The Early Days - Ethical Basics Clothing from Hemp

After 'the awakening' the stage was set for something big, and now… two collections later, with a degree under my belt, I was torn on what to do next. I knew I had a dream to open a hemp apparel label and make hemp accessible for New Zealanders, but everyone knows you need money to make money. So I planned something out that would help me get to my end goal eventually, without doing something I hate. I decided to do a Graduate Diploma in Marketing and Sales, as I had always enjoyed this side of my degree but had never learnt much on the topic. I looked for brands that aligned with my morals and ethics. I had written a list of designers I would be happy to work for, hoping to get into marketing and learn the ropes and earn some money so I could eventually start my own.

Half way through 2018 I was doing well in my Diploma and feeling optimistic about what the future could hold, when I got a DM from the Beefy Green boys, who at that time were the company I brought my hemp protein from. They were looking to start an apparel brand using hemp as they were baffled at the lack of hemp that was accessible and wanted to kit themselves out and others around them, but didn’t have the experience or knowledge about clothing.

I moved home to Christchurch two weeks later to start working with them! I renovated my parents shed out the back and turned it into a fully functioning studio.

I was now juggling starting a business with two guys I hardly knew (which was about to change, as we brought flights to the World Hemp Summit in Kathmandu), and finishing my graduate diploma. Well... that didn’t work as every time I worked on my diploma all I could think was, “I am doing this to get a job, to get money, to start my hemp business”, but now I had the support to do this without the first 2 steps, so I dropped out of my diploma about a month into planning for OGC. My dream was becoming a reality so fast and it was overwhelming.

Six months later we have created Original Canvas Hemp Apparel and launched at Burning Horse Festival on February 8th 2019.

Looking back I was actually crazy - no money and not much of an idea in regards to starting a business. But I was passionate about what we were creating and so were the guys. For the first time in my life I actually saw how my future could look. I was always so up in the air, “we will just see what tomorrow holds, everything will work out.” A common question being, “what are you going to do when you graduate?” My answer was always, “ask me in a year”. Now when I’m asked “what are you doing with yourself Eden?” I can say, I have created my own business alongside Brad Lake and Brendon McIntosh, to change the world and build New Zealand’s hemp industry. Apparel is just the start of our overall dreams. Every day a new idea is formed, another reason to motivate us more. We will grow New Zealand’s hempire, and change the way people see the fashion and health industry surrounding food and disease. To educate one friend is something amazing (if you know me you know hemp is something that is very much apart of my everyday life), but for us to form a platform to educate hundreds, now that is a goal worth striving for!

To see how far OGC has come in half a year makes it bloody thrilling and I can’t wait to see what the next six months has to offer.

First published February 03, 2019