As a Portuguese-American company, 8000Kicks is breaking boundaries with their latest sustainable hemp fashion, focusing on 100% hemp shoes and accessories for men and women. In 2017, Bernardo Carreira, CEO and co-founder of 8000Kicks, was living in Portugal with the inspiration to start a new project…but he didn’t know what.
One night, after a few beers and drinks with friends, someone jokingly mentioned the idea of making a shoe that you could smoke. Even though 5 am was kind of a delusional idea, Carreira took the concept and ran with it. After all, she had seen bags and purses made from hemp or hemp fiber before.
She reached out to her grandmother, Otilia, who had more than 50 years of experience working in the textile industry. Surprisingly, he was on board with the idea, and they actively worked with global suppliers the following year to create the first waterproof hemp shoe; an innovation that changed the casual, sustainable footwear category forever. While 8000Kicks shoes don’t have to be smoking, they’re designed for maximum comfort, durability, breathability and eco-friendly style with every step.
fueled by cannabis
Considered the “sober cousin” of hemp, the hemp plant has been used in many ancient cultures for its versatility and potency. Hemp is antibacterial and antimicrobial in nature, requires no fertilizers and minimal water to grow, and is often sought after for its clean and pure compounds. Its minimal amount of psychoactive ingredients makes industrial hemp and hemp production legal in the US under the Farm Bill of 2018, and it also remains a legal plant and substance used around the world.
Realizing the power of hemp, 8000Kicks set out to pioneer hemp footwear and accessories with the main goal of reclaiming this powerful natural fiber and changing any stigma around it. And it’s safe to say they’re making progress. The design and production team at 8000Kicks initially spent months traveling the world searching for the right growers to source the star ingredient of their eco-friendly clothing line. As a result, they found a quality hemp supplier and created a premium fabric that is not only strong, flexible and durable, but also splash and dust resistant.
Let’s take a quick look at what the process looks like from the hemp fields to the final product.
- Collect hemp plants. To make this hemp fabric, the process begins with the harvesting of hemp plants using a specially designed machine.
- Transformation. The fibers are separated from the stem and bark of the plant, then left to rest in the field for 4-6 weeks. To soak is to soak something, such as hemp, in a liquid or subject to moisture to loosen the fibers from the wood texture. Essentially, you are partially rotting the plant to extract the fibers needed for production.
- Carding Into Strands. Once the fibers are delicately separated, the fiber is then plucked from the input strands and cleaned to remove any impurities from the plant.
- Pulping, Matting or SteamDepending on the specific product being produced, the strands are then cracked, matted, or steamed to transform the raw hemp fabric into a woven fiber.
- Weaving in fabric. After the hemp fabric has been softened and woven, it is ready to be spun into yarn and woven into the desired textile.
So there you have it: a premium fabric made entirely from hemp. And 8000Kicks luckily hits the fashion mark too. You can feel as good as you look when wearing this brand.
Designed with the eco-hemp consumer in mind, 8000Kicks takes their sustainable hemp footwear and accessories even further, defining their 360º approach to carbon conscious apparel. In addition to providing consumers with superior eco-friendly footwear solutions, the brand also considers its own carbon footprint and that of its partners. They also work to provide essential workers with comfortable and durable hemp shoes. It’s more than just coming out with environmentally friendly products; it’s about working together and encouraging every touchpoint to make greener, plant-friendly choices.
Increasing 8000Kicks’ own carbon footprint, the brand works with global factory partners to continuously improve and increase their reliance on renewable energy sources. Its Portuguese plant uses 45%-55% of clean energy sources, and their China plant contributes 30%-40% to clean energy. This effort is factored into every step of the hemp production process, including raw material calculation, plant construction, and even transportation.
In addition, the global hemp brand is invested in the CO2 sequestration of hemp farms and tree planting. Each new tree planted by 8000 Kicks will remove an average of 50 kilograms of CO2 from the atmosphere per year over 20-50 years. In total, the average pair of running shoes uses about 14 kg of CO2 to produce. 8000Kicks has managed to reduce that amount to 4.1 kg of CO2 per hemp shoe that the brand produces.
While hemp footwear is known for 8000Kicks, the brand also offers a wide range of accessories made from the same premium hemp fiber. From belts and laptop cases to backpacks and wallets, the line offers stylish and useful pieces that are sure to enhance any lifestyle. With the same waterproof and dustproof properties as boots, these travel pieces will last for years and are easy to clean.
Oh yeah, and about the smoking shoe idea. Well, Berairdo was working on it too. In partnership with Royal Queen Seeds, 8000Kicks has released an exclusive 100 pair of Weedo shoes made entirely from real CBD flower. A first in another world. We can’t wait to see what’s next!
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Image Source : cannabisnow.com