The SHEMP™ Promise
Everything that we do is reflective of our brand promise:
To remain transparent from field to market as an eco-friendly brand focused on ethical sustainability. To keep our promise and maintain the vision, we plan to demonstrate our efforts to make a positive environmental and social impact.
We plan to achieve this by sourcing raw materials that adhere to US standards and are sustainably produced from the US and utilizing processing and manufacturing partners from the United States.
We’re developing new uses and products for the renewable blend of wool and hemp textiles for both commercial and government customers. We do this all while ensuring that the production of SHEMP™ enables economic growth throughout the USA supply chain, including wool and hemp growers, processors and manufacturers.
The story behind The SHEMP Yarn Company Inc. began five years ago. Susan Barnhardt and a group of wool industry producers and supporters from the American Sheep Industry and the American Wool Council initiated a discussion on the challenges to finding new uses for wool to develop new economic enterprises.
THE IDEA OF SHEMP
Susan’s research into this industry eventually led her to industrial hemp, and she joined the National Hemp Association and became their volunteer director. Through this role, she met members of the American Sheep Industry and the American Wool Council. These members were looking for new uses for wool, and the legalization of hemp growing operations through the 2018 Farm Bill gave them the perfect opportunity. They approached Susan with an idea. They wanted to blend wool and hemp to create a revolutionary new textile using nature’s cleverest renewables.
MAKING IT A REALITY
This idea of a wool/hemp blend captured Susan’s imagination, and she dove into figuring out how to make it a reality. She and her team wanted to make sure the product could be produced 100% in the United States, but there were challenges. Because hemp only recently became legal to grow, there are very few industrial hemp farmers growing the sort of hemp that’s suitable for textile production.
Build, measure, Learn
BUILD: The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) would be a USA-produced worsted textile yarn with unique performance, appearance, and environmental properties by using this innovative mix of nature’s cleverest renewables, wool and fiber hemp. MEASURE: Susan considered all functions of the early-stage venture: vision and concept, product development, marketing and sales, partnerships and distribution, and structure and organizational, with a customer-development methodology that creates ongoing revenue. LEARN: She got out of the building (digitally, as COVID-19 would allow) to validate with potential customers and users the value and growth potential of SHEMP™. Her hard work paid off with positive results.
SHEMP moves forward
However, the work is far from over. Today SHEMP is producing sustainable yarn in the USA for outdoor apparel which includes socks, beanies, and headbands, as well as sustainable yarns for makers, crafters, or knitters. We are still working to procure hemp from US farmers that is fully processed and workable to meet the rigorous standards for three textile industries of outdoor apparel, home décor, and hand knitters, as well as US Military procurement. So, for now, while we manufacture SHEMP products in the USA and utilize local farmers for our wool. our hemp is sourced through a collaboration in the EU.
What We Value
We work to ensure that our customers and partners are informed about every step of our process.
We deliver on our promises, whether that be to our partners, our customers, or the future.
We use nature’s cleverest renewables to craft a greener future for the textile industry.
We work with a group of like-minded partners who are dedicated to changing our world for the better.
We work with local sheep farmers as well as small businesses supporting families and women owned enterprises to spin and produce our outdoor apparel and hand-knitting yarns.
Our well-qualified team includes farmers, university researchers, fiber processors, textile manufacturers, and product marketers whose physical proximity and combined experience enable us to collaborate easily and move our innovative product to consumers rapidly.
Our outstanding marketing team helps us reach our goals, manage social media, and navigate the ins and outs of e-commerce.
SUSAN BARNHARDTFounder & CEO
Our founder & CEO, Susan brings 40+ years of experience bringing products from ideation to monetization. She is a member of The Textile Exchange, Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals, and National Industrial Hemp Association. Her collaborative style has yielded outstanding results in the development and execution of revenue-generating marketing solutions for all. Susan’s no stranger to emerging markets or textiles. Her first experience promoting and selling novel products that had no market performance precedence occurred when she was tapped to launch the first pantyhose product, L’eggs. Years later, her success in launching products in emerging markets, creating high-profile strategic alliances and her personal passion for environmental causes and sustainability would converge into an unbridled passion for the potential and importance of industrial hemp fibers.
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The SHEMP story continues, and you are an important part of its future.
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