From "Chronic" to "Hemp" to "Gazelle Natural"
These days, using natural hemp fabric to produce clothing or footwear is cool. It was not so long ago that hemp fabric used for producing fashionable accessories was frowned on. Less that 20 years ago, in 1995, Adidas introduced their first shoe made from hemp materials. It was named the "Chronic" which is a slang term for a drug user. The shoe was renamed "hemp" when it first came to market to avoid the bad publicity of the term chronic.
That strategy failed. Former mayor of Houston, Texas, Lee P. Brown accused the Adidas footwear company of capitalizing on the drug culture. Adidas again renamed the shoe. "Gazelle Natural" was now the marketing name of the Adidas shoe that was made from hemp and resembled the basic design of the Adidas "Gazelle". The "Gazelle Natural" had the word hemp affixed to a tag on the shoe.The Adidas company has been criticized in the past for trying to capitalize on the drug market as it has been reported that their three leaf logo looks too much like a marijuana leaf.
The "Gazelle Natural" was not the only design by Adidas to use hemp material. The "Super Modified Hemp" did not reach a mass market and is a version of the "Super Modified" Adidas shoe style. One hemp shoe for Adidas that did reach a wider distribution was the "Dakota Hemp". Marketed in 2005, the "Dakota" was available through Adidas and other retailers.
Adidas was not the only shoe retailer to use natural hemp fabric in the construction of its shoes. Hemp fabric has a tensile strength that is three times that of cotton which makes it ideal for footwear design. In 2001, Converse produced an "All Star Hemp High Top" in khaki, black and olive colors and produced a hemp "Low Top", too. The Converse hemp low top was available in black and olive colors as well. Nike did not jump into the hemp game as early as Adidas but they also produce footwear that includes a snowboarding boot called "Zoom Force 1 Hemp" and an athletic sneaker called "Hemp Dunk Blue" and "Hemp Canvas Lows".
Why Shoe Companies Use Hemp Fabric
Hemp is a plant that it very easy to grow. The hemp plant requires little water and no pesticides. Once hemp is turned into a fabric the fabric is mold resistant and offers UV protection to the wearer. Natural hemp material is three time stronger than cotton. This makes hemp a natural selection for producing canvas and for constructing shoes. The natural hemp fibers blend well with other natural fabric materials like cotton and silk and these blends yield softer results than hemp fabric has on its own.
Hemp is grown in 33 countries including Canada, Russia, Europe and China. Although hemp products like oil, skin care, lip balms, fabric, paints, fuels and soaps are legal in the United States, the production and growth of hemp as a crop is not. Hemp production has been overly politicized based on the marijuana related status of the plant. it is important to note that 99.9 percent of THC, the drug in hemp, is removed before hemp is used in the production of clothing, food products or skin care. The crop is eco-friendly and underutilized in the United States. Like bamboo, hemp is easy to grow and because of its long root systems helps to retain topsoil and valuable nutrients in the soil. Hemp plants get a poor rap because of feelings towards marijuana. The drug correlation should be thrown aside for hemp is a valuable commodity.
Canadian farmers grow hemp as a crop. Canadian farmers get paid $80 per hectare for hemp plants. Farmers who grow grain in the United States earn $8 per hectare for their efforts. Allowing hemp production in the United States could help to revive the farming industry since hemp products are a consumer demand.
For more information regarding the natural health benefits of hemp and its products visit Mister Kemp's Hemp online.
- Pretty Miss Vintage - A Plethora of Collectibles
If it is vintage and collectible you will want to know about it. Vintage items are reviewed, discussed, defined, and displayed just for you! Vintage is hot. You won't miss a vintage beat with Pretty Miss Vintage.
- Mister Kemp's Hemp
Use Mister Kemp's Hemp to learn everything there is to know about hemp and natural hemp skin care, clothing and remedies.
Corey (author) from Northfield, MA on March 10, 2014:
Try ebay for vintage Adidas Gazelles
lewdog on February 25, 2014:
Where can I get a pair??
Paul Fisher from United Kingdom on February 06, 2014:
These are cool!
xxx on July 09, 2012:
Corey (author) from Northfield, MA on June 08, 2012:
Thanks for liking this hub. I read yours, too, and found the story to be really amazing. I knew parts of it but not all. Will link your hub.
somethgblue from Shelbyville, Tennessee on June 03, 2012:
If you have not read my article on Hemp titled Did the Illegal Criminalization of Marijuana Lead to the Downfall of America you should. https://discover.hubpages.com/education/Did-The-Il...
And feel free to link this hub to it, as this article is shows why it was made illegal in 1937.
Great Hub thanks for writing it.