Owner and designer Linda Montellano Werner’s visionary hemp clothing line, ThinkSubstance, combines the art of fashion with a twist of political and cultural awareness. As a way to educate people on the many uses of the Hemp plant, a quote taken from or inspired by “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” is silk screened on the inside of every garment. Each label tells a story, making the garment unique and personal. ThinkSubstance’s mission is to change the publics perception of the hemp plant. Because of its association with the vilified word “marijuana”, Linda chose to forgo the hemp leaf as a logo. Instead, she decided to use Rodin’s iconic “Thinking Man” to illustrate a path toward opening minds – and provoking dialogue that could lead to understanding what Hemp prohibition truly means for humanity.
It all began in 2007, when Linda ordered Jack Herer’s book, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes”. Suffering from insomnia and severe panic and anxiety disorder, Linda had ordered the book thinking that she would be learning about the medicinal aspects of the Cannabis plant. But as she began reading, she realized that the author was writing about much more than medical marijuana, and that the hemp plant he was extolling had the potential to save the planet.
“The Emperor Wears No Clothes” details the history of Hemp, its potential uses, and the politics of Cannabis prohibition. The book provided a road map for reversing some of the residual stress that man had placed on the Planet. It offered a new generation of seekers a credible, well written source of previously hard to find information. Readers could learn about using hemp as a source of fuel, fiber, food and medicine. Hemp paper even had the potential to replace trees as a source plant. Enlightened and concerned about the importance of the information she had soaked up, Linda made contact with Jack Herer. In 2009 she spent several months being mentored by him, and considering ways of changing the negative perceptions of hemp. As her activism transformed into inspiration, Linda, the daughter of an accomplished seamstress, envisioned a new line of hemp clothing as her vehicle of change. Appealing to cultural creatives and forward thinkers, ThinkSubstance was conceived.
With a goal in mind, Linda started her quest. Sourcing hemp fabric to find the perfect hemp fabric blend was a huge obstacle because the available hemp fabrics were rough and burly. She realized that people wouldn’t be interested in the coarse, dull material.
Attending an Eco themed commercial textile show in Los Angeles, Linda hoped to find a new source of hemp fabric. Of the hundreds of “eco” vendors at this show, only two actually carried hemp fabric, and most of them knew little about hemp. A few top L.A. designers had experimented with hemp, but found that there were problems with shrinkage as well as fabric growth and quickly stopped using it. ThinkSubtance had also experienced some issues using 100% hemp fabric when their hemp shirts became hemp dresses within one hour at a trade show!
While researching hemp textiles from several countries currently growing and producing industrial hemp fabrics, Linda found a vendor that dealt with Chinese hemp. Linda explained, “China never prohibited commercial Hemp production, so their hemp blended fabrics are far superior to other countries. I chose a 95% hemp and 5% lycra blend for a soft fabric, versatile enough to dress up or down like something you can sleep in, get up and walk out the door looking fabulous.” The yarn is exported from a family run farm in China and knit in a manufacturing plant in Los Angeles.
Her next challenge was convincing designers that eco-minded, modern consumers would appreciate a soft, delicate fabric that ventilated and insulated better than cotton. The answers were a resounding yes, as men and women alike appreciated the superior qualities of hemp.
ThinkSubstance designs are chic, yet casual, meant to be both modern and timeless, and last for years.
What’s next for ThinkSubstance?
Linda is very excited to see new hemp fabrics on the market as more consumers become aware of the many benefits of wearing hemp. Keeping up with consumer demand, Linda is creating a new line of hemp underwear for men and women.
A hemp-based industrial transition in the U.S. could invite a more sustainable American lifestyle while also bringing jobs back to the U.S. ThinkSubstance is proud to start this trend towards hemp and to educate customers through upscale, eco-friendly, high fashion hemp clothing.”
Take a look at the complete ThinkSubstance line at their online store, Tell them Hemp.com sent you! ThinkSubstance Online Store