Byron Bay fashion brand Afends is planning to grow its own hemp with the purchase of a 40-hectare property on the Tweed coast.
The company, which was started 15 years ago by co-founders Declan Wise and Jonathan Salfield, has been using hemp in its clothing for some time, with more than 60% of its current range including hemp fibre.
With the purchase of the new property at Sleepy Hollow, Pottsville, it now plans to grow its own.
Wise told The Daily Telegraph: “We started thinking about growing our own hemp about two years ago. The plants will go in this October, and growing fibre is quite fast, takes about four months, so we are expecting the first crop in early 2022. We could have garments made with hemp grown at Sleepy Hollow by October next year.”
The company has partnered with Hemp Fields Australia to farm the hemp and the fibre will then be shipped to China to produce jeans, shirts, board shorts and other garments.
Wise said customers “love the shirts” because they are comfortable, let a lot of air through, and never get mouldy, even in humid conditions like the Northern Rivers.
However, Salfield added they also need to be fashionable.
“A lot of the time hemp garments I’ve seen out there are quite plain and basic, the fit is very generic, while we are keeping up with the trends as well as making a sustainable item,” he said.