AHR 22: Can Industrial Hemp and Craftsmanship Change the World with Blake Ward
According to the SSA (Self Storage Association), the United States has upward of 50,000 storage facilities, more than five times the number of Starbucks. Right now, at this very moment, there are 7.3 square feet of self storage space for every man, woman and child in the nation. That means that it is physically possible to have every American stand—all at the same time—under the total canopy of self storage roofing.
But what does that mean?
That means that we, as Americans, are consuming so much stuff that we literally don't know what to do with it all, other than throw it into a dark room to be forgotten or sold to people who want more stuff.
And if that's not enough, check these statistics out:
- The average American throws away 65 pounds of clothing per year (Huffington Post).
The average American woman owns 30 outfits—one for every day of the month. In 1930, that figure was nine (Forbes).
The average American family spends $1,700 on clothes annually (Forbes).
[STAT CREDIT (and full article): http://www.becomingminimalist.com/clutter-stats/]
Again, this is telling me that we, as a consumerist culture, have gone ape shit. Instead of hunting and foraging, we're spending and buying.
What happened to creating something from nothing? Using your hands. Getting dirty. Making mistakes and figuring stuff out for yourself?
That's why I'm so excited to have Blake Ward of the Seed store to join me on today's episode of Ancestral Health Radio to discuss the art of working with your hands, of craftsmanship. This, tribe, is the beginning of a series called "The Maker Series."
No; it won't all be linear. Next week won't feature some badass blacksmith (although, if you know someone who might fit the bill, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org).
But I will be featuring people who have dedicated their life to working with their hands to create something that transcends their brand and ushers in a time where people are respected for creating small-batch goods and services.
I'm calling not just American's out, but everyone: What do you create that adds value to your tribe?
In today’s episode, you’ll learn…
The difference between cannabis and industrial hemp,
How to foster creativity and reciprocity through what Blake calls "collaborative economy",
Practical tips and personal insight on how to become a maker, and…
Much, much more.
- The frustration that caused Blake to buy a sewing machine and begin Seed
Blake and I recap the horrors of the Rana Plaza disaster and the unfair labor practices in third world countries
Why certain manufacturers install bars on windows of multilevel buildings
Blake tells of future plans moving forward with Seed
Blake discusses how "community made clothing" can shine a light on textile waste
What's the difference between marijuana and industrial hemp?
The benefits of hemp fabric and its the similarities hemp has to its animal fiber cousin—merino wool
Why Blake believes it's the producers and makers that change the world, not the consumers
How to foster creativity and reciprocity through what Blake calls a "collaborative economy"
The common mistake that held Blake back five years before finally starting Seed (I struggle with this, too)
The course Blake took three times a week that dramatically improved his sewing skills
The juxtaposition of the workers in Blake's manufacturing facility versus the nightmarish labor conditions in India (this is what you really pay for)
The missing elements in yoga, mountain, and athletic apparel that led to the design of Seed's most popular piece of clothing—the antidote pant
How Vibram Five Fingers are similar to Seed's antidote pant
Why there is a Sri Yantra on every pair of sacred seed collection antidote pants
Blake gives his best piece of advice towards becoming a maker
- “How did you get into sewing?"
"How did you come up with that design?"
"Other than the materials out there, what are some of the other problems you see with the regular industrialized commercial makeup of clothing?"
"Can you tell us what you have planned for Seed?"
"How difficult is it to actually manufacture your own products?"
"Can we just talk about hemp and the many benefits that it has?"
"Do you practice holistic hygiene?"
"What are some of the challenges for people who are looking to make this transition into a more natural wardrobe or looking for more natural fibers to clothe themselves with?"
"Can you give some tips or advice for someone who doesn't have any knowledge or experience with sewing whatsoever?"
"What went into the design of your pants?"
"So, this sacred geometry... Why did you choose it, exactly?"
"If you could offer your best advice for someone who wants to get into sewing and wants to become a creator and a maker and start really truly becoming a craftsman or woman themselves, how do you believe someone should go about doing that?"
"The onus is on producers to change the world, not consumers." — Blake Ward
Blake Ward set out to make the best clothing on the planet from day one. This meant, it had to 1. be made local, 2. come from natural fibers, 3. be ultra comfy, and 4. actually look great (rare for natural clothing!).
Blake took the best fabrics on earth, and studied the foremost design and construction methods. This was Seed’s secret sauce from the very start - the way Blake had somebody stop in their tracks the moment they saw or touched a Seed garment. “Wow! What is thiiiiis?” became the first words uttered so many times as their eyes opened wide and they tugged on their friends to come see what just took their breath away.
Seed's mission is to cause chills down your spine every morning that you walk into the closet, and pull Seed over your body. Seed exists to ignite human souls through clothing that jumps off the radar with fit and comfort brilliance.
By leading the way in local hemp manufacturing, “crop to top” (as Seed calls it), they have created a fun way for people to join their movement toward 2020. Seed's mission: All Seed clothing from local hemp crops in 2020. Seed’s way of life is local to the bone. Because what’s more communal than growing clothing together right in your own black dirt? From crop to top in Calgary, Alberta.
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Remember: Without you, none of this would be possible.