Hemp is considered to be one of the most sustainable textiles known and a great alternative to cotton. We need to stop buying conventionally grown cotton and hemp performs better for the environment and for people. Hemp uses half the water and land to grow, is three times as strong, needs no pesticides and due to fast growth weeds are suppressed meaning no herbicides. Hemp also sequesters carbon from the atmosphere with 1 tonne of hemp fibres removing 1.62 tonnes of CO2 making it Carbon Negative, and it returns 60-70% of the nutrients back into the soil. Hemp also improves the soil by adding carbon back into the soil in a process called biosequestration. It's 100% biodegradable and recyclable and feels beautiful against the skin. It's a wonder fibre for the health of the planet.
The Story of Hemp: Hemp almost disappeared in Europe and Northern America in the 1930’s, largely due to the big chemical companies pushing anti drug legislation in an effort to shut down the hemp industry and replace natural fibres with their new synthetic fibres. The ‘industrial’ hemp that is now used in textile applications contains very little of the psychoactive component THC. Because hemp is now widely appreciated as a sustainable fibre, it is making a slow come back in Europe. One of the problems, like in many ancient craft based industries is that, together with the machines used in the different stages of the textile making process, much knowledge has disappeared.
Hemp yarns and fabrics are perfect for clothing families today. The fibre has specific properties which distinguish it from other materials and make it unique.
Hemp doesn’t trap much air and thus has relatively poor insulation properties. In this it resembles linen: hemp fabrics feel fresh and cool, a distinct advantage for summer clothing. Like wool, hemp is highly absorbent. It takes up water rapidly and also releases it quickly. On hot days this helps in regulating the microclimate between body and clothing.
We would love to see the hemp industry grow and thrive across many countries to reestablish these industries and spread the use of hemp in fashion and industry. We have sourced a combination of mostly European hemp with some Chinese hemp blends.
Info sources: Ecological Textiles, Holland; Sunstrands Sustainable Materials website.
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