Kohu’s founder Antoine Tane Fitzgerald started out his building career after the devastating earthquake of February 2011 hit Christchurch.
With many attempts to try and reduce waste and opt for more sustainable materials, he realised it was a very limited market in New Zealand and if there was to be any change in the industry it would have to be revolutionary.
This led him to go traveling overseas to discover and understand the global market of sustainable building. After a year of researching and experiencing different earth building techniques, he was asked to take part in a project in Mexico to build a workshop out of a new material being tested, called hempcrete. Antoine already had a lot of knowledge on hemp as a plant, but had never known for it to be used as a building material, and when he came face to face with it – it all started to click.
When he returned to New Zealand he began researching and understanding more about the local market and what was required for such a product to be introduced. he was made very aware that the conservative building industry was a hard one to introduce any new product, especially one that is so nuanced and never been tested in New Zealand.
It became obvious to him that in order to make this a viable product he would need to surround himself with experienced people that shared a similar vision and passion for purpose driven innovation in revolutionizing the way we build, and why.
He mentioned his plan to his close and trusted friend Holly and they quickly realized their skill sets and shared passion for the well-being of the Environment aligned with each other perfectly. She has an extensive background in customer service and sales and has completed a Diploma in mixed media design, specifically web and graphic. Together they developed a plan that would allow them to begin the Regenerative Revolution they believe the world needs, and Kohu Hemp was born.