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Hemp Clothing Boutique Opens Soon

Herb Fellow

New Member
Tim Shea didn't move to Bellingham to start a business, but sometimes an idea grabs a person and won't let go.

Shea is in the process of opening The Hempest, a clothing store with products made primarily of hemp, at 1307 Cornwall Ave. He's hoping to open sometime this week. Store hours will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Along with clothes, he will sell lotion and twine made primarily from hemp.

Shea came to Bellingham from Vermont last summer because he had heard good things about the community. He was surprised at how little hemp clothing was available in the area. He talked to two apparel producers, Hempest and Nibus, and decided to stock a store downtown and see how things go.

While some of the clothing is casual, he said he also will have a line of clothing people can wear at four-star restaurants. Looking at the products online ( Hemp Clothing), there does seem to be a wide range from casual to more upscale. "I consider this a clothing boutique store and I wanted to make sure it didn't overlap with the other great boutique stores along Cornwall and in the downtown area," said Shea, 23. "These are products you don't see on the West Coast."

For thousands of years hemp has been useful in making clothing. Shea said that's because it tends to be stronger than cotton fibers, needs less land to produce the same amount as cotton, and has fewer chemicals in it because hemp doesn't need much herbicides to thrive.

As a business, Shea believes it should fit in well with Bellingham.

"This community strongly believes in sustainability, and hemp products are ideal in this way," Shea said.

Source: Bellingham Herald
Copyright: 2007 Bellingham Herald
Contact: Dave Gallagher, Bellingham Herald
Website: The Bellingham Herald / Business / Hemp clothing boutique opens soon
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