8000 Kicks is a Portuguese hemp shoe company founded by Bernardo Carreira and his grandmother Otilia.
This week on the hemp podcast we talk to Carreira about the company and why he wanted to make shoes from hemp.
“Cannabis fiber happens to be one of the most sustainable, durable natural fibers in the world” he said. “And fashion is one of the biggest polluters in the world, so it seems like you have a pretty amazing, clear solution for a very big problem.”
Today's show offers a unique look at the global hemp supply chain and a reminder that China is still the dominant player in hemp for textiles.
“The first hemp we were buying was from France. And then we were buying from Romania,” Carriera said. “But then we realized that the best hemp in the world was in China.”
China is far ahead of the rest of the world on hemp textiles, he said, because the Chinese never banned hemp the way the rest of the world did in the 20th Century. While the world lost 80 years of hemp production and development, China never skipped a beat.
Carreira said he is hopeful that one day he will be able to source his raw materials from European or American producers, thereby cutting down on manufacturing time and shipping cost.
Carreira’s grandmother Otilia, co-founder of the company, has a lifetime of experience working in the textile industry in Portugal, but Carreira said she was not at all on board with his original idea of making shoes from hemp because of the marijuana stigma around hemp.
But examining hemp fabric first hand she saw that hemp had nothing to do with drugs and was a very interesting material, full of possibilities, Carreira said.
8000 Kicks makes several lines of men's and women's shoes and boots, as well as various accessories like backpacks, hats, wallets and socks.
Carreira has offered to giveaway a pair of hemp boots to one lucky listener of the podcast. Get the details by listening to the whole show at lancasterfarming.com or by phone at 857-385-7946 or wherever you get your podcasts.
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