Hemp might be the world’s most misunderstood fabric.
For local business-owner Mark Baron, hemp represents everything he believes in. Here are four reasons he thinks hemp is the perfect fabric for residents of Revelstoke:
1. Durable and Anti-bacterial
Hemp fabric is strong and lightweight. “It lasts a lot longer than cotton products,” says Baron. That means it’s perfect for a Revelstoke adventure, and you can rely on it to last longer than your current threads. It’s also naturally anti-bacterial, so if you’re wearing it three-days-straight on a backcountry adventure, it’s less likely to stink. Not only that, but it’s moisture-wicking and UV-resistant to give you a boost when you’re out in the elements.
You’ve probably heard of farm to table, but have you ever thought about farm to fabric? Until now it hasn’t been possible for Canadians to wear homegrown fabrics because our short growing season and lack of infrastructure make cotton and polyester a challenge. Long-grain hemp is perfectly suited to Canada’s climate, and Baron has been talking to farmers who are keen to get involved. In 5-10 years, he hopes advances in the supply-chain will make his farm to fabric dreams come true. “Canadians should be wearing Canadian-grown clothing.”
3. Environmentally Friendly
Any good Revelstoke citizen hopes to help more than harm. Hemp uses less water and less pesticides than cotton. It also creates less waste, since unlike cotton every part of the plant is used. “Hemp is also easier to grow, with 2-3 crops per season,” says Baron.
4. Fine-tuned for Revelstoke
Whatever project Baron’s cooking up, he works with people in town to develop products that match the Revelstoke lifestyle.
“We got the hemp line out to retailers about 2 years ago,” he says. Since then they’ve treated it like a mini research and development project, making minor changes and perfecting the design. This fall they’re releasing a wholesale hemp clothing line —the first in Canada on this scale, based right here in Revelstoke. It’s available for Integrated Apparel orders as well, so local businesses and sports teams can get their logos placed on some sweet hemp gear.
Bridging Gaps, Building Community
Through everything he does, Baron has one goal: “I want to help Revelstoke be the best it can be.”
A lot of that happens through the Revelstoke Trading Post, the storefront downtown that serves as the public face for all of Baron’s projects.
There’s also the Revelstoke Mountain Movie Festival, an annual 3-night outdoor event that brings together sports that are often kept separate.
“I’m happy to be the logistics guy, inviting different communities to talk about their passions.”