Whether due to lack of information or even prejudice, hemp fabric has been the subject of many discussions. The fact is, we don’t want to discuss weed decriminalization or anything like that here. But thinking about sustainable alternatives for the fashion industry, it is impossible to take this discussion forward without talking about this textile.
Not many people know it, but hemp fabric has been used for years. For a long time, the sustainable and ethical issues surrounding it were not taken into account, but today it is impossible to leave this aside.
Our idea is to provoke discussions and break down barriers of prejudice and misunderstanding that may exist. So, keep reading to learn about hemp fabric and how it has proven to be one of the big bets for the future.
What’s Hemp Fabric
Textile known for its beauty, shine, and softness. Hemp fabric is highly versatile. Therefore, it is used in numerous products such as clothing, accessories, shoes, furniture, and even home decoration.
The hemp crop produces much more per acre than cotton and eucalyptus. In addition, this type of production uses a small number of agricultural inputs for planting when compared to other crops. And yes, we are talking about the amount of water, pesticides, and more.
Garments made from hemp fabric withstand harmful environmental conditions and last longer over time. They also feature UV protection and have a property called thermodynamics that keeps clothes or shoes cool in summer and warm in winter. The natural and rustic look is characteristic of hemp fibers. The fabric becomes softer with each wash. It’s possible to mix it with the fibers of cotton, silk, wool, polyester, etc.
Hemp is similar to flax. Many parts of the world cultivate it and more than 30 nations use it industrially, including Canada, Japan, and countries in Europe. Italy, China, and India are the two biggest producers in the world.
Hemp originates from the stalk fibers of the Cannabis ruderallis plant, which are processed to dissolve the gum or pectin found in the plant. The fiber is then separated and transformed again. After treatment, the fibers are woven into long, fine yarns.
Why is Hemp Fabric Sustainable
Hemp and cotton have been cultivated for thousands of years as fiber and food. Cotton cultivation is more than 7,000 years old and has its origins in southern Arabia, Egypt, Sudan and part of Asia. Hemp, on the other hand, had been cultivated since 8000 BC in the Middle East and China.
Cotton is currently considered the king of the fashion industry. But does being the most used fiber in clothing around the world make it the best choice?
Environmentalists are increasingly concerned about the role cotton is playing in the destruction of the planet. Some people consider Hemp among one of the greenest clothing fabrics a person can obtain. Along with organic cotton, it is the bet of outdoor companies for clothing lines that offer more responsible and eco-friendly consumption.
Just like the Founder of Reistor says, “Hemp uses only a fraction of the water that cotton and even organic cotton require in order to grow. To grow 1kg of fabric, cotton requires 3000L of water, organic cotton needs 450L while hemp only uses 270L”. It ends up being unfair to make this comparison. But it’s something we need to understand to see that certain current practices don’t make sense.
Is Hemp Fabric only about Sustainability?
Well, that’s a certain no. And we’ll explain it!
There’s no denying that from hemp fibers, a fabric of quality and durability is born. But, the benefits don’t stop there. As we’ve said, it’s UV and, also, Mold resistant. It’s good for our skin, once it’s breathable.
Also, you know that idea of the more you use it, the better it gets? So, hemp fabric is no different. The more you wash, the softer, more comfortable – and amazing – the clothes become. The clothing lasts longer because of the quality and it’s also biodegradable.
The positives go far beyond sustainability. Of course, we can’t forget this one, but in the end, it’s all intertwined.
Unfair Prejudice: The Lack of Education and Information about Hemp Fabric
It’s all about the way we explore and treat the plant.
Cannabis is a plant rich in properties and possibilities to explore. Depending on the way it is treated, it can become medicine and, in this case, quality clothing.
Unlike Cannabis sativa (marijuana), Cannabis ruderallis does not contain psychoactive substances. There is also another species, Cannabis indicans, used by homeopathic medicine. The different species of the cannabis family also have different cultures.
Reistor is the brand you should call for when it comes to sustainability and ethical behavior using hemp fabric. The Indian company was founded by a brother and sister, but their family has been in the industry for 70 years.
Reistor represents minimalistic fashion that is timeless and transformative, without diluting our social and environmental responsibility. They are focused on reducing environmental impact by using sustainable fabrics like hemp, biodegradable trims, and home compostable packaging.
Their work also has women empowerment in its veins. They work with women from underprivileged communities in India.
Their clothing is not only comfortable but also made in a very transparent way. Focused on decreasing carbon footprint, they expose all their numbers and statistics proving that it’s possible to produce beautiful pieces and care for the environment and social responsibility.
Fashion is much more than just clothing and accessories. Check out our article about jewelry symbolism.