Tony, start off with who you are and what you are doing?
My name is Tony and I am a hemp activist. Which means, at the moment I live in a hemp house. I sleep on a bed, with hemp bed linen. I step on a hemp carpet when I wake up in the morning, I open my hemp curtains and I make a smoothie with hemp seeds and hemp seed oil. I wash with hemp soap and hemp shampoo and I go and work at a company that is making hemp fashion, which is sustainable and eco-friendly and much better for the planet than anything else that we have seen. We are supporting a farmer that is growing hemp for us. We are trying to build a green future for the planet by using sustainable resources for everything that we need.
Fascinating! Take me from the top, how did you become a hemp activist.
It all started with a little piece of fabric that someone brought us from China, they said that this was what the Chinese are doing with cannabis. It was a piece of canvas, the word canvas comes from the same root as cannabis. So all canvas was made out of cannabis. It is a really strong fabric, it is three times stronger than cotton. It is durable and robust. We started making bags out of it and then we learned that you can make food out of it and you can build houses and you can make fuel. It grows organically very easily. So we thought it was the perfect eco-resource and we started making more clothing and telling other people about it, trying to change peoples perceptions around cannabis because a lot of people see it as the devils weed.
The devil’s lettuce.
Yes, and I know why they say that because in the bible I think it is Genesis 1 verse 19/20 it says that every seed-bearing herb is there for us to use. Everyone except that one, that is the devil’s one. Don’t use that one! We have had to say “No, it is God’s gift.” It is a plant that can heal, that can feed, can house, can clothe and can fuel. We haven’t found anything else that comes close to doing all of that so quickly. It grows in four months. My house was grown in four months. It is very different to how we currently build.
So we are part of the hemp revolution. It fits into a bigger picture which encourages everyone to decrease their footprint, be sustainable. Not necessarily changing your life but changing your resources in order to decrease your footprint and be conscious of how you are living and who you are impacting. Very often we are unconscious of that, our aim is to make people more conscious. If you are conscious, you can make choices which are better for yourself, better for those around you and for the planet.
It wouldn’t be rocket science for me to figure out how you came to be working with Fashion Revolution…
There is a lovely lady named Tammy who planted the seed and has been the driving force and pulled us all together. As a team, we have been feeding off each other’s energies and passions. It has been inspiring. Fashion revolution is also about making people conscious, there is someone who made the clothes that you are wearing.
They are breaking that disconnection between what we use and how it was made. If people understand that, they can really start making informed choices, to support companies and people that they approve of. No-one wants to support slavery, so if you don’t want to support slavery don’t give your money to the companies that are enslaving people. It is as simple as that. If a company doesn’t do something that you like, don’t give them the power by paying them. If you pay them, you are endorsing their practices. Unfortunately, it is difficult because a lot of people like being unconscious, it is more difficult to think, to read labels and to take responsibility for your actions. We need to be reminded that we are all powerful beings and everything we do has an impact, either positive or negative. Keep it positive.