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January 20, 2013

Eco-friendly fashion: Made in Vermont

(Continued)

She got married to her mechanic/husband, Evan, right after graduation. He remained in New York, while she found a job to convince him to join her in the Green Mountain state. She discovered designing knitwear hats for Turtle Fur was not her forte. An hour in the other direction, she was hired as an associate children’s designer at Garnet Hill, a retailer of bedding and women’s and children’s clothing, in Franconia, N.H.

“I got a $10,000 raise immediately,” she said.

She and her husband lived in a little log cabin on 92 acres with no water, no utilities and no nothing. It took seven years to have electricity and indoor plumbing.

Once she was on the grid, she resumed making her Earth Bitch jackets. She’s made natural-fibers clothing since 1999.

SENDING MESSAGE

“Earth Bitch was really my philosophy; to make clothing not only sustainable but (clothing that) sent a message. You’re wearing something on your back that educates people about what is going on in environmental protection. The Butterfly jacket was sexy and beautiful. It was all extinct or endangered butterflies. People said, ‘I didn’t know butterflies were endangered.’ My purpose is to educate people about endangered species and hemp,” Scheidet said. 

“This plant was grown all over the U.S. It was made illegal. Growing this plant in America again, we could save thousands of acres of trees and use it to make paper and food. It’s a crime it’s illegal to grow it in America. The minute it’s legal, I’m growing it on my property.”

She follows in the presidential footsteps of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who grew hemp as a cash crop, as did many farmers of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

“The first draft of the constitution was written on hemp paper. People went on a reefer-madness movement and made it illegal. It’s grown everywhere in the world but the U.S.,” she said.

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