Anthony Néron’s Hemp Revolution

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Most teenagers haven’t decided what they want to do with their lives. And if they have, it’s likely that their aspirations will morph and change as doors open and close, as youthful idealism makes way for pragmatic considerations. But as a teenager, Anthony Néron already had a plan: “I knew very early on that hemp was an answer for environmental, social and economic crisis,” he says. “It truly was my intention to bring my contribution to make this world a better place.” And so, Néron started a hemp clothing line at 18 years old, learning the clothing design trade and honing his sewing skills. For two years, he toiled at the sewing machine, crafting hemp clothes that he hoped could bring a revolution of sorts, until his big dreams crumbled under more practical realizations. “Clothing from China was way too cheap for me to [compete with],” he explains. “I couldn’t make a living out of it.” Anthony Néron feels the wall to properly place billions of grains of sand, carve the corners and polish the entire surface with a river pebble until the wall becomes a solid and impervious stone. But as fate would have it, a new door was opening for him: Néron received an invitation to visit the first hempcrete house in Quebec. He became a helper on the site and developed relationships with the craftsmen. He followed them along to other job sites and apprenticed for four years. It was a natural fit. His mother was a designer and would often bring him along on projects, giving him small jobs on construction sites. And after learning the ins and outs of hempcrete construction, he was ready to strike out on his own with his vision: Art Du Chanvre. After working on many hempcrete job sites, Néron saw…

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