Ep 36. “Can you smoke your hemp t-shirt?!” Featuring, Kelly McDowell.

The ANIMA ANIMUS Podcast is on a mission to bring the conversation of sustainability to the forefront of the fashion industry. Join Chelsea and her guests in learning and growing, unravelling the issues that the fashion system has caused, both on our planet and its people. Follow us on your favourite streaming app, Apple Podcasts, Spotify or listen here now. Featured in the Top 10 UK Fashion podcasts.



Hemp for fashion: what are the pros and cons?

Introducing this week’s guest: native New Yorker, but now based in Vermont, Kelly McDowell received her Bachelors of Science from the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology in New York before working several years across several disciplines within the fashion industry.

Unfortunately, after witnessing destructive production standards on the global market, Kelly decided to leave her lucrative fashion industry job and the rush of NYC. In 2013, she landed in rural Vermont, working at Goddard College. Immersed in progressive pedagogy and activism, she began her Masters of the Arts in Social Innovation and Sustainability. Throughout her studies, Kelly designed her education and specialized her insights on natural fibre produced in Vermont. Vermont had become her home and the failing agricultural landscapes for corn and dairy enticed her innovative side to explore agricultural landscapes to promote the hemp industry.


Kelly strives to spread her vision for a more socially conscious and sustainable fashion industry by connecting directly with enthusiasts. By raising awareness for sustainable natural fibres, such as hemp, Kelly believes that we can combat the fashions industry’s negative effects.


My fav discovery from this week’s conversation is…. Did you know that hemp fibre is fire-retardant and anti-microbial?! I KNOW – crazy right. Defo tune in for this week’s insightful chat about all things hemp!


a fashion sustainability podcast by The ANIMA ANIMUS Podcast featuring Kelly McDowell talking about all things hemp for a more sustainable fashion industry.

Contact links:

Kelly’s email: kellysgreenery@gmail.com


Time-stamps and key thoughts/ ideas bought up in this episode:



3:15 – The AA Assumptions Game: are the below statements true or false?

- Hemp and cannabis are the same thing.

- If you light up a hemp t-shirt, you can smoke it.

- Hemp foods are good for your health.


9:10 – Getting to know more about Kelly: studies, work experience & advocacy.


15:15 – A brief snapshot to the history of hemp in the US.


20:50 – Innovation: Examples of countries and brands that are investing into hemp research and development.

- Some resources to check out: processing hemp, special machinery, Good On You’s material guide.


22:30 – Hemp’s potential for fashion.

- On an agricultural level, how does hemp compare to cotton?

- Differences in farming hemp compared to cotton for textile.

- Hemp fibre properties and qualities.


27:00 – Additional uses of hemp beyond fashion.


32:50 – Kelly as an educator & advocate: The importance of education.


43:45 - Challenges faced with the hemp industry right now.


It would mean the world, if you could help me make the show become more discoverable for others, by leaving a 5-Star review on Apple podcasts, or sharing the show on your social media platforms so we can all continue to keep the conversation going. Please do leave your social media handle on the review/ tag me as I'd love to connect and thank you all personally!


Thank you so much again for coming through, and until next week…

Sending you mad mad love,

Chelsea x

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