Olga Yolkina introduced hemp clothing at her Moscow store, Metelitsa, six years ago. She started with a few dozen pieces, at the urging of her teenage daughter, who thought the clothing was cool. Now, she has 5,000 items, mostly casual wear, including T-shirts, dresses, tank tops, jeans, sweat pants and suit jackets.
Hemp looks much like linen. But to prove it holds up better, Yolkina sometimes wears the same hemp pants for three consecutive days to show clients how good it looks without ironing. It's comfortable, protects against the sun's ultraviolet rays and forms a kind of "protective orb" around you, she says.