An environment of rolling lockdowns, pregnancy and parenting hardly seems conducive to starting a homewares line but it proved the perfect trifecta for Melbourne mum Kate Taylor. On maternity leave from her job as a government lawyer, Kate was locked down and awaiting the birth of her second child when she decided to launch the pure hemp linen brand Calvi.Co in August 2021.
“I’d lost a bit of motivation through the many Melbourne lockdowns and felt I needed to get in touch with my creative side after having been in the corporate world for a while. I happened to discover hemp linen at the same time as I was feeling this way, so the business seemed like the perfect passion project,” says Kate.
Initially drawn to the sustainability credentials of hemp, Kate was surprised to find that the textile is as soft as the hugely popular flax linen but has a variety of superior factors. “Hemp has a very high yield per square metre and its water consumption is about as much as flax which is much better than cotton. Hemp is also the strongest textile fibre available which gives it a superior shelf life,” says Kate who explains that the Calvi.Co range is stonewashed and softened which makes for a great skin feel. “Since hemp has come back into fashion, they’ve worked out that it can be treated in much the same way as flax and made to be softer.”
The petite range features pillowcases, sheets and quilt covers in three different neutral colourways chosen for their sartorial longevity – snow (a lovely, crisp white), ash (a gorgeous grey) and pebble (a classic beige). “The colours are designed to suit any interior style and because hemp is such a long-lasting product, we didn’t think it made sense to follow trends,” says Kate.
As for any negative associations around hemp itself, Kate feels that thinking is misguided. And in a sign that we could be at the beginning of a hemp homewares wave, she has noticed there are many more products on the market compared to when she first started researching.
“There’s a bit of a misconception about what hemp is and its association with marijuana doesn’t help. I’ve noticed more hemp products appearing over the past 12 months but when I first started looking, they were hard to find.”
Kate is intent on elevating the status of the textile: “The product is as good as flax linen, if not better. I don’t see why hemp linen can’t be featured inside Vogue Living next to all the flax alternatives!”
Get 10% off site wide with the code ADDICT10