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According to design guru Calvin Klein, hemp is going to become the choice of fibre in the fashion industry - certainly the guys at Sativa are confident it will be. In fact, the New York Times is saying even now that hemp is the height of fashion. So when we met Alf from Sativa and saw how passionate he was about his hemp bags we knew this was definitely worth further investigation.

We didn’t know much about hemp. Cannabis sprang to mind, but that was about it. So we started doing some research and soon realised what the fuss was all about. We think we’re pretty down to earth at onfriday, not prone to over-the-top exaggeration but we do have our moments. And this is one of our moments. Hemp is truly remarkable and its green, eco credentials are quite literally second to none. Wow...

Hemp is an annual herbaceous plant of the species Cannabis Sativa meaning 'useful hemp'. Imagine a plant growing in harmony with the earth, harvested by the sun, flourishing without the need of herbicide or pesticide and needing considerably less water than cotton to grow. As it grows it suppresses weeds, returning nutrients to the earth via its roots and fallen leaves. Every part of the plant can be used commercially, nothing goes to waste. Its core, fibres, flowers and seeds yield raw material for almost every conceivable human need. It grows to maturity in just 100 days and its long root system conditions the soil so it is an ideal crop to grow in rotation. See what we mean..?!

So, combine hemp’s sustainable, organic and eco-friendly credentials with great design and functionality and you get Sativa, a company that’s simply buzzing with passion and enthusiasm and who believe that good living shouldn’t cost the earth. Established in 2002, Sativa is based here in the UK and has a production centre over in China. They make regular visits to China and only work with suppliers and contractors who have developed an environmental policy, conduct their business in an environmentally responsible manner and who share Sativa’s values on important issues like child labour, discrimination, working hours, freedom of association and health and safety.

And if you’re as curious as we were about how hemp differs from cannabis, here goes. Cannabis has high levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in its flowers and leaves, a chemical, which is produced to protect its leaves from sunlight. Southern latitude strains such as those from India and Africa are high in THC whereas the northern latitude strains from Europe and Russia have a very low content. The low-THC strain (less than 0.3%) is known as hemp and the high-THC strain (more than 4.0%) is known as cannabis. The blanket ban on the cannabis plant back in 1937 in the US made no exception for hemp, as the two plants look virtually identical. However by the 1970s, scientists had been able to isolate THC which made it possible to prove beyond any doubt the difference between the hemp and cannabis strains. It’s always good to have a few facts up your sleeve to impress your friends with!

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