Every month, Goodmoods investigates a material in the air of time, with Plendi by Vinci Construction, which juggles with rare materials and singular know-how for its exceptional achievements.
After algae and mushrooms, hemp is back. Formerly associated with cannabis, it is now re-deploying its green fibers in the creative world, re-enchanted by a horde of designers and textile creators on the lookout for innovative and bio-sourced materials.
Its seeds, rich in fatty acids, proteins and vitamins, are much sought after in the food industry. Its oil, nourishing and regenerating, is sought after in the beauty industry. And its fiber, resistant, flexible, light, insulating and biodegradable, is more than appreciated in the textile industry, construction and design. In short, hemp is an inexhaustible resource. A choice more than shared by contemporary designers, Philipp Hainke, Yasmin Bawa and Romy Di Donato in the lead, as well as by the big names in fashion. Decoding this material far from being a bad seed.
Hemp sows its seeds in the decoration
Used for ages by Man for its infinite virtues, hemp is now back in the limelight, cultivated in abundance by the new creatives. Requiring little water, pesticides or other harmful products, and adapted to all climates and types of soil, it is indeed the material in vogue for making objects. Belgian industrial designer Romy Di Donato, who advocates for a rational consumption of textiles, explains it in the latest episode of the french podcastOù est le beau ?. With it, hemp fiber finds a second life in wall canvases, acoustic panels, minimalist and singular trays and cubbies.
A virtuous alternative to concrete
In furniture and construction, hemp fibers are also very popular to replace concrete. In this movement, the artist and designer of objects Yasmin Bawa sculpts hemp like no one else. She creates vases, pots, side tables with a mixture of hemp, clay and lime, which does not need to be fired in a kiln. She says, "After I started working with concrete, I didn't feel comfortable with its toxicity and impact. One day, I discovered a house made of hemp concrete and I immediately felt connected to this material, excited by its incredible properties. A story of strength, renewal and versatility that anchors design in sustainability.
Chairs with a green touch
The entire design world is having fun reinventing hemp fiber. The Berlin-based industrial designer Philipp Hainke makes ultra-light, flexible and durable chair backs from the plant and organic binder. He uses an adhesive made of calcium hydroxide and casein that presses the hemp fibers into a solid shape, then attaches the back to a rattan frame. A process that is both archaic and ultra modern.
Fashion is growing thanks to the green
Fashion is gradually following the movement and young sustainable labels are turning away from synthetic fibers in favor of hemp, new linen. Designers are attracted by the assumed simplicity and arty character of these materials. They seize it for a minimalist and rebellious aesthetic with straight and oversized suits at Asceno, St Agni, Mara Hoffman, or Jacquemus.
A thousand and one colors of hemp
Le jeune label Couleur Chanvre even develops hemp gauze, a transparent and light fabric like a veil, colored with their 0% certified ecological dye made with only three natural pigments. This unique process banishes from the dyeing and finishing phase all the toxic, endocrine disrupting, allergenic or irritating primers and finishing chemicals used in almost all textile industries. A bold and committed approach that aims to cut the ground from under the coalition of synthetic textiles and cotton and thus revive the thousand-year-old fiber of hemp in France and Europe.