Who we are
The Hemp Collective is a group of motivated entrepreneurs, united in their ambition to promote hemp as the ultimate sustainable material. Because it has possible applications in several fields of industry, we cannot ignore it’s high potential any longer. At this moment, hemp is not being used to its fullest potential and we want to make sure that it will. Hemp is sustainable: you don’t need to use any pesticides or fertiliser and it grows very fast. It is very strong and resilient and grows on almost every type of soil. It also cleanses and enriches the soil it is planted in, so it can serve perfectly as a rotational crop. It is actually CO2 negative, which means it absorbs CO2 (four times as much as trees) and continues to do so even after it has been processed into building material (for forty years). It is a high-quality product: it is lighter and stronger than conventional concrete. It can also serve as an alternative to high-quality plastics in car factories, healthy food source, for medicinal purposes, or as textiles for clot
hing. And when used, it is completely biodegradable.
What we do
We want to make the qualities of hemp tangible, by demonstrating products. We want to show the audience it is an easy material to use, accessible to anyone. That’s why we are building a house out of HempCal, a kind of concrete made out of the woody core of the plant. At the moment, these cores are mostly used as bedding material for stables, while it could serve perfectly well as a building material. The pavilion is produced by Dun Agro, the biggest hemp processor in the Netherlands. Dun Agro is the creator of HempCal, which they process into walls through an innovative technique.
To make the HempCal, the stem is pulverised, mixed with chalk and water, and then pressed into casts to form prefab walls, which we use for our pavilion. The exterior walls will be finished with various other bio-based materials, while the interior walls will, on campus, be finished with clay plaster. In our pavilion, we will showcase several hemp consumer products, like furniture, clothing, food (hemp burgers and smoothies) and medicine (hemp oil). We will also show the raw material, the pulp and the fibre, for people to see and feel. Furthermore, we will do presentations and workshops on crafts like twining rope and drywalling with clay. On the outside we will place planters, to show how fast the hemp grows: almost four metres in three months time.
Why we are here
We were already doing meet-ups at Pakhuis de Zwijger and other locations to raise awareness about the potential of hemp. We’re also present at conferences and we try to be the missing link between new initiatives and the existing industries. Projects like FabCity give us the opportunity to make our product tangible and address new audiences. Together with Dun Agro we are showing the public the diverse qualities of hemp as a building material.
What we want
We hope to inform and connect people and show it is possible to use better and healthier products, which are already available. We don’t want to sell but tell a story people can believe in. We want to get rid of the negative image still surrounding hemp, because of its association with marijuana. And we want to collaborate with people who have ideas on processing the hemp – which is still quite expensive. Together we want to bring hemp back in business!