A Conversation with Rob Jungmann: The Vision of Hemp
Juniper Ridge teamed up with longtime friend, Rob Jungmann, owner and founder of Jungmaven to produce a tee-shirt dyed with desert plants. Jungmaven is a brand of shirts, dresses, sweatshirts and other pieces of hemp knitwear. Their goal? “Everyone in a hemp Tee by 2020”. When asked about this quasi-political statement, and the history of the hemp industry, Rob gave some pretty great answers.
Rob opened Jungmaven, named as a play on words between his name and the raven, the symbol from his previous company and a character is one of his favorite books, in 2005. “I was reading the book The Tipping Point, at the time, the raven is the trendsetter in the book, I thought the synergy was perfect.
Rob is out to change the way we think about tee-shirts. “Hemp is a great plant. Hemp eats up massive amounts of greenhouse gasses, and it’s naturally pest and drought resistant, unlike Cotton, which is the opposite. Places like Arizona and California where cotton is being grown and exported, well, they may as well be exporting our water. Furthermore, we could stop clearcutting these forests in Washington State and across the west if we started growing industrial hemp.” Blame the Hearst legacy for making hemp illegal to grow for industry. “Oh Yeah,” Rob gets animated “in the 30’s there was a lot of yellow journalism, down right lies to protect capital interests and turn newspaper, for instance, from a hemp based industry to a wood pulp based business.”
When asked about the sourcing of his hemp, Rob is remiss to report: “China. I have to go through China. Hemp knitwear is not produced on an industrial scale in the domestic market. It is my mission though, that by 2020, it will be legal, and by then everyone will be wearing a Jungmaven shirt anyway.”