By Moran and Emma L.
Though all 'green' fabrics are going to be better for our environment when compared next to the conventional products, it is important to still research which is truly the best. Through our research we have fond that hemp has been touted as the ultimate Eco friendly fabric. This is because it requires no chemicals to grow. It’s also extremely versatile, and can be used to create strong, sturdy fabrics, such as rope, or soft, delicate items (think comfy pajamas or a soft nightgown).
Naturally, products made from hemp are 100% biodegradable, recyclable, and reusable. Also, the speed at which hemp grows can provide benefits regarding the resource requirements of the end product. Here are some examples of how hemp products could benefit our environment and even our health:
- Clothing and textiles made from hemp have no residual chemicals that could affect our health (as many other fabrics do).
- Hemp based fabrics block the sun’s UV rays more effectively than other fabrics.
- Hemp oil is the richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids
- It’s widely known that hemp can be used in so many ways as an eco-friendly alternative to current methods. Given that so many of today’s products are produced from toxic materials, by switching to hemp based products, the benefits for the environment (and ourselves) would be enormous.
Pictured below is hemp fabric displayed in different colours:
- Fast and robust growth : Hemp grows extremely fast and can be grown in any climate
- No herbicides/pesticides required : Hemp can be grown with no herbicides, fungicides or pesticides
- Suppresses weeds : Hemp is a natural weed suppressor due to the fast growth of the canopy
- Improves soil structure : Due to it’s long roots, hemp replenishes soil with nutrients and nitrogen and helps control erosion of topsoil
- Hemp produces lots of oxygen : Hemp produces the same amount of oxygen while it’s growing that it would use in carbon dioxide if burned as a fuel
- Cleans up pollution : Hemp can actually clean up toxins from the ground. This process is called phytoremediation
The image below demonstrates all the many uses that hemp can provide:
What Makes Hemp Products Greener
- Hemp has incredible environmental benefits. It doesn't pollute the air or water. It builds soil and is commonly grown organically, without pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. And it is a natural weed suppressor due to fast growth
- Unlike other crops, such as cotton, hemp doesn't exhaust the soil. Hemp plants shed their leaves all through the growing season, adding rich organic matter to the topsoil and helping it retain moisture. Farmers have reported excellent hemp growth on land that had been cultivated steadily for nearly 100 years
- Hemp’s strong roots descend for three feet or more and their roots anchor and protect the soil from runoff while building and preserving topsoil and subsoil
- Hemp is an extremely fast growing crop, in which produces more fiber yield per acre than most other sources. Therefore, the amount of land needed for obtaining equal yields of fiber place hemp at an advantage over other fibers
The image below shows a field where hemp is being grown. This process is fast and requires no chemicals!
What Makes Hemp More Attractive to a Customer
- Easy to grow
- Hemp Blocks UV Rays- Another super cool thing about hemp is that when it’s used in fabrics, it blocks more than 50% more UV rays than regular cotton fabrics.
- Hemp doesn't Need Pesticides- Hemp naturally resists insects and fungus. Cotton, on the other hand, is an extremely delicate plant which requires tons of pesticides and insecticides in order to grow. It also naturally suppresses weed growth. This means that farmers make more money growing hemp because they don’t have to spend a fortune on dangerous chemicals.
- Hemp Grows Fast- Unlike cotton, which takes an entire season to grow and mature, hemp matures extremely quickly. This means that farmers can get harvests faster, making more of a profit each year.