Hemp for the (Sustainable Clothing) win!
Author: Saloni Dahanukar
Hemp; a sustainable substitute for polluting fabrics, is the newest kid on the block.
With its extensive variety of uses and hassle free technique of growing, it is much more environmentally friendly and durable. It is fast becoming the fashion world’s favourite choice because anything you can stitch with cotton, you can basically make from hemp too! (And no, it will not get you high because its THC properties are less than 0.3%)
Many farmers, key opinionists and thought leaders from the fashion industry have spoken widely about the benefits of using hemp more regularly in fashion lines, and everyday clothing.
Let’s go over why this sober family member of the cannabis family has become the industry’s new favourite thing.
IT HELPS SAVE A TON OF WATER
Hemp requires around 70% less water than its conventional counterparts and takes less than just 90 days to cultivate. While fibres such as cotton are very water intensive and need up to 1000 litres of water per kg, Hemp on the other hand requires roughly 300-400 litres.
IT PROMOTES DURABILITY
Compared to less sustainable fabrics like polymers and cotton, it offers long lasting wear and is very durable. Its hypoallergenic property makes it softer the more you wash it (just like linen), so it’s scientifically designed to last you longer. Additionally, it cultivates much more fibre in each yield than most crops, and thus offers a bigger surface area to work with.
IT SAVES YOU FROM UV RAYS
Hemp fibres are tightly stitched and opaque, which make the fabric sturdy and non irritating. Hence, it also does a great job in protecting the skin barrier from harmful UV rays that could cause complications such as skin cancer. This is one of the vital reasons why many brands have started incorporating hemp in their resort clothing ranges - it is UV free and highly suitable for outdoor activities.
THE SOIL LOVES HEMP
Hemp is often referred to as the miracle plant that restores soil health and revives depleted soils of their nutrients. It has the powerful ability to absorb nitrogen and carbon from the air and put it back into the soil, thus making it a favourite amongst farmers. Additionally, it is a natural pest resistant and does not require any additional fertilisers to grow.
IT IS NATURALLY ANTIBACTERIAL AND ANTI-FUNGAL
Hemp makes for healthier clothing and is great for sensitive skin as it has the properties to resist dangerous and potent bacteria like MRSA and E.coli. Hemp clothing is the number 1 option for skin allergies or irritations as these properties work with the temperature of the body and not against it.
IT IS BIODEGRADABLE AND COMPOSTABLE
Hemp is a fully natural weed, which has organic roots and is very easy to degenerate. It is also a highly renewable crop which can be harvested up to 3 times a year. Its growing time is negligible compared to other fabrics and it decomposes in around 2-6 weeks. Its low-maintenance qualities make it extremely suitable to use not only in clothing but other arenas such as bioplastics and furniture too.
Here’s to the miracle plant reshaping the fashion industry!