Thanks to fashion designers like Korto Momolu, hemp clothing is having a long-overdue revival because of its benefits. The project runway star showcased her latest line at New York Fashion Week in September this year with hemp clothing taking centre stage.
Korto is following in the footsteps of legendary American clothing company Levi Strauss who released a new line of hemp jeans in March of this year. It is documented that hemp fibres once provided over 80% of the worlds textile needs but in the early 20th century a switch was made to cheap synthetic fibres and cost-effective cotton which has heavily influenced the environmental crisis before us.
Dangers of synthetic clothes and cotton
Synthetic clothes release wave after wave of microplastics into the oceans which have been shown to end up in our food and water supply.
Resource-intensive cotton, incredibly, uses thousands of litres of water to make just one t-shirt and in a time of water shortages, this just doesn’t make any sense.
With this in mind, it is imperative that we all make small changes to reinvigorate hemp and reintroduce hemp clothing fibres into our daily lives as the benefits are as multifaceted as the plant it comes from.
Benefits of Hemp Clothing Fibres
Cheap plastic clothes are more often made in terrible factory conditions mostly by women who are underpaid, overworked and exposed to carcinogenic chemicals.
Hemp, on the other hand, can be grown and processed in a much safer environment improving workers health and well being.
Bacteria is everywhere and certain pathogens can cause disease. Hemp has been shown in a wealth of studies to have a complex molecular makeup that displays anti-bacterial properties reducing the risk of carrying and spreading infection.
Hemp is a breathable fabric that does not hold moisture and so is resistant to mould so its very beneficial. During the summer it's fine fibres will keep you cool and in winter it behaves like an insulator, keeping you warm.
Hemp can be grown without the need for herbicides, pesticides and unnatural fertilisers which means no nasty chemical runoffs into nearby streams or leaching into nearby ground. It also requires significantly less water to grow in comparison to cotton.
The cannabis (hemp) plant only takes 3 months to grow during which it sequesters carbon dioxide, releases oxygen, all the while its root system is restoring the soil.
Recyclable and Biodegradable
Natural fibres like hemp are stronger than cotton and will, therefore, last longer. Once you have finished with them they will take months to biodegrade, unlike polyester clothes which could take hundreds of years to decompose (if they even do).
Comfort Of Hemp Clothing
Hemp has incredibly fine fibres and the material is best described as resembling the feel of cotton. Hemp clothing is a light and soft material that feels good on the skin and actually gets softer after every wash.
It makes sense for us to make the switch to eco-friendly hemp clothing but it will take time for the industry to fully establish itself and in turn, for prices to reduce.
Our current personal fashion show on display is a ticking biological time bomb and hemp may just be the solution we have all been looking for.