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2875 Idlewild Drive Unit 9
Reno, NV, 89509

The Conscious Outfitter

Hemp. The image elicits thoughts of the iconic leaf as the symbol of the pro-marijuana activists.

Whereas most see the leaf as something you inhale, Billy Jacobs sees it as something you wear. Two months ago, Green Rush Eco Clothing set up shop in the midtown district of Reno. The quaint store sells what Billy refers to as “earth-friendly” clothing, other wearable items, and fun household goods.

If you take one clean sweep of the store, the layout lends itself to a boutique setup with informational photos, banners and even clippings of the hemp plant for displays. There are two types of hemp plant, the kind with the intoxicating active ingredient THC and the kind without. All the hemp used in making the products in the store are made with the latter.

As a 30-year veteran in the clothing industry, Billy was first introduced to the idea when his friend in Amsterdam suggested he sell a couple winter jackets made from the material. After the jackets sold out immediately, Billy began to follow the road leading him to eventually open up his own shop that sells everything from fair trade baskets, solar inflatable lanterns, hemp-fur-lined ski jackets, animals made from aluminum cans, and of course a selection of hemp clothing handpicked for the store.

He tells me that customers come with all types of interests; wanting products that can outlast ones made from cotton, to find clothing solutions for sensitive skin, and wanting to make more sustainable consumer choices for the environment. The stronghold that other materials such as cotton and polyester have on the market has marginalized the hemp industry in the US. In other countries, there is a delineation between hemp grown containing THC and hemp grown without it. This allows each type of hemp to be regulated differently. 

In the US, we do not have this delineation, and Billy mentions only a couple places, such as Colorado, that can grow hemp for clothing as it is recreationally legal.

Not only does Billy own and operate his shop, but he also acts as an educator peeling back the taboo and smoke surrounding the hemp industry.

“People come in with a lot of questions,” he says.