I’ve talked about hemp a little bit on the blog before, but only when it comes to its usefulness for natural beauty. But when it comes to finding sustainable, versatile clothing – especially if you need it for practical reasons like the workplace – it can feel nearly impossible to find options that aren’t polyester, acrylic or nylon, all of which are petroleum based materials.
Firstly, instead of being petroleum based, hemp is a vegetable fibre, making it biodegradable and highly renewable. It doesn’t require pesticides, herbicides or fungicides to grow, so doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals or contribute them into the world, and per acre it can produce 250% more yield than cotton and 600% more than flax (which is used to make linen). It grows in just 12-14 weeks, and can grow in a huge range of climates, whilst also breathing in four times as much CO2 as trees, controlling erosion of topsoil and replenishing soil with nutrients and nitrogen. Almost every part of the hemp plant can be used in a variety of fields, including biofuel, paper and plastics. When used to create fabric hemp consumes far less energy and water than cotton during processing, and the resulting fabric is durable and breathable while being naturally resistant to mould, bacteria and ultraviolet light, so it looks after you as you wear it. Basically, hemp is a wonder resource.
And so imagine my happiness when I discovered Wallis Evera, a company putting hemp at the centre of everything they produce to create versatile clothing that is fashionable, functional and fair.
Wallis Evera is a company based in Vancouver, Canada, which was founded to provide options for people trying to find hemp clothing they can wear regularly, meeting the needs of the 9-5 working life. Their goal is to provide sustainably produced clothes from natural fibres that can fit in any office environment, whilst still being classic in style and beautiful to wear in over many years. All of their clothing is designed, cut and sewn locally in Vancouver as well as being manufactured in small batches, avoiding waste and taking the time to create the highest quality they can.
Hemp is the foundation fibre used for all Wallis Evera products; their fabrics are sustainable, biodegradable, and durable, whilst also being treated with fibre reactive low impact dyes (not quite as sustainable as completely natural dyes, but not bad either) and pre-shrunk cationic softener, which is water-soluble. Some of the other eco fibres they use in combination with hemp are lyocell, GOTS certified organic cotton and peace silk, but hemp is always the starting point. The extra exciting thing about using hemp is that hemp cultivation has been legal in Canada since the late 90s, and Wallis Evera’s hope for the future is to make their clothing from hemp that’s actually locally grown in Canada, supporting local economies and making them even more sustainable.
When it comes to workwear I’m aware that my office doesn’t quite look like the normal person. Half of my time I’m sitting on my sofa writing blog posts or sending emails, the other half I’m in the studio choreographing or in a ballet class. I don’t live the average 9-5 life, but I still have demands for the clothes I do wear to work, because I’m kind of always working. I don’t have a standard dress code, but I need clothes that are practical and comfortable whilst being able to fit a number of needs easily. Something I can throw on on the way to the studio, but easily transform to go to an art opening or a meeting. (I understand that this last sentence makes me sound like a very ~glamorous~ person, I promise I’m really not).
Wallis Evera sent me one of their tunic shirts, made of a blend of hemp, organic cotton and silk, to witness the wonder of hemp for myself, and I love it. It’s light and breathable, making it perfect for the summer or winter layering, and it can be easily transformed into multiple looks. In this post alone I wore it three different ways, all of which made me feel both comfortable and confident in what I was wearing. It is quite long on me, but so are most things because I’m teeny tiny, which just makes it open to even more options. For capsule wardrobers it works great because of how many looks you can create with it, for the hustlers out there it can fit into any workplace in the day, and transform into luxe wear by night. It’s even ideal for the flexible freelancers like me. I was already a fan of hemp, Wallis Evera have made me a complete convert.
Until next time, stay magic y’all.
Shirt – Wallis Evera
Jeans – Secondhand
Sunglasses – Secondhand
Shoes – Birkenstocks
Post created in collaboration with Wallis Evera
Photos by Gianna Scavo