Review by Laura Morgan
When I was younger I wanted to be a hippy, we took family trips to Byron Bay and I saw people walking on tightropes between trees on the beach while juggling and the whole concept was foreign to me, and I wanted to be like them. I thought to change the world you just had to look like that, so I stopped washing my hair and bought hemp clothing that was uncomfortable and gave me a rash and that was about the extent of it, I stopped trying to be that, and became the person I was meant to be; a feminist, an activist, someone who cares about the environment and someone who likes to dress well, and buy local ethical brands, also, I became a mum, so most of that is on the backburner while I think about what puree I’ll be making next and which breastfeeding friendly outfit has the least amount of the aforementioned pureed concoction on it.
The Hemp Temple is a label based in Byron Bay, started by a woman who probably doesn’t tightrope on the beach while juggling to show her ethics but does make beautiful, sustainable clothing from the softest hemp that will last a lifetime. Simple, timeless pieces that are affordable. Clothes like this will change the world, women like this will change the world.
I received The Willow dress by The Hemp Temple and put it away because 1: where the hell am I going that I need to put a dress on and 2: no buttons, can’t breastfeed in it. A few weeks later I decided to try it on, my skin getting ready to be ripped to shreds by scratchy hemp, but it wasn’t. This hemp was softer than cotton, it was so comfortable, I don’t care that I have nowhere to go, I’m wearing this dream at home. Then my baby wakes up, and needs to feed, and I go to take the dress off and then realise the straps are stretchy and soft and I pull down the top and flop a boob out and there you go, a fancy pretty buttonless breastfeeding friendly dress. When things like this happen to a new mum you don’t just feel like you’re wearing a dress that serves a purpose, you feel welcomed and that things are made for you too, the world is also yours to exist in and not hide away and you should just go out in that dress, flop that boob about, who cares that you only have the children’s museum to go to, you can look gorgeous there too. You can be a feminist and feminine and a mother and tired and wear the dress you want to wear, wherever.
There’s a quote on the tag, the beautiful-definitely-must-be recycled paper tag, of this dress, that ends with ‘Activism becomes a dance’, which I think is the best way to describe this dress and from what I’ve seen can best describe all of The Hemp Temple’s pieces.
The description of the dress on the website says:
The Willow. A beautiful pretty number, with soft girly vibes. For picnics and playing with the pixies
I probably won’t be having picnics and playing with the pixies, and I probably don’t have soft girly vibes, but I am wearing this beautiful pretty number, and I am doing this motherly, activist dance in this dress, I am existing as a woman who can wear beautiful things and care about the world and feminism and equal rights while I stay home, and make another puree.