Hempt. Meet the 26-year-old entrepreneurs behind the brand, Nicholas Hendrieck and Stefan De Beer.

All words by CustardXCpt

Long-time tjoms who have partnered up to create something truly magically – incorporating God’s loudest creation – the duo have produced a line of eco-friendly apparel that is making waves for all the right reasons. 

Custard – Identify yourselves.

Nick – “Yes, I am Nick, a B-com Strategic Management Student, Architectural Sales Consultant and an entrepreneur with a passion for fashion, as well as an appreciation for sustainability and cannabis culture. I’d label myself as an out-of-the-box thinker that enjoys going against the grain and inspiring others to do the same.”

Stef – “I am a person who does not like to stick to the norm, I challenge myself to new heights every day and I believe my brain is wired towards the left side as analytical and methodical approaches consume my thinking. My name is Stef and I am a Mechanical Engineer that has been hooked on hemp, as an industrial crop, ever since learning about Henry Ford and his ideas on the fiber.”

C – Where were you born and raised?

N – “Born in Cape Town, grew up in Johannesburg, moved back to the Cape in 2014.”

S – “Born in Evora, Portugal – my family moved back to South Africa when I was 6-months-old – was then raised in Johannesburg with my two older brothers and I’ve been here ever since.”

C – What is Hempt?

N – “A brand that aims to inspire a change in a holistic lifestyle and redress society in a sustainable fashion. Hempt was established to maximize the benefits of industrial hemp by featuring the fiber in our product lines. With the aim being to enlighten people regarding the benefits of the hemp fiber and its link to quality and sustainable textiles, we join passions for fashion and sustainability to produce timeless pieces encouraging you to not conform to societies norms and be comfortable with you and your passions.”

S – “Hempt is a lifestyle brand based off of hemp fibers that want to penetrate the sustainable fashion industry and educate the world about the vast uses and benefits that it has. We want to show how hemp can provide the same quality garments in the industry without having a negative impact on the environment.”

C – How did Hempt come about?

Hempt – “Two very good friends with similar interests and drive came together, joined ideas from which Hempt was born. To explain, Stefan always had an urge to go into the hemp industry due to his passion for the plant and with Nicks passion for fashion and the arts, they both decided to combine their ideologies and create a brand that WILL stand out and adapt to the 21st centuries thinking behind a greener planet.”

C – Do you believe there is a purpose for your brand in a market that is seen as oversaturated? /what is your X-factor? 

Hempt – “Yes, yes and yes! We want to provide the industry with timeless pieces with the best fiber known to mankind; who else manufactures fashionable pieces with hemp? The fashion industry is what it is, but what we are doing is far more than fashion. It’s almost like we are turning back the hands of time and starting things from scratch, bringing you minimalistic garments in the most sustainable manner possible. Further than fashion, we are an educational platform, educating our audience regarding what exactly hemp it, the opportunities and possibilities of the industry, and the impact that adoption of hemp textiles can ultimately have on society and the environment. Hemp is the original textile; we are bringing it back with a bang.”

C – What is your plan of action with regards to collaboration? Are you open to it? 

Hempt – “We are definitely open to collaboration with appropriate brands that share an aligned vision and mission. We would like to collaborate with fellow South African creatives from illustrators, writers and musicians to photographers and videographers in hopes of gaining an understanding on what keeps them moving forward; ultimately, building a platform with its own culture where we use said platform for the greater good.”

C – Besides your online store, how do you plan to take Hempt to new heights? 

Hempt – “The goal is to penetrate the streetwear culture in South Africa and to show the industry that our garments are not just clothes but pieces of art. From pop-ups to retail stock lists, the aim is to position the brand alongside the big-boys of the industry.”

C – Being local apparel based in South Africa, what are some of the difficulties you’ve faced as a brand/business?

Hempt – “As with all industries, it’s a closed nit industry, hard to navigate without experience in said industry, so sourcing the right piece to the puzzle has proven to be challenging. Not to mention, having to distinguish ourselves as an environmentally conscious and exclusive brand in an oversaturated market has been its own challenge. We are also dealing with the negative history behind hemp and its pointless connections with marijuana.”

C – Where do you see Hempt in the future? 

Hempt – “On the top of everyone’s t-shirt pile in their cupboard…(joking) we see Hempt growing key relationships in the hemp fibre supply chain in South Africa. We want Hempt to be the brand that plays a major role in the comeback of the world’s biggest industrial crop. At the end of the day, this will be an international brand that connects communities across the globe.”

C – What’s next for Nick and Stef AKA Hempt?

Hempt – “Time to bring out the clothing- essentials. We will be bringing out basic t-shirts and hoodies in our corporate index colours as well as when the time is right, collaborate with some of South Africa’s dopest illustrators in a rollout of minimalistic essential pieces.” 

Backed by Mother Nature herself, it’s only fitting to support this environmentally-conscious brand that is putting the planet first. Visit Hempt’s socials and educate yourself on the benefits of the super-fiber known as hemp and see how the world is incorporating it into just about every aspect of life. 

Check out Hempt’s latest collaborative creation with local rapper, @Lakei. (shot by @hellomarinus) (beat by @Lakei)

IG: @hemp_sa
Facebook: HemptSA
YouTube: Hempt.Official
Website: www.Hempt.co.za

South Africa, as well as the world, is going through a tremendous period of uncertainty at the moment – it is up to us, as consumers, to ensure the longevity of local-based entrepreneurs and business/brand owners by supporting them as best we can through this trying time.   

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