Pupils let hemp go to their heads

01:43, Jan 31 2009
HEMP HATS: Five students from St Thomas's have set up their own business making caps out of hemp. From left John Strang, Louis O'Brien Thomas Scott, Graeme Sullivan and Oliver Burgess.

Cannabis and teenage boys are not often seen together in a positive light, but a group of Christchurch students are attempting to change that perception.

Five St Thomas of Canterbury College students have created a business designing, making and selling caps made from 100 per cent hemp.

Enviro-Fern partners Thomas Scott, 16, Louis O'Brien, 18, Graeme Sullivan, 15, John Strang, 15, and Oliver Burgess, 15, were taking part in the Young Enterprise Scheme run by the Enterprise New Zealand Trust.

The scheme encourages students to set up a company, create a product or service, market it and sell it.

Scott said cannabis received a bad rap in the media, so they wanted to put a positive spin on the plant and make something out of it that would benefit the public.

O'Brien said it was important to the team that they also produce an environmentally friendly product that was made in New Zealand and not China.

The students were taking the environmental aspect one step further by making their company as sustainable as possible. Instead of flying their annual report to Wellington, they plan to sail it there. They had approached the Naval Point Club in Lyttelton to see if any of its members were planning to sail to Wellington and were willing to take the report with them.

They came up with the cap design themselves but also got advice from their mentor, former Glassons managing director executive Di Humphries and The Hat Shop, which also arranged to get the hats made.



The Press