Samuel March, a pupil barrister at 5 Paper Buildings, has created a prototype wig made of hemp, instead of horsehair.
The traditional horsehair wig has been worn by barristers since the 17th century and was patented by Ede and Ravenscroft in 1822 - the company is still selling them.
Legal outfitters Ivy & Normanton are keen to offer the hemp version to their customers. Founder Karlia Lykourgou told The Telegraph, "There’s definitely a positive conversation to be had and we are interested. I’ve actually been shown a synthetic wig and it does not have the same quality as a horsehair wig. The legal garb that we wear is significant and it means something.
“We don’t want to dilute the quality of this garb that we wear, it’s a sacred uniform and it takes a lot to get there. A hemp wig sounds like it might have a similar quality to horsehair, there’s certainly a conversation to be had.”
Samuel March blogs about criminal, social, environmental and animal justice. The 29-year-old says on his Twitter account that the wig is “0 percent horsehair, 100 percent vegan friendly. What do we think? Will it pass in court?”