follicles to stop producing hair. Whether this explains the plethora of pimples and receding hairlines at Grateful Dead concerts (or those of former band members) has not yet been determined.

The research, funded mostly by the Hungarian and German governments, will be detailed in the October 2008 issue of The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal.

Why is a psycho-stimulant working outside the brain?

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