Today, there is an ever-growing concern for increasing worldwide environmental issues. Additionally, there is a mounting concern for the collective human health at large due to the rising numbers of people developing health issues and diseases. Mass-produced, chemical products abound in today’s capitalistic, consumerist world accompanied by too little a concern for the consequences that these products produce.
Therefore, it makes sense that there would be solutions highly sought out by the concerned minority of the human population that desire these negative environmental and human health consequences to be lessened and even become obsolete.
One such highly sought out solution is the idea of increasing hemp use in place of the more traditional petroleum-based synthetic fibers. The idea is to replace chemical-laden, health-damaging, and environmentally toxic materials for the chemical-free, organic, sustainable hemp material, thus slowly but surely eradicating much of the pollution and health devastation that is currently present.
Although hemp can be used in such things as accessories, household furnishings, hemp yarn, cloth diapers, paper, and outdoor materials such as hemp canvas, ropes, and hemp oil, one of the most popular ways hemp is becoming increasingly sought after is in the clothing industry, being made into hemp clothing such as hemp shirts, hemp pants, and other hemp garments.
What is hemp? Hemp is a fibrous material that comes from the marijuana cannabis plant or cannabis Sativa. The use of hemp has been around for hundreds of years. Indians used to utilize the fiber of dogbane hemp to make bags, mats, nets, and cordage. Thus, it became known as Indian hemp.
Why is hemp a desirable natural resource and why is it a good alternative to the synthetic, highly processed materials that currently dominate the current clothing market? Below, the hemp solution for clothing is discussed in detail.
What Makes Hemp Good For Clothing?
Most hemp products are considered organic products. The ideas of natural and organic are becoming increasingly popular as more and more people realize the value of going all-natural. Particularly, many who have chemical sensitivities are seeking out chemical-free, organic hemp fabric.
Also, hemp apparel naturally possesses many other desirable qualities that people seek out when purchasing clothing such as versatility, long-lasting color, durability, a high comfort level, and even wrinkle-free perks:
Hemp is a Versatile Material
Hemp cloth can not only be made into many different types of hemp wear, but it can also be sewn together with other materials such as silk or cotton, thus making it a softer, more comfortable first-time wear.
Hemp cloth makes great pants, shirts, dresses, and vests.
Additionally, hemp can be worn comfortably in the winter and in the summer due to the fact that it is breathable in the summer and insulating in the winter. Therefore, the same hemp clothes can be used year-round.
Hemp Clothing Retains Color Well
The content of hemp fiber is very porous in nature. Therefore, it absorbs water more readily. This, in turn, helps to lock in dyes better, creating long-lasting color for long-lasting wear.
Hemp Clothes Grows Softer By Use
Although hemp tends to be a bit stiff when first made, it is of major benefit in the long run due to the fact that it gradually softens with more use.
This means that after much use, you have both a soft and pleasant fabric and also still also have the strong durable qualities that made hemp-made clothing desirable, to begin with.
Hemp T-Shirts Are Wrinkle-Free Travel Clothes
As hemp cloth softens over time with repeated use, the potential for it to easily wrinkles dramatically decreases, creating wrinkle-free travel clothes for whenever travel is required.
Why Should You Wear Hemp?
As mentioned above, traditional synthetic fibers and mass-produced cotton cloth are highly toxic to both humans and the environment. This is why hemp is such a great alternative. But why is this?
Hemp Fabric is Environmentally Friendly
Traditional cloth contains micro-plastics. The problem with these micro-plastics is that they contain extremely toxic chemicals. Each time these materials are washed, the micro-plastic fiber strands break off into the water. These fibers are so small that they cannot be filtered out.
Therefore much of the water supply is contaminated with these chemical-laden fibers, which then cause physical health problems, especially digestive health issues, and also environmental pollution to the entire planetary ecosystem.
The contaminated water is used for food production. As a result, it is estimated that as much as a third of the world’s food production contains micro-plastics.
To add to this already growing pollution issue, the traditional textile industry, when processing cotton, uses twice the amount of water that industrial hemp production uses. The water used for this cotton production is then contaminated with the heavy amounts of pesticides and insecticides used on cotton.
A good note to add here is that these aren’t just small, temporary amounts of pesticides and insecticides being readily dumped into the world’s water supply.
The cotton industry accounts for up to 25 percent of the world’s pesticide and insecticide use, which means that the more cotton is grown and processed, the more water is contaminated with these highly toxic substances. Consequently, this process, if continued, will ultimately destroy the earth’s environment completely.
On the other hand, hemp production is highly sustainable in many different ways. First, hemp farmers do not have to spray their hemp seeds and hemp plants with any pesticides, insecticides, or synthetic fertilizers. This makes hemp cultivation completely safe for soil, plants, and water.
Secondly, the hemp industry uses half the water that cotton requires. So not only is water being saved but also the water that is used does not get chemicals dumped into it. Additionally, although hemp materials do shed a bit, they do not shed as much as cotton and other synthetic fibers do, and they definitely do not shed micro-plastics.
After hemp is grown, the crop is then ready to be turned into hemp products. A great thing about making hemp clothing is that most industrial hemp companies do not use sweatshops. Therefore, people that support the hemp industry can expect to have sweatshop-free clothing.
Lastly, it is well to note that growing hemp is great for industrial gains because it is easy to grow, yielding more natural cellulose fiber per season than cotton. Hemp produces 2-3 times per season, whereas, cotton can only produce once per year.
Hemp Cloth Is A Natural Antimicrobial
Hemp clothing is naturally antibacterial and mold resistant.
A 2014 review done by North Carolina State University discussed the success of a 2008 study which revealed that certain cannabinoids found in hemp fibers effectively fought a “variety of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains.” This same NCSU review went on to discuss another 2009 study that tested the same hemp cannabinoids against E. coli and microflora and discovered the same anti-bacterial effect.
This should, in and of itself, make hemp cloth a much more desirable choice considering that, not only do most human beings deal with a constant barrage of threatening bacterial strains that range from making them mildly to deathly sick but also, they have to constantly battle body odor with deodorants, daily showers, and a never-ending cycle of wardrobe washing.
Additionally, who doesn’t love the fact that mold and mildew are unable to manifest itself in hemp’s presence?
Hemp Shirts Pass The Sniff Test
Bacteria is the main cause of body odor. The microbes go to work immediately breaking down damp sweat. This then quickly produces an odor that, as most are aware of, is unpleasant and heavily avoided by most.
Hemp is great for this very reason because, as already mentioned, it is naturally anti-bacterial. Therefore, when sweat breaks out on the skin, the hemp cloth has already killed much of the bacteria that would have been mixing with the sweat, thus causing the undesirable odor.
Consequently, one can wear a piece of hemp clothing for longer without smelling of body odor. In certain cases where sweat isn’t a major factor, a piece of hemp cloth can be worn more than once before needing to be cleaned.
Hemp Pants Are Very Durable
Hemp cloth is very resilient to long-term use due to the nature of its fibers: strong and tough.
The beauty about making pants out of hemp is that, while the strongly-bonded fibers hold together tightly and remain so over time, they also soften with the passage of time as well, therefore making hemp pants that are not only durable years after they are bought, but that is even more comfortable than when first purchased.
Hemp Clothes Have A Low Maintenance
Hemp cloth maintains its color over time, is slow to produce odors due to its anti-bacterial properties, and does not wrinkle easily. Therefore, this means less ironing, washing, and more time to get through using out of hemp clothing. What’s not to love about easy-to-use hemp fashion?
Hemp Clothing: The Future Of Fashion
Hemp clothing has so many extremely positive benefits with almost no negative downsides that its a wonder it has taken so long for the wondrous material to resurface as a competitor in being the dominant textiles of choice.
It’s antibacterial qualities, environmentally friendly tendencies, and its apparent health benefits all point to the obvious conclusion that hemp clothing, and thus the legalization of cannabis for easy access to hemp plants in all states, is one of the big solutions that the world needs in order to regain a promising future for the planet.
If humans are to see a planet and a species that flourish, having both great physical health and optimally balanced ecosystems without the detrimental abuses it is now withstanding, it is imperative that hemp cloth become one of the main staples in clothing production and consumption.