Fashion is at its peak. Everyone around the world is raving about fashion. But the reality is dawning on many that it is not about having more clothes, but about being socially and environmentally responsible.
In recent years, the fashion industry has become detrimental to the environment, bearing large responsibility for carbon emissions. It is believed that the industry is the second worst polluter after oil.
That being the case, it is paramount to come up with ways of tackling the pollution threat as the industry moves towards sustainability. One such way is by embracing hemp fabric.
Hemp, also known as industrial hemp, is a species of cannabis sativa with less THC content. It is cheekily referred to as the “sober cousin” of marijuana.
The hemp plant has been used in the textile industry for thousands of years. This biodegradable fabric is becoming popular with major fashion brands looking to add it to their clothing lines.
It could well shape the talk on sustainable fashion as it is an environmentally conscious material for everyday clothing. It is durable, long-lasting and has a comfortable feel to it. There are many ways in which hemp rivals clothing made from cotton whose impact on the planet is far much worse.
|Durability||Highly durable||Generally less durable|
|Breathability||Highly breathable||Generally less breathable|
|Absorbency||Highly absorbent||Generally less absorbent|
|UV protection||Naturally protects against UV rays||Generally requires additional UV protection|
|Pesticide use||Generally grown without pesticides||Often treated with pesticides|
|Environmental impact||Highly sustainable and eco-friendly||Generally less sustainable and eco-friendly|
Hemp is a highly durable and sustainable fabric that is naturally breathable, absorbent, and resistant to UV rays. It is also generally grown without the use of pesticides, making it a more environmentally-friendly choice compared to synthetic fabrics. On the other hand, synthetic fabrics are generally less durable and less breathable, and often require additional UV protection and are treated with pesticides. As a result, hemp clothing may be a better option for those looking for high-quality, environmentally-friendly fabrics.
Hemp clothing is no doubt going to be a game changer in the fashion industry and there are numerous reasons that point to this:
10 reasons why hemp is the next big thing in sustainable clothing
1. Eco friendly
The hemp plant is environmentally friendly and does more in developing the climate as opposed to damaging it. It uses very little water and does not require pesticides or fertilizers, unlike cotton. In the same way, hemp helps restore and detoxify soil as opposed to cotton, which robs the soil of nutrients.
While hemp requires half the amount of land of cotton to grow, it yields three times more fiber than its counterpart. Industrial hemp plants have also been proven to absorb more carbon dioxide than trees.
2. Soft and comfortable
Hemp fabric is comfortable and naturally soft on the skin. Unlike other clothing fibers, the material ages beautifully and gets comfortable with time.
The more hemp clothing is washed, the softer it becomes while retaining its strength and durability. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about your clothes getting ripped after a few runs in the dryer. They’ll only get gentler and softer as you wear them.
3. Good for the soil
Unlike cotton, hemp helps enrich the soil while retaining its fertility and preventing erosion. The plant is deep-rooted thus enabling aeration and allowing constant improvement of soil structure.
Hemp is also a durable rotation crop meaning it can be grown on the same soil a couple of times, further increasing its sustainability.
4. Contains Antimicrobial properties
Hemp textile is naturally anti-microbial and anti-bacterial which helps fight the growth and spread of bacteria. These properties also mean that the fabric is mold and mildew resistant, meaning your clothes maintain a fresh smell for a longer time.
5. Easy to grow
Hemp is relatively easy to grow and maintain, making it a great fabric source. The plant proliferates and is said to grow twice as fast as cotton. The plant can as well grow almost anywhere in the world including Europe, Australia, North and South America, and China.
This is beneficial in that transport expenses, and pollution is minimized. In addition, by having hemp close to the source, communities become more self-sufficient and productive.
6. Breathable and insulating
Not many natural materials, like hemp clothing, will provide both cool and insulating properties during all seasons. Its fabrics are cool during summer allowing your skin to breathe, but at the same time, it keeps you warm during the winter period.
The porous fabric allows breathability, making hemp a favorite choice for light clothing items such as t-shirts and pants. The clothing is also lightweight making it ideal for flexibility and comfort.
7. Durable and sturdy
How often have you had to contend with a stretched T-shirt after coming out of the wash? Or a pair of jeans that look smaller in size after pulling it out from the dryer? No problems hemp clothing can relate to!
With hemp, you are assured of strong and durable clothing thanks to its high tensile strength that ensures longevity. You can wash your garments repeatedly without worrying about wear and tear.
Also, the fact that it doesn’t stretch like cotton makes it ideal for manufacturing upholstery.
8. Retains color dyes
There is nothing as annoying as fading colors on clothes. You would want your clothes to look brighter and maintain the same color they were when first purchased. That is exactly what hemp clothing offers. Its absorbency allows it to dye well and retain color better than cotton. Therefore, frequently washing hemp-made clothing will not make the colors fade fast.
9. Uses all aspects of the plant
Hemp is a versatile plant whose uses go beyond just clothing. It can be used to make wholesome seed oil for cooking, while its fibers are used in the textile industry. The crop is also a biomass fuel producer and has shown promising medicinal benefits. All these uses go to show that hemp is arguably the most sustainable fiber around as no part of the plant goes to waste.
10. Resistant to UV rays
Stepping out in the sun has never been made easier thanks to hemp fabric. Hemp is highly resistant to ultraviolet (UV) rays, which increase the risk of skin cancer and premature aging on long exposure. It blocks more than 50% of UV rays as compared to conventional cotton garments.
So you do not need to worry about getting sunburned as you head out to the pool or in your next hiking trip. The hemp attire will have you covered, quite literally.