If you think cannabis was only good for you-know-what, think again. Bombay Hemp Company or popularly called Boheco is India’s first industrial hemp (cannabis plant) company that doles out hemp seeds, oil, proteins (food), textiles and building material. Boheco impressed many at the just concluded Fashion Week, with their aim to benefit the farmer and the artisan.

An artisan makes hemp through local handloom methods

“The handloom fabric is an ethnic range of our collection, essentially made out of a Bageshwari charkha, aimed towards upholstery and women apparels plus accessories,” shares Yash Kotak, one of the seven agriculture entrepreneurs from HR College. While entering into the terrain of agriculture, Kotak voices the group’s dismay, “We realised that in a service and technology driven new age India, its backbone — agriculture, was being neglected by urban youth, highlighted by the fact that agriculture employs nearly 60% of India’s workforce, yet it contributes 16-17% to the GDP.”

Students of SNDT University showcase their designs made from hemp fabric

To find a solution, Boheco was born in 2012. The group’s focus stresses on the need for eco-friendly solutions, benefit to the people involved at the grassroots and lastly, a healthier future. On the lines of a social initiative, now, the start-up is concentrating on North India for their operations.

They also ensure that indigenous techniques are employed, in tandem with traditions and the community. Gender sensitivity is another agenda: “Most of the growing is done by men while women look after processing end products, thus enabling them to be chief wage earners of the house,” says Kotak. Bearing similarities to linen, the hemp caught fancy of many on the panel including Mathili Ahluwalia from Bungalow 8, and designer Payal Khandwala showed keen interest.