From EnviroTextiles about the hemp textiles OG, Barbara Filippone:
“June is Hemp History Month, and we celebrate one of the greatest natural fiber experts in the world. Barbara Filippone was a famous fashion designer working with natural fibers in India back in the 1980’s. Her infamous multimillion dollar design on launch was the “Godey skirt” collection, honoring an antique fashion with new age style.
Although working in factory conditions that were not acceptable, she began a walkout to insist conditions be better and that part of the profits went back to the workers. Very long story short, she had her passport taken and was escorted to the airport.
Arriving back to the US she informed her Magic Apparel Show colleagues of the situation and never went back. At this show she met 3 David’s whom had discovered Hmong Tribe Hemp while traveling and had no idea how to design with it. They hired Barbara and created the first high-end hemp fashion line. This began a Hemp fiber revolution, being head-hunted to go to Romania and rebuild the factories and standardize Eastern EU Hemp, yarns and fabrics. Creating more finished products collections like Ecolution and even opening the 3rd Hemp Retail location in the US to help sell the products.
Back then, there were not a lot of buyers giving hemp a chance. Within only a couple years Barb received the first million dollar order for Hemp and went on the quest to make sure it could be done. When is went to China they had only developed 1-2 fabrics for their military’s use and the Chinese were so happy to have their ancient fiber standardized they named the first grading system “Bawa 1, 2, 3“ etc for Barbara!
Barb’s commitment, drive, sacrifice and integrity may have come from a long line of natural fiber lineage, but her dedication, passion and principles come “second to none”.
Thank you for honoring Hemp fiber in the way nature intended, and giving the world the opportunity to create with the best!
You are the true leader and pioneer and your work has laid the way for a sustainable future for all.
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