Only a few years ago, mentioning that you were going to start wearing hemp clothes might have raised more than a few eyebrows. The idea of wearing a shirt or jacket made from hemp would be the societal equivalent of donning a burlap sack.
But it’s the third decade of the 21st century, and those kinds of views are falling far out of fashion. Customers want their products not just affordable, but also, sustainable. There’s a growing concern from customers that their products be ethically sourced and not harmful to the environment.
Only last year, a Forbes article stated that the fashion industry needed to up its sustainability game. They asked, is hemp the answer? It seems in 2021, we’re primed to find out.
Hemp’s Growing Fashionability
As we said, there has been growing interest in hemp across both Europe and the United States. In 2018, the Farm Bill categorized hemp as an industrial crop and this truly showed which way the wind was blowing.
But it’s not just farmers who are cottoning onto the potential of hemp. Fashion designers are, too.
At the 2018 London Fashion Week, Canadian designed Steven Tai used hemp fabrics for all of his models. During the following year at New York Fashion Week, Korto Momolu created a dazzling collection that embodied female strength and power. All of her models strode down the runway in clothes made from sustainable materials, like hemp.
In addition to high fashion, there have also been moves by major brands to incorporate hemp into their designs.
Nike partnered with British label Size? to create a shoe that would epitomize the streetwear of London and Tokyo. The result – The Nike Air Zoom Type Hemp. It’s important to note that the material chosen to create a shoe that encapsulates two amazing cities is hemp.
Levi’s, too, has been quick to capitalize on the emerging popularity of hemp-based products. They’ve wholeheartedly embraced hemp with their Cottonized Hemp label. They process hemp to become softer and feel almost indistinguishable from regular cotton jeans.
Why Is Hemp so Great for Fashion?
There are a lot of reasons why hemp is so popular in the fashion industry. As we said, customers now want to know the brands they buy from are using responsibly-sourced materials. People are very keen to know that sustainable practices are being used in all of the products they purchase.
Hemp, as opposed to a typical fabric like cotton, is a lot less impactful on the environment. To grow cotton requires a lot of water and the use of pesticides and herbicides. It also takes a long time. Hemp, in contrast, requires far less water, and absolutely no pesticides are needed. It also grows very fast, reaching maturity in around seventy to a hundred days.
It also produces more fibre per square acre than cotton. On the same acre of land, hemp could produce roughly three times as much material as cotton.
Hemp also lasts longer than cotton as well as being three times the tensile strength of cotton. So your clothes will be softer, warmer, and last far longer. What’s not to love?
For reasons like these, making the switch to hemp is a win-win for companies such as Levi. They can save on costs, as well as reassure their customers by doing their part for sustainable, environmental practices.
Why Hasn’t Hemp Exploded Before Now?
There’s a number of reasons for this; partly it’s because sometimes new ideas take a long time to take hold. But for a long time, it was tough to figure out how to make hemp as soft as cotton. However, thanks to modern scientific advancements it’s easier than ever to create hemp clothing that’s soft and easy on the skin.
Top 3 Brands to Watch Out for in 2021
As you can see there are both high fashion designers and household names like Nike and Levi making the hemp switch. But don’t be fooled, there are many fantastic smaller brands who’ve been creating sustainable, hemp-based clothing for years.
Below we’ve listed our top three brands for you to keep an eye out for in 2021.
Founded in the 1990s by Robert Jungmann, Jungmaven is committed to simplicity and sustainability. Way back before the modern craze, Jungmaven were dedicated to creating high quality, fashionable hemp-based clothing.
In addition to a dazzling array of womenswear and menswear, from shirts to dresses to sweatshirts and tie-dyes, Jungmaven wants to raise awareness of the power and durability of hemp. Though choosing a hemp tee might seem small, it’s an act that has the potential to change the world.
Amsterdam-based clothing brand HoodLamb have created a collection of eco-friendly outerwear and knitwear entirely from hemp. By investing in a fashion-forward approach and committing themselves to sustainability and cruelty-free practices, Hoodlamb is a fashion brand with their finger on the pulse of fashion. We particularly love their Nordic style parka jackets.
Established in 1995, Hempy’s truly believe in sustainable, and healthy clothing. Like all the brands on our shortlist, Hempy’s knows that hemp is a force for good in the world. By adopting sustainable practices and raising awareness of consumers, they want to change the world. They’re also a really awesome clothing brand that creates stylish clothing for men and women. In their store, you can find accessories like wallets and even journals and notebooks.