By Emma L. and Moran

The numbers may appear haunting and the facts; unbelievable, but this is the reality we are forced to face.The truth surrounding our own planets deterioration is undeniable and this is exactly why we have to take the responsibility of making the world a healthy place for us and future generations to live and grow on. There are endless ways that every individual can reduce their carbon footprint to slow down this environmental downfall, but one that has a huge impact and often goes unnoticed is the textile and fabric industry. Specifically the clothing that we are constantly buying and replacing to match the styles of the season.

In terms of water resources, cotton needs a lot! In fact, one pound of cotton requires about 1,400 gallons of water! As resources become scarcer, countries that rely on cotton face major problems. Whereas, hemp is strong, grows more quickly than almost any other plant and requires only half the water cotton needs to grow. Cotton is also highly pesticide intensive, requiring about 25 percent of the world's insecticides and 10 percent of the world's pesticides. Hemp has little need for herbicides during growing, and generally is grown free of synthetic pesticides. A consumer will most likely be concerned with the look of their product so in terms of fashion, hemp can actually be quite versatile. Many fashion designers are seeking new and eco-friendly fabrics and are choosing to work with hemp! Cotton is one of the most commonly worn fabrics but consumers are beginning to understand the environmental impacts. Durability and comfort are also a concern when choosing which fabric to purchase but hemp is a strong fiber that softens with every wash. The fiber does not break down but the fabric does get more comfortable! Cotton is also a comfortable fabric, although it breaks down after repeated washing.

While both fabrics have advantages, cotton loses points for its less sustainable chemical and water intensive production requirements. We can't figure out why there are even two products in the picture; the easy to produce organically and effective in creating a positive climate change, hemp, is definitely the winner!