Along our diligent process in constructing a basic lightweight t-shirt (to round out our nature-conscious underwear line--see below) using a natural and sustainable fiber such as hemp, we've sampled a variety of jersey fabric that we felt would make something that resembles a classic men's Fruit-of-a-Loom tee, but with a few tweaks: scoop-neck; relaxed fitting; & moisture wicking--which is a natural feature of organic fibers like hemp.
After six long months into the process of material sampling, just when we thought we've tried all the hemp jersey (a type of weave often used to make tees) fabric from the limited hemp textile vendors around the world, we were then offered a different hemp jersey varietal that was claimed to be 100% hemp which really caught our attention.
classic fruit-of-a-loom tees
This new fabric was everything we wanted it to be, ultra soft, lighter, consistent in its fiber thickness, stretchy & sturdy all-the-while being 100% hemp. If this were to be genuine, it'd be quite revolutionary as most people know that 100% hemp fabric aren't the softest nor are they stretchy. However awesome it may seem, we were very skeptical thinking that the fabric had to at least carry some form of elastic. Also, it had this sheen that reminded us of Rayon, a synthetic version of silk that got many people in the textile world excited when it was first introduced some years ago.
Due to this skepticism, we kept bugging our vendor for a certificate of authenticity to see if it's truly 100% hemp and after they handed it over, we were able to confirm our suspicions that it was indeed NOT the traditional raw hemp that we were used to. Instead, it was a modified version of the hemp fiber labeled as VISCOSE HEMP, a process similar to how the aforementioned Rayon fibers had been created. If you don't know what the viscose process is, a bit of research on Google will yield more than enough info. After doing just that, this is our simple interpretation of what Viscose Hemp, or Viscose Bamboo is. (See the illustration below below for an elaborate explanation.)
Our Explanation: Take natural fibers that are coarse like hemp or bamboo, melt it down to a smooth gel-like liquid state (very much like super glue) using chemicals such as Sodium Hydroxide & Carbon Di-sulfate which are both considered harmful to the environment by some researchers. From here, the liquid are channeled through incredibly fine holes straight into a bath of water that instantly cools it solid. This incredibly thin fiber is then rolled into spools to be later twisted with additional fibers to produce thread & yarns which can then be used in the making of the fabric we make our clothes out of.
To visually understand this process, you can also watch this short old video on how Viscose Wood (Rayon) fibers are made. The process in this video we believe is just like that of Viscose hemp and Viscose bamboo whereas the difference is simply wood being liquidated as opposed to hemp or bamboo. CLICK HERE to watch it.
Viscose Bamboo: If you remember the early days of bamboo fibers when it was first introduced, like hemp, it didn't receive enough positive feedback to thrive for textile purposes because it wasn't very soft for clothing. Additionally, the fibers size & quality wasn't consistent enough making it hard to work with. Shortly after being rejected as a superior textile fiber, it was then re-introduced in the form of Viscose which made it soft and consistent, hence beloved by so many in the textile industry... that is until people caught on to how harmful the Viscose process can be for the environment as well as the workplace where it is made. Click here to see a discussion with Dr. Paul Blanc on Fake Silk and The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon.
Our Personal Views: Synthetics in the form of fibers or furniture when made from toxic substances or processes we believe may have a disharmonious radiation that conflicts with our very own natural radiation. I'd like to describe this radiation as a frequency, a rhythm--beats per second if you will (hertz)--just like the natural cycles in nature such as the orbiting frequencies of the planets' and stars (yielding our days, weeks, months, years, etc) or even the beating frequencies of our body's organs operating in concert with one another to complete its tasks. With disharmony between the radiation of natural & synthetic materials, like in music, undesired dissonances occur that throws the concert, and in this case, our energy flow & health, out of whack.
Fortunately, being that our bodies and nature at large are incredibly resilient, some consumption of it, be it by eating or clothing, can only do so much harm. We believe that it is only when the majority of our food and clothes consumed unconsciously over a longer period of time that our body's immune system gets derailed enough to make a noticeable effect on our bodies and health leading to ailments such as skin disorders all the way to cancer.
Our brother Company, @TheHempCooperative's version of the raw hemp tee.
Anyhow, despite this Viscose Hemp not being fully natural, after testing the Viscose fibers with no noticeable adverse effects, we were very hopeful that Viscose Hemp could be that magical method that makes hemp textiles more dynamic and superior. Likewise, the Viscose Bamboo yoga pants that Brittanny had purchased for me some years ago (from Rawganique.com) not only proved to be harmless to wear for my sensitive skin, instead, it was quite comfortable.
Despite this favorable test, we cannot neglect the harmful effects that the chemicals--mentioned above--used in the Viscose process are known to have on the people and environment that produces them. Additionally, natural fibers feel, smell, and look natural, which is something we prefer when ethically available. For all those reasons, we're going to move forward with the design of our inaugural Hemp Basic Tee Shirt using a jersey fabric that is weaved from Hemp and Organic Cotton in its natural & raw form.
To test our Hemp Tee and help us with a product feedback, feel free to use the following coupon code during checkout: HempTeeFeedback15. If you have any questions or useful content about the Viscose Hemp process that will enlighten us and our readers on this topic, please feel free to comment below.
UPDATE: Since mid 2016, we completed the Hemp Undie Tee (see above images) that we had been working on for a while to get the fit right for both genders. It's designed to be classic, yet with touches of modern. The neck is U-neck; the fabric is sturdy yet lightweight / airy; the shirt in color natural is un-dyed whereas the black color shirts are dyed in Los Angeles w/ a low impact dye that doesn't use harsh chemicals to bind the colors like normal synthetic dyes. You can purchase them in the box above and be sure to size down one size for the ladies.
a Message from the authors @ iLoveBAD Organics: With a desire to develop a balanced lifestyle, we had started ilovebad organics, a philosophy-based organic home & wear company, to promote the many benefits of living a life in harmony with nature's law. Along with consuming food and clothing made using clean ingredients, how we perceive the world also directly affects our emotional state and therefore livelihood; and so we care to continually learn and instill philosophical values observed in nature (contrast: yin/yang) in most things we offer. Hopefully these products & values will help others like us seeking to evolve their consciousness so they may break down the self-imposed roadblocks to manifest the life they didn't think was possible otherwise. To view our limited but ever evolving collection of natural & organic home & wear products, click here!