What Exactly is Hemp?
Hemp actually has a very long history of being used as a fibre, in fact, it has been cultivated for thousands of years and on almost every continent. It has been used in clothing, ropes and sails – in fact, rumour has it that the word “canvas” is derived from “cannabis”.
Hemp is a type of “bast fibre” which means it’s one of a number of natural fibres derived from the stems of plants such as flax, jute and stinging nettle. The fabric has various natural advantages such as keeping you warm in winter, cool in summer and even protecting you from UV rays.
The fibre produced from pure hemp is similar to linen in texture. It can also be blended with other natural fibres to create fabrics with the durability of hemp and the softness of cotton or bamboo.
What makes hemp fabric a sustainable option?
It’s no coincidence that hemp bears the nickname weed. A densely growing plant, hemp literally chokes out any competing plants. This means harsh chemical herbicides aren’t necessary. Hemp also naturally reduces pests, so no pesticides are usually needed. Amazingly it also returns 60-70% of the nutrients it takes from the soil.
Not only is hemp gentle on the earth, it also requires very little water, especially when compared to cotton.
Hemp also requires a relatively small amount of land to cultivate. It means it can produce up to double the fibre yield per hectare than cotton.
How is Hemp Fabric Used?
A large portion of the hemp industry is focused heavily on apparel. Originally, hemp fabric was seen and appreciated as a novelty item for people who had a love for the cannabis plant.
The fabric still remains a big hit in the cannabis subculture. But, over the years people from all around the globe started to appreciate the fabric for its benefits rather than its association with marijuana which usually has negative connotations.
7 Benefits of Adopting Hemp Clothing and Hemp Fashion
1.Helps the Environment by Reducing Carbon
Every industry has to think about the carbon footprint and its global warming implications. The fashion industry, for one, is a major contributor to the issue of global warming and environmental issues.
Hemp clothing helps this issue because, as a crop, it absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. A lot of the other conventional crops including cotton damage the earth. Hemp can help combat such climate challenges.
2.Uses Less Water
Crops like cotton that give us clothing need a lot of heavy irrigation. This puts a strain on our resources such as freshwater. Hemp is the kind of crop that can thrive well without needing heavy irrigation.
The minimal use of chemicals avoids soil erosion that happens due to logging. This inadvertently helps water bodies from pollution such as lakes, streams, and rivers.
3.Favors Soil Health
You can grow hemp in almost all types of soil. It doesn’t rob soil off of its nutrients or other properties. In fact, it helps restore some of the vital nutrients that might have previously been lost. Hemp is biodegradable as well.
4.Hemp Clothing Wears Well
Hemp as a fabric holds up really well. It’s easy on the skin too. Hemp t-shirts are really breathable. The fabric absorbs sweat well and it’s also easy to dye. It’s resistant to fading. Hemp clothing doesn’t abrase easily. It continues to hold shape. It doesn’t wear off easily even after multiple washes. But, it does get softer and gentler after every wash.
Hemp clothes are resistant to mold, UV rays, and mildew.
5.Hemp Has Antimicrobial Properties
Other than being incredibly durable, hemp fabric also fights against microbes. It prevents the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
It packs excellent antimicrobial properties which make it last longer than any other textile fiber like cotton, polyester, etc. Hemp clothes don’t become distorted even after multiple uses and washes.
6.Hemp Clothing Softens With Time
Hemp clothes are incredibly comfortable to wear. The thing that makes it even more fascinating is that with every wash, you’ll feel the cloth getting softer (but not weaker).
7.Hemp is Resistant to UV Rays
The thread count in hemp clothing is high which means it’s tightly woven. That’s why the sun rays are unable to penetrate through the material. It, S
Hemp’s bad reputation due to being classified incorrectly as an illegal drug has kept it largely under wraps among established fashion brands, though hemp fashion has gotten a foothold in niche markets. Recreator, Hoodlamb Hemp Tailors, Hempy’s, Jungmaven, Wama underwear, and Tact & Stone are some of the leading hemp-forward fashion brands. And some established brands have flirted with hemp fabrication, including Stella McCartney and Eileen Fisher.
Then in September 2019 during New York Fashion Week, the industry was shown that hemp is ready for the runway. She introduced a 26-piece collection in sustainable hemp, jute, linen and cork.
Other early movers in the fashion “hemp-isphere” are Patagonia which offers an extensive collection of hemp clothing for men, women, and children. The company describes its hemp fabrication as yielding “a beautiful linen-like fiber that’s strong, flame retardant and antimicrobial.
So, What’s the Verdict?
Hemp is a magic crop. It literally has the power to transform the world; both in terms of the community as well as the planet as a whole. That is why it makes total sense that we should switch to hemp from conventional crops of clothing.