A considerable portion of the fabrics used in our clothing is made of petroleum-based synthetic fibers. Without going into a discussion about how these materials are harmful to our planet, think about this typical scenario: you’re washing your clothes, sheets, or fabrics and tiny strands of the synthetic fiber (also known as micro-plastics) fall into the water.
You might think “What’s the problem, aren’t they washed away in the sewers?” Well, they are but they’re also very tiny (not even a millimeter) so they aren’t properly filtered out.
These petroleum-based strands end up consumed by anything that drinks water on this planet, even us! That is a bad thing. As populations grow, so does the problem. So, how do we go about becoming a part of the solution?
Historically speaking, hemp was one of the first plants to be spun into fiber, approximately 10,000 years ago. Some might think hemp is a fancy and misleading way of saying marijuana, but contrary to weed, hemp contains tiny, insignificant traces of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
It’s legal in most countries around the world because it’s selectively grown to have the lowest THC possible.
Hemp clothing has many benefits over synthetic fibers besides being more environmentally-friendly. Let’s review the advantages.
- Hemp clothing is stronger
Hemp fibers can be 5 times firmer and 2.5 times more resistant than their synthetic counterparts, such as polypropylene plastic (PP).
Clothing made from hemp fibers is also lightweight and more absorbent. Thanks to its high UV and mold resistance, it is the perfect material for outdoor wear.
- Hemp clothing is safer
As it’s not reinforced with glass fibers like certain plastics, hemp fibers are much safer. They’re also easier to work with, as they can be implemented using simple injection molding machines without modifications.
- Hemp clothing is biodegradable
I guess you could say plastic fibers are biodegradable too, but I don’t think 600 years to decompose is short enough. Hemp plastics take as long as six months. Quite the difference!
On the same note, hemp is more cost-effective than conventional plastics. The growth requirements for hemp are minimal and compared to cotton, hemp produces about 2 times more fiber per hectare.
- Hemp clothing is antibacterial
Alright, this one sounds hard to swallow, you might think it’s some sort of salesmen talking but hemp is truly impressive.
Hemp contains five cannabinoids: CBD (cannabidiol), CBC (cannabichromene), CBG (cannabigerol), THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and CBN (cannabinol). Several studies have demonstrated that they can effectively defeat a variety of MRSA strains, even Staph, which is responsible for about 90,000 yearly deaths in the United States.
The plant is so strong that it requires no pesticides (which are harmful to the environment as well) to grow. It can do just fine without any chemicals and it grows quickly.
- Hemp clothing is comfortable
Not as much as cotton, that can’t be argued, but let’s face it, cotton ends up wearing down very fast.
Hemp gets progressively more comfortable as you wash it (just like cotton) but it’ll outlast cotton by miles.
As you can see, hemp fibers can knockout almost all other fibers on the market, and for a good reason. Almost anything made of cloth, latex, or plastic fibers can be replaced by hemp fibers, and the world would be a much better place.