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Lisa Benjamin in one of 
her hemp fabric creations
     

This profile appeared 
in Hemphasis v.1.02 
(Fall 2004)


Hemp Elegance

by Krista Mikulski

It seems that once a person is informed and educated about hemp, that person doesn't just wish to be a hemp consumer, but actually gets involved in the hemp "movement." Such is the case with Lisa Benjamin.

A holistic lifestyle, including being a professional gourmet vegetarian and raw food chef and natural-fabric clothing buyer, led Lisa to discover industrial hemp. It is now a passion for her. She declares, "I believe that hemp is the world's greatest renewable resource and I'll do anything within my power to help create that link into the future."

Lisa founded "Hemp Elegance" to design and sell practical elegant clothing made from hemp and hemp blends including coats, hemp/silk pajamas, tops, hats and also a variety of dining accessories including placemat sets, napkins and coasters.

Why did she decide to use hemp? One would reason that less-costly cotton fabrics would grant her a better bottom line, but Lisa concludes, "When comparing hemp to cotton from an earth friendly perspective, there is no contest. Would you choose a fabric from a plant that uses up to 50% of all the chemical pesticides produced in the U.S. or a fabric from a plant that is naturally pest resistant, sustainable, multi-purpose and reduces soil erosion?"

The results of Lisa's work are stylish, functional and comfortable. "Depending upon the weave and the blend of the fabric, hemp can be amazingly comfortable and versatile enough for all of life's occasions," she explains. As for the dining accessories, "Not only are these classic textiles rustically beautiful, but the wash-ability and durability factor is a blessing to any household choosing sustainable lifestyle practices."

What of the wash-ability? Hemp is as easy to care for as any cotton garment. Lisa recommends a cold-water wash, gentle cycle, with eco-safe detergent, and lay flat or line dry to ensure the look and integrity of Hemp Elegance products.

The future of hemp in the clothing and textile industries is promising. Lisa feels that "not only do hemp fabrics fill all the criteria for the important practical elements for clothing like comfort, breathe-ability, durability, accessibility, dye ability, etcetera, the processing techniques for beautiful and fine weaves and blends have opened up an abundance of possibilities for the world of fashion."


Lisa Benjamin in self-designed hemp cocktail dress

Hemp Elegance has several new products in development, such as coats and jackets, jeans and cargo pants and new designs for Hemp Elegance nightwear.

Of course, Lisa, like most people who have become acquainted with hemp, uses hemp products in many ways daily. "Not only do I wear hemp, I nourish my body with this perfect food (hemp seed and hemp oil) and keep my skin vibrant and healthy using hemp oil in the shower."

What she would like consumers to understand is, "I am so completely passionate about hemp, the plant that, if given a chance, will give itself to humanity for building a bridge into the future, and will pave the long road ahead, a road our children can stand on to create what was once lost to our world--balance. There are facts and information available concerning renewing the environment with industrial hemp and I encourage everyone to become educated."

Reading this magazine has put you on the road to the enlightenment Lisa speaks of. Perhaps once you've educated yourself about the truth behind industrial hemp, you too will find yourself becoming part of the "movement!"


Shop at Hemp Elegance by visiting HempElegance.com or contact:

Lisa Benjamin
8019 Argyle Ave. NE
Albuquerque NM 87109
(505)-858-3296



Krista Mikulski has been involved with the promotion of industrial hemp since 2000 when she started "BabyKicks" a hemp cloth diaper company. She is currently working on expanding BabyKicks to offer additional hemp products for babies. Krista also has more expansive hemp business endeavors in the works, revolving around her belief that the key to realizing the true potential of hemp in our society is by educating the consumer.

The fashions pictured below were all created by Lisa Benjamin.
Hemp elegance, indeed.

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