Could the hemp plant revolutionize and reshape the fashion industry? Many experts seem to think so.
Fast fashion is notoriously bad for the environment. Americans, for example, throw away more than 14 million tons of used clothing each year. That figure was about 7 million tons 20 years ago.
More than 300,000 tonnes of used clothes end up in landfills or are burnt in the UK. To compound the problem, most of these clothes have never been worn or sold. In most cases, burning and dumping used clothes in landfills is the manufacturers’ and retailers’ way to get rid of “deadstock” in a “cost-effective” way.
However, while the cost seems cheap for producers and retailers, it’s hefty for the planet and future generations.
For instance, did you know that Polyester clothing takes almost 200 years to decompose fully? Two whole centuries to completely degrade, and yet we pump out tonnes of polyester clothing and dump it even faster.
But, the reality is dawning on many that fashion isn’t just about having more clothes but being socially and environmentally responsible.
In recent years, the fashion industry has become detrimental to the environment, bearing significant responsibility for carbon emissions. It is believed that the industry is the second-worst polluter after oil.
The world needs ways of tackling any form of pollution that accelerates climate change. As the fashion industry moves towards sustainability, the hemp plant is emerging as a more sustainable option.
Hemp, also known as industrial hemp, is a species of Cannabis Sativa with less THC content. It is cheekily referred to as the “sober cousin” of marijuana.
The hemp plant has been used in the textile industry for thousands of years. This biodegradable fabric is becoming popular with major fashion brands looking to add it to their clothing lines.
It could well shape the talk on sustainable fashion as it is an environmentally conscious material for everyday clothing. It is durable, long-lasting, and has a comfortable feel to it. There are many ways hemp rivals clothing made from cotton, whose impact on the planet is far much worse.
Hemp clothing is no doubt going to be a game-changer in the fashion industry, and numerous reasons point to this:
The Hemp plant is environmentally friendly and does more in developing the climate as opposed to damaging it.
It uses very little water compared to cotton. It also does not require pesticides or fertilizers to grow. In the same way, hemp helps restore and detoxify soil as opposed to cotton, which robs the soil of nutrients.
While hemp requires half the amount of land cotton needs to grow, it yields 3 times more fiber than its counterpart. Industrial hemp plants have also been proven to absorb more carbon dioxide from the environment than trees.