Culture | 12.09.2021

The Hoodie And Its Cultural Significance

Why Herb Highwear stands with you.

When the popular sports clothing company Champion was founded in 1934, former president of the company Harold Lipson said the hood was first added to sweatshirts to protect athletes and laborers, according to Rolling Stone.

Individuals at cold storage warehouses and tree surgeons working during the chilled winter required an article that would keep them warmer than long underwear. It wasn’t until the seventies that the hoodie began making its way into popular culture when athletes lent them to girlfriends and partners.

A few years after that, in New York City’s burgeoning hip-hop scene, Eric “Deal” Felisbret was an early graffiti artist, and he remembers the hoodie appearing around 1974-1975. He said those wearing hoodies were often looked up to “in the context of the street,” reports Rolling Stone.

He added that graffiti artists would wear the hoodie to keep a low profile, and break dancers wore it to maintain warmth before hitting the floor.

Graffiti art wasn’t seen as art in broad society at the time since artists were illegally marking trains, cars, and subway stations while remaining anonymous with help from the hoodie. There was a sort of stealth nature that came with the apparel.

Fast forward to 2012, more specifically, on February 26th, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida, by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. An alleged confrontation led Zimmerman to shoot Martin in the act of self-defense, he told police. Martin was wearing a hoodie.

Zimmerman, who wrongfully used Florida’s Stand Your Ground law against an innocent teenager, was found not guilty on all counts. When the media and the world got ahold of the news, countless campaigns and movements were designed that centered themselves around the hoodie as a symbol of support to shed light on how justice needs to be served.


Because the hoodie holds such cultural relevance and significance, we decided to create our own line of Herb Highwear hoodies, made for anyone and everyone. According to a 2020 American Civil Liberty Union report, Black people were 3.6 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana crimes than white people throughout the United States in 2018.

For these reasons, we want to stress that Herb Highwear hoodies are designed to target inclusivity, equality, and community. As a cannabis community, we are making our best efforts every day to help destigmatize the plant and remove preconceived notions of those who use it.

We believe it’s crucial for our hoodie wearers to understand our mission behind Herb Highwear, and we hope it sparks needed conversations of justice and reform.

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