Hemp clothing is a hot commodity these days. I believe this has a lot to do with people slowly beginning to realize the severely negative impact that today’s fashion industry is having on the planet. Hemp enthusiast Christina Brittain realized this a long time ago, and decided to utilize her passion for the plant to raise awareness and create clothing that is not only good for the earth, but also for our bodies.
Christina left Pittsburgh in her early 20s to pursue a performance career with an artist collective near Oakland. After only a month, she packed her things and decided to leave the city and head north in search of a farm where she could nurture her newfound passion for the cannabis plant. Christina has always been particularly petite, and when she was 14-years-old, her mom bought her a sewing machine so she could alter her own clothing. Christina has almost 13 years of experience as a self-taught seamstress under her belt.
Diagnosed with Chronic Pain Disorder in 2014, Christina found out oddly enough that one of the triggers for her symptoms was wearing synthetic fabrics. This was the push that motivated her to begin making the most organic, environmentally and health-conscious clothing possible. “Our skin is our largest organ, a porous sponge that absorbs the toxins inside of our clothing. Herbal dyeing is an art unlike any other. It is true alchemy, science and art symbiotically fused into one pigmentrich, tedious process. My favorite herbs to work with are Logwood, Fustic Wood and ‘Cutch,’ also known as Acacia Tree extract—which is referred to as the Egyptian Tree of Life.”
Even though Dava Threads has been in production for less than a year, Christina has had monumental success due to her vast Instagram following. As one of the most badass hula hoopers out there, her audience has grown exponentially over the last couple of years. Dava Threads currently boasts over 16,000 followers on Instagram, and that number continues to increase daily.
Aside from having physical health benefits, hemp also has antimicrobial properties. It repels bacteria, fungi, odors and has the uncanny ability to remain cool while exposed to hot temperatures and vice versa. It also constricts while it’s wet, making for excellent swimsuit material. Cannabis ruderalis has the ability to leave soil in a more fertile condition through each harvest. According to Dani Fontaine, co-founder and owner of Colorado Hemp Project, cannabis ruderalis can actually regenerate GMO pesticide-ridden soil into organic, fertile land in three growing seasons. The only other plant capable of doing so is Bamboo; however, bamboo requires solvents during plant-to-textile processing.
“Hemp is the ultimate queen of sustainable textiles. The cotton industry is the number one polluter of pesticides in our soil. All that aside, I’ve developed a passion for cannabis and hemp above all other things. I truly believe this plant holds the key to solving so many environmental and social problems we face today. Whether it be fuel, food, building materials, medicine, textile, economy, paper… I believe hemp and cannabis can and will save our struggling society and planet.” -Christina Brittain
In addition to her clothing line, Christina is a master grower and solventless concentrate extractor. Her inspiration for growing organic cannabis is directly related to the treatment of her chronic illness. Cannabis is the only medicine that enables her to live a somewhat normal life with the health issues she suffers caused by years of childhood prescription medications. She adamantly believes that that orally ingesting equal rations of THC/CBD medicines can cure even the most debilitating sickness. “These days I don’t smoke flowers, as the chlorophyll and other plant matter really irritates my lungs. I think it is imperative that a discussion about the methods of consumption becomes a regular topic among patients, especially those using cannabis for serious life threatening illnesses. Without this discussion, cancer patients will keep smoking joints and wonder why it isn’t attacking the cancer cells. My preferred method of consumption is vaping concentrates and orally ingesting hashinfused coconut oil. I gravitate strongly towards indicas, as they help with my overactive mind, insomnia and pain management,” Christina shared.
When Christina isn’t busy grinding away in her studio, you can most likely find her in her garden. Dava means ‘medicine’ in Hindi, and she has two branches of medicine: Threads and Gardens. Her days are spent balancing yards of soil and fabric, trimming fabric and flowers, and extracting dyes or terpenes. On the rare occasion there is no studio or garden work, you can find Christina, her partner and their four dogs at any of the pristine Northern California swimming holes or beaches, probably talking about and using cannabis together.
I hope you feel as touched and inspired by this Earth Warrior’s story as I am. Every positive action no matter how big or small creates a ripple effect, and the world needs more people like Christina, raising awareness and fighting for environmental change. If you’re interested in acquiring one of her creations, get in line! Due to an outrageously high demand, Dava Thread’s online updates sell out almost instantly. Luckily for Denver residents, Nature’s Root Hemp Spa in Longmont should be carrying an exclusive line of Dava Threads in the near future. Christina’s long term plans for Dava include investing in a large studio space in Los Angeles or San Francisco to really increase production, and to hire some more talented seamstresses. “My five year goal is to have a warehouse in the fashion district of LA, put on runway shows, and to really push and inspire the fashion industry to choose more sustainable routes in their creations.”