Times…they are a changing’…….and our apparel and clothing choices are changing too……what we are starting to see is a whole generation that is changing the way that we shop, choose products, and purchase our wardrobes and fashion essentials, they are supporting a more eco-friendly trend, that I believe is here to stay.
This shift is on the verge of massive growth, mainly because of the addition, and the pressure on manufactures to produce cruelty-free products and materials. This reason, as well as the ethically evolved cultivation practices of these eco-friendly fabrics, is leading the way to a healthier and more beneficial movement not only for humans, but Mother Nature as well, and the leader of the pack in this long-overdue movement is “The Rock Star” Hemp!
You may be asking yourself—-what in the world does hemp have to do with clothing and apparel, and why is it considered an eco-friendly fabric “Rock Star” in the first place? Well, let’s start with the differences between conventional fabrics and an eco-friendly one, shall we?
Conventional fabrics such as cotton, have been a main component of our apparel essentials for quite some time, but did you know that these traditional crops are sprayed with an exuberant amount of toxic pesticides each year, worldwide, which poisons our water, air, and soil, and has sever ramifications on our ecosystems, causing harm to animals, plants, and humans, all while soaking up our precious water supply, and depleting the ground of precious nutrients, wearing out the soil with every harvest?
Then, these crops are subjected to dyes, chemicals, and more pesticides, some of them being epigenetic, which means that the changes that these chemicals can make, can affect us as humans, on the genetic level by passing down heritable conditions to future generations. Doesn’t make me want to go snuggle up in a 100% cotton hoodie anymore, does it you?
But, there is a very good alternative that is changing the way people think and purchase their wardrobe attire, and this is by choosing eco-friendly fabrics and accessories over conventional materials.
Eco-friendly fabrics, such as hemp are so “green” that it is considered a carbon-negative crop, which means that it absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows, retaining the carbon dioxide and then releasing the oxygen, it is also suggested that this may be a way to slow down the atmospheric and marine greenhouse gases. Hemp requires no pesticides, needs very little weeding, and actually enriches the soil that it leaves behind.
Hemp can produce twice as much fiber, per acre as cotton, and the land area it needs is only 25 x 25 miles square, this is enough to produce enough fiber in one year to make a massive variety of clothing such as pants, dresses, hats, socks and more. Is it any wonder that hemp has become the “Rock Star” in the clothing world?
What Is Hemp Clothing?
Hemp has been used by humans since 770 AD, and since that time, it has been used to make many products, from clothing to paper, to rope and everything in between.
Unlike cotton, hemp fabric becomes softer with use, and can absorb moisture very quickly to help keep the body dry and warm. Hemp is also a very porous fiber that will allow the fabric to breathe, even in the summer, keeping the body cool.
Other natural fibers that are considered eco-friendly are bamboo, wool, silk, linen, and organic cotton (cotton that is grown in subtropic countries, without the use of chemically enhanced fertilizers or pesticides).
Hemp is a very versatile plant, as it is the longest and the strongest plant fiber around, making it a great resource for clothing and it’s repeat usage. As a matter of fact, hemp fibers are so strong that it is used in making ropes for the Navy (because of its strength), and Bibles are often made with hemp paper, because they last much longer than regular wood-based paper.
Hemp grows very quickly and is ready to harvest in only 120 days after being seeded, whereas it can take hundreds of years to grow and harvest trees for paper and such. Hemp prefers to grow in moderately cool climates, and the US is a great growing zone for it.
Another great thing about hemp made clothing is that is can naturally block more UV rays than non-hemp fabrics, and it doesn’t create static electricity, this is because it has the same net static charge as our skin, and resonates perfectly with our electromagnetic field.
These are just a few of the many benefits of choosing to wear hemp attire, read on for more amazing benefits.
Here are 10 Amazing Benefits Of Wearing Hemp Clothing
- Hemp saves water by using very little to grow and process.
- Hemp has four times the strength of cotton and won’t weaken when washed
- Hemp retains its color with natural dyes better than any other fabric
- Hemp can help to protect your skin from the harsh UV rays by filtering them out
- Hemp is bacteria resistant, meaning it can breathe and will prevent odors
- Hemp is harvested by hand, meaning more jobs
- Hemp is soft on the skin, and gets softer with wear
- Hemp has excellent insulation properties, which can keep you warm or cool.
- Hemp is perfect for people with chemical sensitivities, because of its natural processing techniques.
- Hemp clothing is very durable as well as bio-degradable, leaving a minimal ecological footprint in the life of the garment.
How Is Hemp Processed?
Hemp plants grow from seeds annually, and can grow in a range of different soils, but tend to grow best on land that can produce a high yield of corn. The soil must be non-acidic and rich in nitrogen, as well as drained.
Hemp prefers mild and cooler climates, with a humid atmosphere, and rainfall of at least 25 inches per year. Once the crop is ready to harvest, the woody core is separated from the bast fiber, then cleaned and matted for production.
Hemp fabric is made from the fiber strands of the plant. Once they are separated they are spun together to produce a thread that can be woven into a fabric for apparel.
Isn’t Hemp Controversial?
In the United States, hemp is still illegal to grow, with the exception of some provisional states that have passed laws to grow hemp for research purposes, this provision is in part because of the Farm Bill that passed in January 2015, and allows colleges, universities and state agricultural agencies to grow and research hemp without being penalized by the Federal government. This provision applies only to the states where industrial hemp is legal.
Understanding the differences between cannabis that is grown only for industrial hemp purposes as opposed to strains for marijuana consumption is important because hemp is bred for its seeds, oil and fiber and contains only trace amounts of THC (tetrahydocannabinol) or the chemical that can get a person “high”, while marijuana on the other hand can contain more than 20% THC and is bred to produce very little fiber and not to produce the seeds that diminish the plant’s psychoactive potency.
Strangely enough, the U.S. Government has a hard time distinguishing between the two very different plants, which are grown for very different purposes, meanwhile, industrial hemp is taking off all over the world due to the consumer demand for hemp clothing, oil, paper, and seeds. As a matter of fact more that 30 countries grow industrial hemp with limited THC of 0.3%, again, not bred to make a person “high.” As more and more countries and states pass laws to incorporate the use of hemp derived products, I believe that we will see more and more products being manufactured and infused with it’s “powerful goodness.”.
So, answering the question “isn’t hemp controversial?”., the answer is yes, industrial hemp is legal in the U. S, but growing it is not, unless it is within the 16 approved states that have passed pro-hemp legislation. There are no laws in the US or Canada that make the possession of hemp illegal, this includes the seeds, oil, fabrics or clothing, so purchasing a product with industrial hemp is completely allowed and may be shipped across state lines as long as it is under the legal limit of 0.03% THC and is INDUSTRIAL HEMP-which, all of the hemp clothing manufactures that I recommend and purchase from are.
Where Can I Find Hemp Clothing?
There are a number of places that carry and ship hemp and eco-friendly apparel, one of them being a recognizable name brand of Patagonia, which makes hemp clothing with 100% hemp or blends with fibers like organic cotton or polyester. I find their apparel to be very comfortable, stylish, and of course eco-friendly, which my skin adores as well as my pocket book, because the more I wash and wear an item, the softer it becomes.
I will add more hemp/eco-friendly apparel companies as I find them, but for now, here is a few links on some of the products that I recommend and that are hemp and eco-friendly….check them out.
Thank you for stopping by and stay tuned for updated posted all about the Hemp Movement!
Here’s to Hemp