New Materials, Ondernemen

Recap Fiber Club: Hemp, the green gold | March 4th 2021

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On March the 4th, BlueCity Lab hosted it’s first (online) Fiber Club meetup about hemp. Hosts Arie Hooimeijerand Nienke Binnendijk were thrilled to e-meet many of you and hope we can use the established ideas and connections to further accelerate the hemp economy. In this blog, you’ll find a recap of the meetup and a summarizing illustration by Yara Ruby.

Hemp: a potential large player in the biocircular economy

Rene Sauveur took us on a road to collective memory lane, explaining the importance of the hemp fiber before the fossil industry took over the applications hemp was used for. The impressive amount of applications this fiber was used in went from textiles to ropes to pharmaceuticals. René currently researches whole crop valorization of the hemp plant together with some strong strategic partners such as the Biocenter from HAN (University of Applied Science Arnhem Nijmegen) and Province of Gelderland.

Biodesigner Eduarda Bastian joined us to share her research into the Romanian hemp industry. We were all amazed by the craftsmanship and the interwovenness of the production with the cultural life in Romania. The presented knowledge screams for a revitalisation of these works into the present economy. We spoke about an important threshold for getting hemp back in business: the legislation that does not make any distinction between the fiber hemp and the drugs. Note for all of us: let’s use the argument of employment and the fact that even the VS changed this legislation under the Trump administration in all conversations we have with politicians. which would be the best idea as the plants differ! Check the extensive reports that René has on his website on this matter when you want to learn more.

Next steps to take hemp back to business

One of the conversations that took place after the presentations will be followed up to establish a fashion brand that uses hemp fibers. Pablo Gropolo is working on a collective called TRAMA and René and Nienke Binnendijk are meeting up with him to see how they can combine forces. The next BlueCity Hackathon is going to be about hemp as a biocircular resource, estimated time of this hackathon is June 2021. If you’re interested in taking part of thi Hackathon, please contact lab@bluecity.nl

A picture is worth a 1000 words

Illustrator Yara Ruby created this drawing to visualize the conversations.  Check out the Romanian women working on softening the hemp fiber. And the bike from hemp biocomposites that student Michiel is working on as a graduation project. Please share this drawing wherever you can to spread the word but don’t forget to tag @yara_ruby when you do so.

Next up

Fiber Club: Flax Chain, from ground to grave on the 29th of April

Fiber Club: Cattail and reed from paludiculture on the 1st of July.

Fiber Club: Elephant grass, fast & strong fibers on the 7th of October.