Founders Joseph Sobrero (left), Oliver Issa (middle) and Jonah Heath (right) launched the Bract Company on Feb. 21. | BJ Yebisu/Mustang News

Nature is deeply embedded in the San Luis Obispo community. A group of Cal Poly juniors took their love for nature, sustainability and clothing and turned it into a
business opportunity.

Garnering almost 1,000 followers on Instagram since its launch Feb. 21, the Bract Company is committed to giving back to the environment. The company offers unisex hemp hats and shirts that provide more than just active wear. For every product sold, two trees will be planted by the National Forest Foundation.

“We want to have people promoting sustainability, but we also really want to get people out there to see and appreciate what they are trying to protect,” Bract Company founder and industrial engineering junior Jonah Heath said. “Our marketing techniques are to get people outside and active.”

Bract’s motto, “Help us, Help you, Help nature,” aims to get people out in nature in addition to helping the planet. They plan to restore the earth by planting trees and preserve it by making their products out of hemp.

The Bract Company launched a video campaign  on Feb. 21 that encourages people to explore nature and build a genuine connection and appreciation for the environment they are preserving.The company has released two videos so far. The videos feature handmade wooden token, made from a branch found in a backyard, that the team hides somewhere in San Luis Obispo for anyone to find and redeem for a free piece of merchandise.

“Once they find the token, they just take a picture to post and tag us,” founder and liberal arts and engineering studies junior Oliver Issa said. “[Bract Company] is fostering the connection between people and nature and gives them the opportunity to give back.”

Another social media campaign began on March 8, also offering prizes. To keep up to date on the campaign, visit the Bract Company’s Instagram or website.

The benefits of hemp
Compared to cotton, hemp uses one fourth of the water, requires no pesticides and uses less dye. Hemp can produce twice the amount of fabric per square foot as cotton can. However, because it is illegal to use the fabric for industrial purposes in the United States, Bract Company’s Child Labor Free-certified factory is in China.

Once industrial hemp is legalized in the U.S., the team plans to move production into the country. They also want to expand their product line in the coming months by making products for all genders.

“Our end goal is to have a company with a wide variety of hemp products,” Heath said. “You can make everything out of it and it’s really sustainable.”

Hemp also naturally eliminates smells and bacteria and wicks away sweat and water, making these products good for wear and tear in the outdoors. Bract Company wants to raise awareness for the legalization of industrial hemp in America as a more sustainable and efficient substitution for cotton.

Bract Company will launch on campaign funding website Indiegogo in the next few weeks to fund their first round of product. This promotion is currently the only way to get products because they are not available for sale until their funding goal has been met.

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