Svn (7) Questions with Hemp Black

During Hemp History week, we asked Mark Andrew Sunderland, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer for Hemp Black on the future of Hemp and to learn more about the innovation around Hemp.  A plant that has only begun to scratch the surface on its industrial uses, and will be looked at as a plant of the future to contribute greatly to society from opportunity to healing our planet. 
Hemp Black Technology
  1. Hemp Black has been innovative and forward thinking with the many possibilities of Hemp’s use. What originally inspired you to start experimenting with this plant.

Inspiration started with research we were doing at the university (Thomas Jefferson University). Hemp was never on my radar, throughout my working career. Being illegal at the time, Hemp was a sequestered fiber for so long. No innovation in supply chain or technology. As my research continued, the sustainability qualities inherent in hemp was a focal point early on. Once I could deem sustainability a “product for Hemp”, in our future and present marketplace, then I could iterate the science and technology of this creative plant. A series of “patents” have been created from this research.


  1. As our world goes through a period of transformation, could you tell us your vision for how Hemp Black plans to contribute?

Our contribution is to the environment. Meaning, if we are thoughtful, responsible, and united, we can work towards and deliver a cleaner, greener, safer environment. As the environment knows no social bounds, with respect, we must come together.


Eco 6 technology from Hemp Black

  1. Can you tell us about your line of products?

The pandemic really put a pause in our US supply in our apparel line (all Hemp Black products are made in the USA). We bring together our science and innovation, this combination is implemented into products which are functional, and advanced in technology, fit, form, fashion and comfort. During this pause in our “yoga” apparel line, we shifted gears to PPE with our first product to market Hemp Black fusion / FACE MASK. We will have additional products coming out on the PPE side in a few weeks, then we will launch our apparel, continuing with PPE, plus head to toe accessories. Last but not least, is our Hemp Black / eco6and ink substrates. Our “hemp based” technology is at the DNA level of our materials and supply chain.

 Hemp Black Fusion Mask

  1. You’ve also stepped up during the pandemic introducing a hemp face mask, what was your motivation behind that and how is it different than other masks out there?

Hemp Black has strong, flexible and highly innovative US partners. Without them this product never lifts off the ground. To determine a need in the market, we went from product concept to prototypes in 4 weeks. Hemp Black fusion / FACE MASK has copper yarn on the outside (antimicrobial) and our Hemp Black / element yarn on the inside. Our patented, Hemp Black / element yarn is a blend of recycled polyester and hemp flower extract. So, you have the best of both technologies in the mask at its strongest strategic position. The mask is manufactured using the most highly advanced textile equipment producing a product with zero manufacturing waste. Plus, the mask is washable, based on cost, it’s .001$ per use.


Often times an overlooked benefit of the manufacturing of our mask, is the jobs it created and people we were hiring, at a time many businesses were letting go of employees.

Hemp Black Fabric


  1. If you had ONE myth to dispel about Hemp, what would it be?

Many times, the conversation goes from “Fiber” to “Oil”, there’s a whole universe of products, materials, opportunities and platforms that have yet to be created.

 Hemp Black Hemp Fabric

  1. What does the future of Hemp look like for Hemp Black and this industry?


It’s not easy, when you experience everything that is happening. We are trying to be as flexible, responsible and creative as possible. In our science and our technology, we are on a path of one. Listen, everyone jumped into the “hemp” market so quickly, specifically on the oil side. You will see a peeling away of those who are in it just to score. What will be left, in the very short term will be those companies whose standards are high, delivering value and science across the supply chain and consumer.


  1. If you could leave the world with a positive quote right now, what would it be?

Empathy and Giving Back is the light and hope of optimism.


 Hemp Black Logo

About Hemp Black:

We strive to benefit people and better the world with every decision that we make. From the design of our products, to how we interact with our community and the way in which we operate, all our actions thoughtfully move us to closer to reaching our goals.  

To guide us in this journey, we created six sustainability pillars that act as our measure of success in achieving our mission. The pillars are divided into two groups that focus on our most important stakeholders; the communities that we rely on and the environments in which we operate. @hempblack



Grace Saari


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