Because the crop could be mistaken for the illegal variety of hemp, we have to keep our supplier’s location and identity top secret. However, we can tell you that our farmers carefully nurture their hemp crops in a uniquely beautiful and confidential location in France. We began working with the co-operative of 300 farmers in France that supply our Community Trade hemp oil in 2014 and ever since they have displayed true innovation and dedication to cultivating crops in a way that enriches the biodiversity of the local environment.
Hemp is one of the oldest crops in the world, cultivated in Europe and Asia for food, for its oil and for medicinal purposes. Since 1992 we’ve pioneered hemp as a lead ingredient in our products. Although our Community Trade hemp is the same species that is used to produce the drug cannabis, we use the non-psychoactive variety of hemp called cannabis sativa, which produces a beautifully rich hydrating oil. Because the crop could be mistaken for the illegal variety of hemp, we have to keep our supplier’s location and identity top secret. However, we can tell you that our farmers carefully nurture their hemp crops in a uniquely beautiful and confidential location in France.
Four times more effective at capturing CO2 than trees, and resistant to plant pests, it is providing a habitat for wildlife. The farmers in our Community Trade co-operative sow the hemp seeds in the fields in late spring. After 55 days the hemp plants blossom and when the seeds are ripe, they are harvested, dried and cleaned. These seeds are then cold-pressed to release the richly hydrating oil within.
Not only does hemp provide us with the wonderfully hydrating oil we use in our cosmetics and Hemp range, it also helps to support biodiversity in the local environment. Four times more effective at capturing CO2 than trees, hemp fields provide a welcome habitat for a host of wildlife from birds to spiders.
Hemp is known as a ‘miracle’ crop because it helps to structure the soil, its often used to regenerate the land between food crops (while not taking it out of food production). It also helps to clear the ground of unwanted plants as it grows at a remarkable rate that weeds can’t compete with!
Over 25,000 things can be made from industrial hemp and our Community Trade farmers use every part of the plant from the shiv which is used to make animal litter to the fibre used in the production of specialist paper. By using the entire crop and ensuring that the hemp we use is grown in an eco-friendly way without the use of agrochemicals, less waste is created which helps to reduce the farmer’s carbon footprint.
The Body Shop hemp growing beautifully in the UK sunshine
We were one of the first customers to buy hemp from this co-operative of family famers. Our trade pioneered the use of hemp in beauty products.
Hemp is a remarkably versatile plant. Traditionally, hemp was used to make ropes for sailing ships. More recently, fashion designers have used hemp fibres to make clothes. Hemp seed can be used to make oil for beauty products as with our Hemp skincare range. And hemp can also be used to make loft insulation.
Growing hemp is a boon for hard-pressed farmers. It grows quickly and the farmers don't spray the crop with pesticide. Which is cheaper for them and kinder to the environment.