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Afends are broadcasting from Sleepy Hollow Farm, in a global mini-series documentary that follows us on our journey of growing hemp crops here in Australia.
Scientific studies suggest that roughly around 23% of the earth's wilderness remains intact and about 10% of that is due to the largely growing and fast-moving fashion industry. A significant amount of this impact is due to widespread farming, production, micro plastics, and waste. Cotton is the guiltiest culprit, being a particularly thirsty crop; one kilogram of cotton used in a pair of denim jeans swallows around 10,000 to 20,000 litres of water. On a global scale, this contributes to around 20% of the earth's wastewater whilst harmful chemicals used for farming also take a toll on soil fertility and biodiversity. But, there is hope for the future and we are paving the way forward. 'Weed Need Change' highlights our efforts in making the change, growing our very own hemp, and the hurdles overcome.
At Afends, we are breaking down cannabis-related stigma and cultivating change as we find ways to produce clothing in harmony with our natural planet. Cue hemp; the answer to a more sustainable future within the fashion industry. This once shunned super fibre has a far smaller ecological footprint, taking less water to produce in comparison to cotton; 1kg of hemp needs roughly 500 litres. It doesn't need toxic pesticides to grow and the fibre itself forms long-lasting and durable clothing. At Afends, eco-friendly production is now down the road as we come up with new ways to keep our environmental footprint low and create durable and premium clothing.
Our first episode highlights the dream for co-founders, Declan Wise and Jono Salfield as it becomes a reality when purchasing their farm in Sleepy Hollow, NSW for growing hemp crops. The farm sits only a short drive from Afends HQ in Byron Bay, Australia; allowing the crew at Afends to keep it close to home and oversee all means of production. Take a peek behind the scenes as Deco and Jono introduce Sleepy Hollow Farm and what is means for Afends as a sustainable and ethical fashion label.
In the second episode of our Weed Need Change documentary, co-founders Declan and Jono are on a mission to acquire their licenses to grow hemp as the next step in their Sleepy Hollow journey. Down the road at Hemp Fields, Australia, the boys seek advice from hemp enthusiast and seasoned professional Arthur Wajs. After bonding over their mutual love for all things hemp, a relationship forms, and the collaboration begins. Watch them secure their licenses, fire up the tractors and start sowing their first hemp seeds.
Once a dream, now a reality - we grew our first hemp crop, and it actually worked! In episode three, Deco and Jono meet Andrew Kavasilas: a hemp pioneer and president of the Northern River Hemp Association. Andrew mentors the Afends crew and shares his knowledge on the benefits of hemp and its biodiversity as the first Sleepy Hollow Farm hemp crops begin to thrive. Go behind the scenes and explore the journey of our hemp crops from seed to harvest before the processing and production begins.
The final episode of our hemp documentary unveils the future visions for our Sleepy Hollow Farm. Tag along with CEO and Co-Founder Declan Wise as he takes you behind the scenes of our hemp harvest and delves into the pre-production methods used for harvesting and the results from our first fibre samples. With more hemp crops on the horizon, the next goal for our future as a progressive fashion label is to work towards owning our own processing plant. Having it based in NSW, we hope to inspire farmers to make the switch from cotton and sugarcane to more friendly alternatives such as our favourite fibre: hemp, of course.
“Hemp is turning a new leaf with Afends”
"But for real – how do you go from running a brand to buying farmland, getting your hands in the dirt and figuring out how to actually grow fiber!? As Jono tells us, “we kind of jump into the deep end a lot.” I’d say so." - Conscious Chatter - Episode N°279. Listen to the podcast.
“It shows the hurdles they face – and overcome – as they break down cannabis-related stigma and find ways to produce clothing that’s in harmony with the planet.”
“Afends aims high with Australian-first venture”
Thanks for tuning in, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled in 2023 for the Afends Sleepy Hollow hemp collection, crafted from our first successful hemp harvest.
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