Kentucky Brings Hemp Back Home By Ashley Martinez

Have you ever had hemp milk? Worn a pair of hemp yoga pants? Neither had I until I met Mina Hegaard, founder of Minawear Luxury Loungewear, three years ago in Victoria, Texas. Hegaard has created an eco-friendly, sustainable clothing line out of hemp and over the last 17 years has stayed true to her mission to promote the versatile uses of hemp.

As a yoga instructor looking to support a local yoga clothing line, I was immediately intrigued by Hegaard’s passion for alternative textiles and her devotion to hemp as an ecological resource. I was also eager to practice in the malleable, insulated, anti-microbial fabric. After purchasing a pair of hemp yoga pants, I had firsthand experience with the material: it was stretchy, breathable and fuss free when it came time to wash and dry.

“As a kid I wanted to be a clothing designer, but when I realized early on how wasteful it is; I was discouraged,” stated Hegaard.That was until she discovered hemp in 1998. It was an awakening of sorts for her, as she found a way to pursue her interest in fashion with her passion for environmentally friendly cropping and harvesting with minimal manufacturing waste. “At the time, there were a few large companies dabbling in organic cotton like Nike, and Adidas had a pair of hemp shoes that helped raise awareness and validate the importance of the movement,” Hegaard informed. Patagonia is one of the largest certified B Corporations to commit to using more sustainable materials and supporting fair trade, but there is still a long way to go in the U.S.

Kentucky has been on the radar as an agricultural hub for harvesting Cannabis sativa to boost the agriculture economy that has plummeted with the diminishing demand of tobacco. Harvesting hemp will replenish these fields, and Senator Rand Paul is backing the efforts which have created nearly 500 jobs since the beginning of the year. The farmers and advocates leading this movement in Kentucky are predominantly women. Kirstin Bohnert and Alyssa Faith Erickson are both advocates with Kentucky Hempsters. Erickson stated, “To us, hemp means hope for the future. The potential it has to supplement existing industries that are currently devastating our earth is astounding. Hemp is sustainable, renewable and can be used to create eco-friendly products that are healthy for us and better for our planet.” There is currently a bill in U.S. Congress that would reclassify hemp from a narcotic to an agricultural crop. If the law were to pass, it would minimize the red tape for established hemp farming programs. The annual hemp sales in the U.S. is 620 million, all of which is imported.

Most industrial hemp is grown in China, since it has been outlawed in the U.S. since 1937. Now that it is legal, there is a lot of catching up to be done. “With the tobacco and coal industries in decline, many Kentuckians are seeking new opportunities. Hemp has the potential to improve Kentucky’s economy greatly, as it did in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In fact, it was Kentucky's leading cash crop until 1915,” stated Bohnert. Katie Moyer, a Kentucky resident appointed to the Industrial Hemp Commission sees a bright future for hemp. “Historically, the Commonwealth was the leader in U.S. Hemp production, and I believe we can set that standard again. In addition to providing a great financial resource for U.S. and Kentucky farmers, I hope that by getting hemp foods into the diet of the average American, we can improve our quality of life.”

Hemp and marijuana are not interchangeable. Hemp comes from the Cannabis sativa plant and in order for cannabis to be considered industrial hemp, it must contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) levels less than 0.3 percent. Higher than 0.3 percent, the plant can cause a “high” effect. Hemp is also a nutritious food source and is packed with fiber, antioxidants and omega-3. It has a mild nutty taste and, according to Dr. Oz, hemp milk is a hearty alternative for people who have soy or dairy allergies. Cannabis oil is used in a number of cosmetic and beauty products and is derived from cold-pressing hemp seeds to create the oil extract. It is a safe, non-toxic oil used to combat wrinkles, eczema and psoriasis. Cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical compound in the plant, can be extracted from the leaves, blossoms and stems and used for medicinal purposes.

Hegaard has seen progress and is not giving up. She hopes to be one of the companies on the forefront of sustainable clothing and textiles with hemp her solution. “I’ve been doing this for 17 years so that one day the hemp that I use (to make my clothing) can be grown in the United States. I do this because I’m an activist, because I love to educate. It is fulfilling to see this is starting to happen here in the U.S.” Only through education and correct labeling can the taboo of hemp be eliminated—and then eventually grown as a versatile crop not only in Kentucky, but all over the country.spaghetti strap black hemp dress summer mini


Hemp History Week in Victoria, TX!

hemp history week

hemp history week

During Hemp History Week June 6th through the 12th of 2016,  hemp activists will come together to co-create events around the country to promote education, awareness and activism.

From Hawaii to North Dakota, Vermont, and Kentucky things are heating up for the legalization of hemp farming.  So far at least 26 states have successfully introduced hemp legislation and at least 6 are growing test plots.

June 9th at 7 PM in Victoria, TX where Minawear Luxury Hemp Loungewear is based, the Guerrilla Gourmet restaurant will be hosting a Hemp History Week event.  See the movie Bringing It Home about the modern hemp industry while sampling Chef James Canter's hemp menu items.  At 7:15 join the Skype conversation with the creator of the Cannabis Car, Bruce Dietzen.

Along with free product samples from Manitoba Harvest,  and Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, attendees will also be eligible for a chance to win a copy of Hemp for Victory, browse the hemp library, check out other hemp uses and products, and shop one of a kind tie dyes from Minawear Luxury Hemp Loungewear.

The best way to support the legalization of hemp farming in the United States is to purchase and use hemp products as often as you can, and tell every one you know about this plant and all of it's 25,000 applications.

We will discuss the current legislature while making available several petitions to sign.

Sign today!  Legalize Hemp Farming

Participate in Hemp History Week by creating your own event,  educating yourselves, and using hemp in one of it's 25,000 applications in your every day lives!

Guerrilla Gourmet

311 E. Constitution St. Victoria, TX

June 9th, 2016 7 PM to 10 PM

  • Admission by donation to pay for the Screening

    Kentucky Hempsters Rock the Minawear Dresses in their Hempfield!

    Kentucky Hempsters Alyssa Faith Erickson, Katie Moyer, and Kirsten Bohnert are HOTNESS embodied in these little hemp and organic cotton numbers. Kentucky is on the forefront of developing our new infrastructure for growth of our exploding hemp industry here in the United States. They sport the Minawear hemp and organic cotton jersey knit dresses. The hemp spaghetti strap dress is a perfect beach cover up and nightgown you can answer the door in while the hemp tunic dress is our most versatile style to be worn over leggings, yoga pants, jeans, shorts, or nothing. Accessorizing is so much fun, you can belt them, wrap a scarf around your neck, top it with a shawl or a shrug, and wear chunky necklaces and earrings to go from yoga to work!

    hemp, hempsters, kentucky, hemp dress, tunic, spaghetti strap, organic cotton

    For more information about the Kentucky Hempsters visit their webpage:


    Travels and Travails

    Hauling hemp along Route 66 towards our destination Mystic Hot Springs UTAH was the first major adventure in our new Ghetto Bago.  We arrived to find hardly a soul yet there, which gave us plenty of time to soak in the various bath tubs encrusted with the magic minerals that make the hot springs healing.  We enjoyed numerous bands including The Mother Hips, ALO, an exciting local band Marinade, whose last gig it was together, Hot Buttered Rum, and my favorite: LUNAR FIRE!  WOW!  Talk about getting blown away!  With a Latin flavor in the percussions and raps, amazing lighting and set pieces, and the dancers costumes on the cutting edge, they captured us visually as well as vibrationally.  The Lunar Fire dancers told timeless stories with fire, hoops, ribbon dances, and the main vocalist Precious Hill painted the sky with her outer spatial lyrics and entrancing mystical messages.  Lucky us, we got to meet several of these talented and friendly performers when they came over to the vendor village the next day to peruse the hemp goods.  You can find them on SOUNDCLOUD.lunar fire  Google had us there in 21 hours and 9 minutes from our home in Victoria, Texas, but Ghetto Bago is an old lady and refused to pony up to more than 60 miles an hour with out over heating, so it took us about 27 hours of road time.  Would I do it again? Yes! But not with Ghetto Bago.  hemp loungetubbinhemp route 66 utah moab dolphin

    Texas works towards the legalization of hemp

    Great news for Texans!! Texas recently introduced HB 84 (R) to legalize hemp farming.

    As a clothing designer here in TX, my main material is hemp and organic cotton. The reason I work with hemp and organic cotton, is that I believe that our environment is in grave danger of becoming severely imbalanced by the overuse of chemicals which affects humans on many levels whether it be a rise in illnesses, water contaminations, or air pollutants. Hemp is grown with out the use of harmful chemicals, and that is profitable to farmers as well as beneficial to all of our health. The legalization of hemp is coming!

    Help make this possible by writing to your legislators to become a cosponsors of H.R. 525, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015, which was introduced by Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky on January 21, 2015. The legislation allows American farmers to once again grow hemp to the extent that it is allowed under state laws. The text of H.R. 525 is available from THOMAS:

    If you would like to learn more about this agricultural issue, please read the latest version of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) report "Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity" is dated June 25, 2014 and has the order code RL32725. The report can be ordered from the CRS or it can be downloaded from the National Agricultural Law Center at:

    Please also consider watching the video "Controversial Crop" from America's Heartland, which is produced by KVIE in Sacramento, California:

    Also, please watch "University of Kentucky, Dave Williams (head agronomist) Discusses Hemp Crop" video featuring footage of first pilot-program crop at University of Kentucky.

    Forty-two (42) states have introduced pro-hemp legislation and twenty-eight (28) have passed pro-hemp legislation as a resolution, hemp study bill or other. As of January 2015, Twenty (20) states (California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana,Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia) have passed legislation allowing them to take immediate advantage of the industrial hemp research and pilot program provision, Section 7606, of the Farm Bill. Passage of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 would finally allow these states to choose whether or not to let farmers grow industrial hemp.

    Take action by writing to your legislators:


    Hemp Today by Kenyon Gibson

    Hemp is today a hard to get item. The consumer that once purchased items made from it now can get clothes made from cotton, paper made from trees, medicine made from manmade chemicals, and oil sourced from fish livers. Textiles, paper, medicine and edible oils are but a few of the products that hemp provides; it is a simple-to-grow plant that can be cultivated on all continents save the Antarctic. Part of the whole enigma is that hemp is a plant of great varietal variability, lending itself even to experimentation as the great Russian plant geneticist Vavilov proclaimed. Thus it can produce tall slender stems with high cellulose fibre, or it can grow short and branched with many flowers which can contain high levels of THC and other cannabinoids. These compounds make some strains valuable to medicine and also appealing to marijuana smokers; most strains do not provide much in the way of medicine of drugs, but there is such a volume of literature on the marijuana culture that the general public at times associates all hemp with marijuana. There is also a large body of literature on hemp as an industrial plant, spanning centuries.

    In the not too distant past, entire nations, empires to wit, depended on its availability; Russia, the chief supplier in the 17th-19th centuries, sold to both the British and the American navies. Britain and America themselves grew at that time no small amount, and both nation's legislators expressed alarm at the rate of expenditure on foreign hemp for their military. The superior quality and price of Russian hemp, however, ensured that Western powers relied on Russia's. Thus it was once the world's most traded commodity and cultivated nearly worldwide not only for its commercial value, but for the fact that many of its products, in addition to rope and sails, were necessary to survival; Thomas Jefferson, for instance, exhorted it be grown for the wealth and defense of the colonies. Over a century after his advice, the United States was eager to cultivate this crop and produced a film in WWII titled "Hemp for Victory." The threat to rope supplies in the Pacific prompted the legislature to make sure that American farmers were able and willing to plant hemp.

    With the advent of metal ships running on steam and petroleum sails became almost obsolete, and abaca from the Philippines replaced hempen cordage on modern ships. Despite a dramatic downturn in demand in the maritime industry, this plant continued to be grown into the 20th century, providing a range of products from paper to food. It excelled in both of these categories, as its long and strong fibres interlocked perfectly for long lasting paper (the oldest existing fragment of paper is 2,000 years old and contains hemp) and its Omega 3,6 & 9 rich seeds full of all essential amino acids were excellent for food. Farmers also found the plant not only easy to grow in most countries of the world, but it acted as a natural pesticide (with one US cotton farmer sowing it on one third of his land at a time to rid the soil of pests).

    Many changes in the law, however, in the 1930s to the 1960s in the US and other nations made hemp illegal, as these laws mistakenly lumped all forms of Cannabis sativa in with high THC producing strains known as marijuana. A few nations continued to cultivate hemp; mainly China, which today profits from its policy. Western nations have had a reawakening due to activists who struggled to make hemp not only legal but in some countries a subsidized species. These efforts have largely paid off, and there is presently a thriving hemp textile and hemp oil industry.HFV

    All of which might bode well for the US, as hemp, which was such a part of its history that the first US flag was made of it, can be grown in all 50 states. However, the present status of hemp is prohibitive, even with the recent ruling at the federal level that states may decide for themselves whether to allow its cultivation. So far, only two states have made cultivation legal: Colorado and Kentucky. Both were largely responsible for the change in the federal law, with farmers in the former sowing 60 acres of hemp in a field before the change; thus challenged, Washington lawmakers saw the gauntlet on the ground and conceded. Soon afterwards, a complex battle in the Kentucky House ensued, perhaps an epic note in American history, with both Republican senators, Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell, supporting the hemp issue in Washington, while a Democrat worked hard to keep it illegal. The governor promptly signed the bill, allowing the Bluegrass state, which was in the 19th and into the 20th century the hemp-basket of America, to regain its heritage.

    While hemp is still illegal to cultivate in 48 states, and not yet produced in any quantity in Colorado or Kentucky, many American businesses manufacture hemp items, the largest sector being the hempseed oil industry, which sources its oil mainly from Canada, where farmers are profiting greatly from America's ban. A number of other firms manufacture hemp clothing, such as Minawear in Texas, which started in 1998 in California when the hemp movement was still rather small. The years of manufacturing hempen apparel by this and other companies has brought hemp to the awareness of the general public and has helped to restore the crop to legality in the US.

    Another outfit in the same state working in this field is Canvasland, which makes artist's canvas - which are not only archival quality but true to original material; the use of hemp for canvas is of such longstanding practice that the very word 'canvas' derives from 'cannabis'; canape in Italian, chanvre in French. Hemp was a major crop in many Renaissance countries, including Italy and the Netherlands. Not only was the textile used in art, but also the oil, which is clear and long-lasting. This last mentioned use of hemp is one that is not yet available on a commercial level, but is being researched by artists with a view to only bottling hemp oil as an art supply but also in finding the best variety among the thousands of varieties of hemp for this purpose, with the possibility that in the future it will replace linseed and safflower oils, both of which are prone to some degree of yellowing.

    From the innovative to the well established, hemp has many uses, making it an essential part of the economy, as well as being a top choice ecologically, given the fact that it needs less water than cotton and also far less pesticides. Since there is no real reason not to cultivate it, and every reason to do so, it is the challenge of this present generation to reverse the mistakes of our predecessors and restore hemp to its place in our fields and the marketplace, hopefully succeeding and earning the respect of future generations.

    Kenyon Gibson is the author of Hemp for Victory


    Win a FREE copy of HEMP FOR VICTORY!

    Many states have legalized hemp farming, but are having difficulties setting up the infrastructure, due to the fact that it is STILL ILLEGAL on the federal level.


    Please help us change the federal law to legalize growing industrial hemp!

    Follow the steps below to be eligible to win a copy of Hemp for Victory by Kenyon Gibson, with a foreword by Woody Harrelson. Or you can also email it to 10 friends, and copy us on the email. [email protected]

    1. Please sign the petition here:

    2. Copy and paste this post to your facebook page.

    3. Like and post to our page why you think industrial hemp should be legalized.

    We will randomly choose the lucky winner on October 15th, 2014 and notify you through Facebook.

    Minawear Luxury Hemp Loungewear thanks you for your participation!



    Could it be a conspiracy or karma?

    It’s probably because you’re sweating while wearing those fine Italian polyester shorts. Who wears polyester anymore you ask? Polyester is on the streets today with re-spun labels like micro fiber, performance fiber, Micromist, Silkmore, Supplex, Silky Touch, Microspun, and Charisma. Basically you’re wearing a petroleum product down there, which is like wearing a garbage bag and sweating in it.

    Cotton can be sticky too, with all the pesticides, fungicides and herbicides used on it. It seems like that would ward off the microbes down there, but if you have sensitive skin, chemicals can cause serious situations, especially in delicate areas.

    These doctor recommended anti-microbial hemp shorts are not shorts you will want to smoke, but you could, as there has been no use of Paraquat on either the hemp, or the cotton, therefore saving you an expensive trip to the ER. Hemp and organic cotton are naturally grown. Less chemicals on delicate skin mean less itching.

    Hemp is also wicking and temperature controlled, meaning it will keep you dry and cool in swampy conditions. Another bonus: hemp lasts up to five times longer than plain cotton, so instead of a one season pair of shorts, you can sport them for five!

    As for karma, conventional cotton is one of the biggest polluting industries in the world, making those “natural” skivvies pretty toxic for you and mother nature. itchy squirrel The secret to comfort and freedom from embarrassing and uncomfortable itching is hemp and organic cotton fiber shorts from Minawear Luxury Hemp Loungewear.

    Why is it a secret? Conspiracy theorists say that it was “the Man” bringing us down that made growing industrial hemp illegal in the United States in the 1940’s. Allegedly hemp’s 25,000 applications brought it into competition with big business like textiles, paper, fuel, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals.

    Until recently, hemp was deemed a schedule 1 drug, right up there with heroin, but luckily all that seems to be changing with companies like Minawear Luxury Hemp Loungewear paving the way to earth friendly comfort and style.

    Change your karma, change your shorts. Wear Minawear hemp and promote your health and the planet’s in style and comfort.


    What's Your Hemp Healing Story?

    Chemotherapy? Fibromyalgia? Post operative discomfort? Asthma?

    How has Minawear Luxury Hemp Loungewear relieved, comforted, relaxed or otherwise helped your body mind and spirit to live a better life?

    Please email me with your stories so that we can help others with these same problems. mina at minawear dot com I will be using your testimonials in promotional materials, as well as a press release sent out to doctors and medical journals. If it is published in a magazine or journal, its good for a nice credit for some hemp pants here on!

    Hemp Cargo Pants

    Hemp Cargo Pants

    My healing story is about eczema that first appeared on my skin when I was a baby. Until I was almost 21 years old, I had never had a doctor try to figure out the cause of it, they would only prescribe a topical steroid and send me on my way. Finally after all those years and the worst outbreak ever, that covered my entire body including my face, I found myself in the emergency room at 2 AM because I hadn't slept in two weeks and was on the edge of insanity. The ER doctor, not even a dermatologist, finally, besides telling me to put CRISCO on it, told me not wear wool, polyester, or any other man made fibers.

    And that was the beginning of my quest to make healing clothing. As it turns out, its more than just our bodies we are healing, it is our wellbeing, and even bigger, the planet's wellbeing.

    I've said it a thousand times! Hemp's the best natural fiber in the world for sensitive skin! It has beneficial qualities for the skin like no other.

    Hemp is organic, anti-microbial, wicking, UV ray protective, soft, and temperature controlled.


    Minawear Mission to Pants the Planet in Hemp! Made in the USA.

    We’re giving this Kickstarter thing a go! Our hemp will still be grown and knit in China for now, but lets get ‘em sewed up here!! Please check out the campaign here:


    From $1 to $1000, it all adds up. This is me and my brother Kenyon Gibson back in the 70’s on Long Island. He helped me get started with Minawear in 1998! My earliest backer… Look at those PANTS!!

    It must be in the genes.

    My brother.


    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.

    Product Development and Fabric Addiction/Affliction

    Alert hemp lovers! New product in the pipeline! We have made leggings with a touch of Spandex in the mix before, but these are a whole different beast. If there is one thing that is consistently requested from our fans across the globe, its leggings! So here we go, launching into fabric science, to concoct the perfect blend of hemp, organic cotton and Spandex to make our asses look fantastic! (Dudes do not dismay, we'll get you covered head to toe next year! {Unisex cargo pants are coming in April 2012}) Back to the knits; we love China because they are allowed to grow our favorite plant, hemp! They are also the only country in the world as we know it, that has the machinery and person power to to knit and process the hemp the particular way we like it. It's not rocket science, but more like a throw back to the days of old, where the machinery was clunky and slow, and could handle the irregularities that we so love about hemp. Machinery here in the USA is built for speed and mercerized cotton; any mill that ever tried to knit hemp in the USA, unless it is "rayonized" ie: chemicalized, will never touch it again, due to the nightmares of production that occur with America's high tech speedy machinery. Knitting our hemp material is a labor of love, which takes patience, perseverance and a lot of people power. The machines must be babysat continuously, to keep a close eye on the possible malfunctions of the machinery, imperfect yarns, or improper finishing. If a snag occurs, that agile soul must stop the machine, climb up into the circular machinery and re-weave or loosen the uncooperative yarn, and then climb out and resume the process. From the product development stage to the garment on your body, every step from farm to factory is orchestrated to deliver you a perfectly delicious pair of hemp and organic cotton leggings!

    My Bank is COOL!

    Crazy as it sounds, my bank IS cool!!  New First National Bank here in South Texas, is hosting a Minawear Trunk Show on Leap Day from 5PM to 7PM.  If you live here, this is not to be missed; who knows if it will ever happen again (once corporate gets wind of it!) However, it could become a trend... Since Ron Paul, our local Congressman, introduced HR 1831: Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011.  The bill proposes to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marihuana, and for other purposes.  This would greatly benefit our farming and ranching industries, as hemp can be grown with out the use of harmful and expensive chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and requires very little resources otherwise.  New First National Bank's main customers are ranchers, so I expect the Minawear will be well received.  Can't wait to see what the VP looks like in tie dye!  Maybe I will get a picture... Check back soon! Meanwhile, here is a great one of Woody looking smart in a custom Minawear hemp tie-dye by Dye-ane Reifer.

    Smalltown USA

    The Texas Yoga Conference in Houston was a real blast this past weekend!  So much talent, beauty, grace and spirit!  Its so refreshing to get a different outlook - it feeds the soul.  Especially living in a small town like Victoria, TX, one starves for the hustle and inspiration that thrives in the big city!  Not to say this little burg does not have its benefits- zero stress!!  From the moment I arrived on the University of Houston campus, my senses were awakened by the style and attitude of the students and yogis swirling about.  Everyone seemed to be cruising on their own energy bubble towards something exciting and cool; classes to feed the brain, body, and soul, a new business they might be starting up, or some artistic endeavor they are involved in.  Even the food was exquisite!  (We ate at the same sushi bar two nights in a row it was so good!)  My good friend/ceramics professor, Debra Chronister, who was helping me at the conference, heard about a Burlesque show at Super Happy Funland that we HAD to check out.  Of all the things we experienced, that was probably the most inspiring!  Super Happy Funland was all of that and more!!  On the outside it looked like a garage with giant full moon happy face sculptures adorning the facade.  Inside, every square inch was heaped with creative expression from the wacky pile of Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls at the entrance to the thrift shop selling pasties (new ones) and endless graffiti art on every wall.  It is definitely an alternative space, where I can imagine all sorts of punk rock shows happening, indie film screenings, art extravaganzas, burlesque shows, and maybe some aerial ribbon dancing.... Debra and I were enthralled.  We decided then and there that we need a Super Happy Funland in Victoria!!  Anyone want to donate a space?!?  Here is the SuperHappyFunland alternative/punk rock styling of the Minawear tunic dress...

    Gettin with the times!!

    Here it is, the first Minawear blog post! In honor of the year 2012 and the ochreous (yes its a word I googled orange synonyms - fruit with one ovary was the definition of orange) color of the year "Tangerine Tango", Im going to plug my brother Kenyon Gibson's book, "Hemp for Victory".  Kenyon is a self taught genius who speaks several languages, a four star chef, an expert in raptors, orchids, Bolivia and of course HEMP! Back in 1998 when the hemp education movement was picking up speed, I opened a shop on Main Street with a friend Kim Jimenez in Santa Monica, CA called California Hemp Products.  It was more about educating the public than profit, as there was a limited supply of quality hemp goods available then.  We had our Betsy Ross replica hemp flag gracing the doorway, a decent selection of hemp paper, books, soap, snacks, lollipops, twine, jewelry, and clothing. With Muscle Beach steps away, and several body builder supply stores within a stone's throw, it became apparent that there was a market for workout/loungewear made from the glorious hemp fiber.    Its qualities of strength, wicking, temperature control and softness all directed me to investigate this niche.  I wrote a business plan which intrigued Kenyon so much that he was inspired to invest in Minawear, and write this magnificent tome that is one of the most comprehensive hemp books available to date! We are proud to say that Woody Harrelson, Jack Herer, and John Quincy Adams to name a few are contributors to this creation.  It is available for purchase HERE.  Enjoy!