An Open Letter to our Concerned Customers

Minawear FactoryI understand your concerns about Chinese made goods, and I would like to address them.  From the beginning Minawear has been a process of education; first in 1998 about hemp and its amazing qualities as a textile, and now that we manufacture in China, about the changes in the labor laws and the evolution of the "Fair Trade" certification process.

We choose to manufacture in China because it is the only place that grows and processes the highest quality of hemp knits that Minawear is known for. In the long run, it also reduces the carbon footprint to manufacture all in one region.​

I want you to know, that although there is no "Fair Trade" certification as of yet for apparel in China, we are making great strides to promote fair trade practices in the factories that our goods are produced in.  Many factories that our producers use are WARP and BSCI certified, but garment factories at this point have no equivalent.

Minawear employs a full time production manager who oversees the phases of each production to ensure that our standards are being met.

The hemp is grown on small family farms in the mountains, with no chemicals.  It is then brought down to the plant in Shanxi, to be processed.

At the processing facility, any chemicals utilized must be booked on the Materials Safety Data Sheet, (MSDS) and disposed of responsibly. The standards employed here are in fact stricter than US standards, and are regularly tested.

In 2008 The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the People's Republic of China, began implementing stricter regulations in Chinese labor laws that has increased manufacturers end costs, but improved the factory workers life considerably.  These laws include requiring paid maternity leave, retirement at age 50 to 60, health insurance paid for by the factory, overtime pay and better minimum wages.  There is no child labor or forced labor permitted.

Our factory pays its workers about 3 times the national minimum wage, and maintains safety and cleanliness better than most factories I have personally seen in Los Angeles.

We have been working in close communication with our factory and production manager to steer each phase towards the greenest, safest and fairest practices possible.   Our solution is to provide as much information and transparency as possible.

In order to better educate our customers about our process, we will be at the GreenFestival in Los Angeles this coming October 19-20th along side our production manager, and the factory owner, who can tell you first hand what we do over there. We invite you to visit our booth # 436.


Hemp History Week and Hempsters Plant the Seed Movie!

The two main hemp lobbying efforts in the US today, and together have created Hemp History Week June 3-9th.  If you want to get involved there are hundreds of events already planned
Hemp Activists Merle Haggard and Mina Hegaard

Hemp Activists Merle Haggard and Mina Hegaard (no relation... that we know of!)

across the nation, or you can plan your own educational and fun hemp event!  (Click the links for more info) The purpose is to raise awareness about hemp as well as to activate citizens to vote, write letters, donate to the lobbyists, and purchase and use hemp products!! These are the best ways to show our government that hemp is indeed a viable and necessary crop for our country to grow.  Check out Hempsters Plant the Seed Movie starring Woody Harrelson, Ralph Nader, Willie Nelson, Julia Butterfly, Merle Haggard and so many more including prominent law makers and law enforcement. Watch it now: Hempsters Plant the Seed Movie.  You can even show the movie at your own personal event by purchasing it on As of today, nine states — Kentucky, Colorado, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia (and HI in tow!)— have enacted statutory changes defining industrial hemp as distinct agricultural product and allowing for its regulated commercial production.  We need your state to do the same!! Help your state join the list by participating in Hemp Week!!   Here is a link to sign our petition to President Obama:  Legalize Hemp Farming Petition

Kentucky Not Going Down Without a Fight

In all the news that is fit to print, the biggest scandal of the day comes out of Kentucky. Citizens and law makers gathered in Frankfort, KY for a hearing on state Senate Bill 50 in the Kentucky House Agriculture and Small Business Committee. The bill would pave the way for Kentucky to once again be a hemp farming state, but federal law still has hemp on its list of controlled substances, so some of Kentucky's lawmakers are pushing a bill in Washington that would change that and plan on asking the DEA for an exemption if those fail to pass. CEO of Nutiva, John Roulac testified that his hemp food company does 38 million a year, and is one of the fastest growing companies in the US. Sadly their biggest expense is importing the hemp from Canada. The bill had already flown through the Senate with an overwhelming 31-6 bipartisan vote in favor, so everyone expected this to achieve similar results. Agricultural Commissioner James Comer said there’s enough support to pass the bill right now. But House Agricultural Commissioner Tom McKee refused to allow a vote to be called on Senate Bill 50 in the committee, which looks to be an illegal play according to Kentucky state law. “He’s the one that didn't have the votes,” Comer said. “If he would have done it on his committee substitute, it would have gotten about 7 votes. Then if we would have turned around and voted on senate bill 50, which is what you're supposed to do.” For the detailed version of this story here is a blog post by Katie Moyer who sits on the Kentucky Hemp Commission.
Kentucky Hemp Coalition

Agricultural Commissioner Jamie Comer & Katie Moyer


Original Sprouts in Minawear Hemp

Growing up in a beautiful place like Santa Barbara, CA has surely had its effect on those lucky enough to experience it, and like it has with me, surely it has done Inga Tritt original sprout hemp dress spaghetti strap dress hemp tunic dressso with my dear Jr. High BFF Inga Tritt. In the twenty odd year gap that we had not seen each other, we reconnected to learn that we had each taken a similar path in our lives. Not only do we have one daughter each, but we have also cultivated businesses in the organic industry. Inga's invention's are practically delicious (you totally could eat them!) body products for babies and up. Original Sprout Body Products sprouted in 2003, from Inga's career as a master stylist, her love of nature, and her new found motherhood. Here is Inga and her daughter Maya today near their home in San Luis Obispo, CA wearing Minawear Hemp Dresses!

Mid-Summer Highlights of the Minawear Hemp Tour

Telluride Hemp Yoga FestivalThe hemp summer has gotten off to a fabulous whirlwind of a start! We went to Dallas for a screening of Hempsters Plant the Seed, where I got to see my friend Julia Butterfly Hill again, and meet the CEO of ForeverGreen, Ron K. Williams, who just launched some amazing hemp food products called Versativa. In the gorgeous hill country, we camped for almost three weeks at the Kerrville Music Festival with the hippies of Texas (yes the mythological creatures do exist!). This last week was spent unpacking from the Telluride Yoga Festival adventure where we stayed in a rustic cabin nestled in the mountains near Ophir. It was the perfect vacation despite the rain that dripped on our Minawear Hemp booth every day. We hiked, fly fished, saw elk and marmot, and I got to do yoga with a world class instructor, Duncan Wong. What can top this?

Veggie Heaven Yoga Vacation in Austin

Ahhh... Monday. Its a lost day like the part of your pants that disappear into the lint trap of the dryer. Well toss it on the compost for blog fodder then. I am not even going to unpack the car until Wednesday when we leave again for the Kerrville Folk Festival! The Austin Yoga Expo was a fun-tastic work vacation weekend with my good friend Molly seen there in front of Veggie Heaven, my new favorite restaurant in the world! The eggplants were crunchy tangy pillows of goosh, and the "protein" was perfectly chewy amongst its broccoli bedfellows tossed in sheets of magnificently delicate sauce. We met the yogis of Texas, got elongated, cranially adjusted, herbally therapized, made some cash, talked hemp, and had a few Hendrick's martini's at the Hilton bar. A perfect weekend topped off to coming home to a groovy article about Minawear in the local paper!! Thank you Allison Miles for writing such a complimentary article and promoting the health of the planet and plant!!

Minawear Makes Headlines!

This weekend Minawear exhibited at JamFest, here in Victoria, TX, alongside good buddies the Dirt Nerds Ceramics Club, of Victoria Community College.  With 30+ MPH winds, its always a challenge to set up a booth that wants to take off like a sailboat with everything in it, but with the help of my friendly neighbors, we battened down the hatches and hoisted the mainsail Minawear sign to end up doing pretty well out there.  Besides the great crowd, and the flash mob, the other best part of the festival was the music, which Debra Chronister (my ex-ceramics teacher) and I jibbed and jived to the minute the main stage was occupied.  Hector Ward and the Big Time tore the roof off the mother with the horn section and the latin flavas, while Jason D. Williams, son of the legendary Hank Williams, blew the doors off with his piano hammering rockabilly rowdy-ness.  I think a few keys flew off that keyboard when his boot slid down it... At 10PM my seven year old finally turned into a pumpkin, and the last thing I saw up there was a crowd of dancers on the stage with Debra in Minawear smack in the middle shaking a tail feather.  I woke up Sunday morning to this picture on the front page of the Victoria Advocate. Thanks for the Minawear plug!

This Way of Life in Victoria, Texas

"This Way of Life" was the crown jewel in a fantastic weekend filled with glorious independent films from around the globe!!  Victoria held its first ever Victoria Independent Film Festival, and it was a smashing success.  A little hometown Hollywood!  We had real live movie stars, a rock star, and world famous magicians to dazzle even the most jaded of cinema critics.  The winner of the festival was "The Dynamiter", a film about the bond of two brothers living in extreme poverty in the South, which had me looking for tissues several times.  But my heart probably doubled in size watching "This Way of Life", a documentary shot in New Zealand about a family living off the land and raising wild horses.  The star of the movie Peter Karena, and his son Wellie, made the 24 hour flight to Texas, to speak about it for the first time in public ever, at the VTXIFF. The film was released in 2009, and has been making the film festival circuit since then, but without the appearance of Karena, because he says, it was too painful; it was only the third time he had ever seen it himself.  The enthralling beauty of the country, and the lifestyle they live is shot by Tom and Barbara Burstyn over the course of four years.  I can not help but fantasize about establishing Nirvana Ranch in NZ to grow hemp since it IS legal there...

The PANTHEON in Victoria, TX?

Lately I have been digressing from Minawear. The opportunity to work with Maura Sheehan, a conduit of genius from New York City (my birth town!), on an installation for the local museum, the NAVE, arose and I could not pass it up. Maura Sheehan started the Manhattan Art Program for children in NYC right after 9/11. In 2007, MAP found its way to Victoria, TX, and has been educating children about art and recycling in the public schools since. I was privileged to enjoy working with them last year. One of the yearly projects the children participate in, is making miniature art cars, to go into the NAVE museum, for the Art Car Show, that is curated by Ann Harithas, founder of the Houston Art Car Museum. Ann is also a co-founder of MAP. It has been an honor to be a part of this installation, which is the most ambitious show I have seen go up in the NAVE. We spent the last week transforming the space into a mini replica of the PANTHEON in Rome. It is titled Opposites Attract, and is centered on making art with light. The Manhattan Art Program will be offering free classes for children every Saturday, at the NAVE that will explore this concept.