Over 700 gallons of water are consumed to make one cotton shirt. Clothes take roughly 80 years to break down in landfills. 10% of the world’s greenhouse emissions are produced by the fashion industry. Only 2% of garment workers earn a living wage.
If you were looking for solid reasons why today’s thriving fast fashion industry will face a gruesome death pretty soon, there you have it.
Fast fashion is like a disease that poisons everything it touches—from the planet to the people. But there is a cure.
Sustainable clothing is the magical solution to this impending threat posed by the garment industry. And consumers are taking note. A tell-tale sign is the changing fashion market trends. Going green and recycling are not simply buzz words; they are an indication of the turning tables.
Hemp is a natural crop that was born to be sustainable. It doesn’t need any artificial processing. That’s why one of the most viable and sustainable alternatives to fast fashion is the hemp clothing industry. Hemp heals the planet and its people. It has the power to change the face of the fashion industry.
The hemp industry has steadily grown in the past decades and that will continue until it dethrones the tyrannical fast fashion industry. The bad guy has to lose, after all!
Having founded one such hemp company, I take full responsibility for this claim. Here are five strong reasons why I believe sustainable hemp clothing will soon dominate the fashion market.
One of the mammoth positive effects of sustainable fashion is its environmental utility. The three most severe culprits of present-day environmental degradation are the release of greenhouse gases, water pollution, and land pollution. Hemp can help on all three fronts.
● While other synthetic and organic fibers release carbon into the atmosphere leading to the greenhouse effect, hemp sequesters carbon. Hemp absorbs way more CO2 than it releases in its life cycle. Unlike any other existing fiber crop, hemp has a negative carbon footprint. This means it can undo the adverse environmental impact of fast fashion.
● Hemp clothing is 100% biodegradable. For example, all the hemp clothing you will find at Hemp Foundation disintegrates within weeks of disposal. This means there are zero risks of land or water pollution with hemp clothing.
● Being naturally resistant to pests and weeds, hemp doesn’t require fertilizers or pesticides. So there is no question of water pollution from runoff and logging. Hemp also sends its roots deep down and enriches the soil with nutrients. Hence, the quality of soil improves, and no erosion occurs.
The benefits of eco-friendly clothing extend to your well-being as well. Being an organic fiber, hemp offers everything you would expect and more.
Here are some of the overarching benefits of hemp clothing:
● Antimicrobial properties – Bacteria can’t grow. No foul smell even after days of wear. ● UV resistance – Protection from the harmful effects of UV-A and UV-B rays.
● Hypoallergenic – Hemp is gentle on the skin. It is unlikely to cause any harsh reactions. ● Hot and cold – Hemp clothing will heat your body in winters and cool it down in summers.
● Breathability – Air passes easily due to the porous nature of hemp.
● Moisture-wicking – Absorbs sweat quickly.
There is no wear and tear with hemp clothing. Hemp is a durable fabric that only gets softer with time, not weaker. That means you can wash it and wear it as frequently and in whichever way you please. Hemp won’t disappoint you.
No matter how you treat your hemp clothing, it won’t
● get holes or tears;
● discolor with time or lose its vibrancy;
These are some of the most common reasons people discard their clothes. But with hemp clothing, that is a thing of the past.
At Hemp Foundation we take special care to ensure that the clothes you buy once, last you for ages. We attempt to transform the fast fashion mentality that treats clothing as if it’s disposable. You would want to wear hemp clothes, instead of dumping them after a few uses.
4. Beneficial To The Agriculture Industry
Sure synthetic fibers are detrimental to the environment. But you would think organic fibers would be better, right?
Wrong! Although biodegradable, other organic fibers are extremely taxing on both the environment and the agriculture industry. Farmers often fail to make ends meet when they cultivate these fibers. In developing countries like India, they are compelled to migrate to cities in search of work. The story is the opposite for hemp.
Hemp is a blessing to struggling agricultural economies. Here’s why:
● Hemp doesn’t require heavy irrigation. Unlike other organic crops like cotton, it produces a lot more fiber with minuscule water consumption.
● The crop matures in 3-4 months and grows all year round. This means farmers can cultivate hemp at least thrice a year.
● Like a weed, hemp grows in almost any weather and soil conditions. So agricultural industries all over the globe can benefit from hemp clothing.
● It is a high-yield crop. Hemp produces jaw-dropping volumes of fiber in small expanses of land. Hence, it is financially profitable for the farmers.
Animal cruelty is consistent in the case of other organic animal-derived fabrics like wool. Instead of being treated as living, breathing beings, sheep are often treated as wool-producing machines—born to be used. They are severely injured while shearing. Some even die an early death after a despicable life in subpar conditions. The story of fur and leather is worse.
You don’t have to be associated with any of that cruelty. Hemp grows naturally from the soil, hence it is completely vegan.
Another huge factor that sets hemp apart from the rest of the fashion industry is how this industry treats its workers. When you buy a cheaply produced garment, how much do you reckon the workers get paid?
It’s a shamefully meager sum that doesn’t even meet minimum wage. Not to mention the deplorable conditions these people are forced to work in. The reason you can purchase fast
fashion clothing so cheaply is the exploitation of thousands of factory workers. And no surprise, most of these exploited workers are women.
But that is not the case with the hemp clothing industry. Hemp clothes are marginally more expensive than your regular clothes. That is the fair price you are paying for someone’s labor.
I can’t speak for all hemp companies in the world, but I can speak for myself. When I founded my hemp business, the economic empowerment of women was one of our primary goals. All the female workers working for Hemp Foundation in Uttarakhand, India, are not only making enough money to support their families but also learning income-earning skills. These skills will go a long way as hemp clothing takes the center stage in the fashion industry.
As more people experience the benefits of sustainable shopping, replacing fast fashion will become the need of the hour. And hemp is the most sustainable alternative available.
These are hard facts that cannot be denied. Under such observations, to say that hemp clothing is the future of the fashion industry is not a prophecy but a foresight.
It is clairvoyance I hope all fashion moguls have.