Creating more eco-friendly wardrobes is a great way to help save the environment, and is also a great way to find some new and incredible outfits. As part of the effort to create more sustainable clothing that does not damage the environment when produced, newer materials are being used in the fashion industry. These include such things as bamboo, which has incredible softness to the touch and is actually far more sustainable to use to make clothing.
However, easily one of the most sustainable fabrics currently in use across the world is hemp. Hemp has some seriously wonderful properties that help to make it very eco-friendly and help to make it incredibly sustainable.
But why is hemp such a sustainable fabric? What sets it apart from the rest, and why should you be looking to add it to your wardrobe from now on? Join us below, and let’s take a good look at why hemp is one of the most sustainable fabrics around.
What Is Hemp?
Hemp is actually a form of cannabis, belonging to the Sativa family. Hemp is renowned for its strong fibers that are suitably flexible. This has meant that the fibers in hemp have been utilized in rope, yarn, cables, and strings for many years.
Hemp is also used for artificial sponges, as hemp fibers are able to retain their shape, which means that they are perfectly suited to a sponge.
Hemp can also be used to create biodegradable plastics, as well as clothing, which is why we are reading this right now!
How Is Hemp Used To Create Clothing?
In order to utilize the positive benefits of hemp in creating clothing, the hemp leaves themselves need to be picked at peak maturity, so that the fibers throughout are at their strongest but also still fully flexible and malleable.
In order to extract the fibers, however, the hemp has to be subjected to a very specific process. The first step involved in the process is getting. Retting refers to the act of adding bacteria or moisture to a plant to actively eat through the cellular tissue of the plant as well as every other material that is surrounding the fibers. Once the hemp is retted, the fibers can then be separated from the larger plant.
And once the fibers have been removed, all that is left to do is to dry them. This helps to allow the fibers to strengthen up and become a bit more malleable, ready to be used in creating fabrics. This step is also important because if the fiber is allowed to remain wet, it will start to rot and break down.
Crushing the fibers is the next step of the process, and this involves crushing the fibers to condense them down. This helps to ensure that the fibers are stronger and that they don’t get too long. It also allows for the fibers to be mixed with different types of chemicals that help to give the fibers a better texture.
Finally, the process is completed by shaking the fibers to remove any smaller particles of the woody portions that still cling on from the plant. Once this process has been finished, hemp will usually yield around 1.8 meters of individual fibers.
Once the fibers have been processed they can then be mixed with other materials to create the fabrics that go into sustainable clothing.
Why Is Hemp One Of The Most Sustainable Fabrics?
One of the biggest benefits of using hemp to create fabric is that hemp is a very high-yielding plant. Very little land is needed to grow hemp, and yet a lot of it can be grown, and a lot of fibers can be yielded from just a single hemp plant.
This is in direct comparison with cotton, which takes some significant effort to grow and to harvest. As well as this, hemp also absorbs more carbon in the environment than it actively releases. This means that growing more hemp is actually very much beneficial to the environment.
The processing that is used to separate the fibers from the hemp also requires far less energy than other fiber-creating processes. This is great because not only does it save energy, but it also saves money.
Hemp also takes far less water to grow. Cotton can require up to 9,758 kilograms for every kilogram of cotton, whereas hemp only requires around 2000 to 3500 kilograms of water for every kilogram of hemp. This means that growing hemp is not only much easier but also uses up far less water, which in turn means less water needs to be processed for use.
Very few pesticides are required when growing hemp, which means that fewer harmful chemicals are released into the environment and into the soil. This means that growers of hemp do not have to spend too much money on pesticides, which helps to make the process of creating hemp fibers a bit more efficient. Speaking of improvements for the soil, growing hemp is also highly beneficial for the soil, as its roots are truly deep, which means that the soil used to grow hemp is always being stimulated. The byproducts that are left behind when the fibers are processed can also be put back into the soil as fertilizer, which helps to keep the soil enriched, and makes it easier to then grow more hemp!
This makes hemp truly a sustainable source of fabric, thanks to how easy it is to grow, and how easy it is to make use of all of the parts of the plant.
What Are The Benefits Of Hemp Fabrics?
Clothing made from hemp is truly brilliant not only because hemp is a wonderfully sustainable material, but also because of its other benefits.
Hemp Fabric Is Durable
As we mentioned earlier, hemp fibers are truly durable, which means that they are perfectly suited for use in everyday clothing such as a hemp t-shirt and hemp bra.
Hemp-based clothing will last a long time, thanks to the durable fibers, which are highly beneficial to the environment as it reduces the chance that the clothing will end up in a landfill.
Even better, hemp fabrics are also fully biodegradable which means that, should they end up in landfills, they will degrade very quickly, so you don’t have to worry about your old hemp clothing polluting the environment.
Hemp Fabric Is Soft And Light
Hemp fabrics are also incredibly soft. Wearing clothing made from hemp is very enjoyable, as the fabrics rest comfortably upon your skin without creating irritation. This softness also means that clothing made from hemp is very flexible, so it will comfortably fit people of all shapes and sizes, while still retaining their shape and remaining durable.
Hemp fabric also allows clothing made from it to be incredibly light and breathable. This means that clothing made from hemp is absolutely perfect for the summer months as it sits upon your body lightly and does not lead to you becoming incredibly sweaty.
Are There Any Drawbacks To Hemp-Based Fabrics?
Unfortunately, due to the number of highly-specific processes that hemp needs to go through in order to yield its useful fibers, it can be very expensive to buy hemp-based fabrics and especially hemp clothes.
It is also very expensive to produce hemp-based clothing, unfortunately, which is why it costs so much to purchase the finished product.
As you have now seen, hemp is a truly revolutionary new material that is being used throughout the world in a number of industries, but most importantly in the world of fashion.
Hemp is incredibly sustainable, as it requires very little land to grow, and it requires very little water, energy, or pesticides to grow to full maturity. It’s also extremely versatile, as it can be used to create everything from rope to clothing, and even degradable bioplastics.
All of these factors mean that hemp is one of the most environmentally friendly fabrics that exist today, making it an excellent choice for anyone who wants to live more sustainably.