In case you hadn’t noticed, hemp clothing is cropping up all over the place.
Levis now make hemp jeans, Patagonia makes hemp t-shirts and jackets, and Afends has almost become an entirely hemp-focused clothing brand. So what’s the deal with hemp clothing? Is it just a fad? The short answer is no. My wardrobe’s hemp-to-cotton ratio is constantly increasing, and maybe I’ll only own hemp clothing one day. Am I crazy? Perhaps. But the hemp clothing has nothing to do with that.
Here are seven reasons why you should fill your wardrobe with hemp clothing.
It’s mould-resistant: Australia’s had its fair share of moisture this year, leading to a few of my favourite T-shirts developing mould. My hemp clothes, though? Mould-free. There aren’t many natural fibres that are resistant to mould and mildew, but hemp is one of them, and I’m grateful for it.
Hemp is less intensive to produce than cotton: Did you know that it takes roughly 10,000 liters of water to produce just one kilogram of cotton fiber? On the other hand, it only takes 2123 liters of water to produce a kilogram of usable hemp fiber! Not to mention the fact that one hemp plant can produce roughly 2.2 times the amount of fiber that a cotton plant can yield, which means a far smaller amount of land is necessary to produce hemp clothing.
Hemp absorbs CO2: Remember that CO2 stuff that Al Gore was always talking about? That stuff that’s making the planet hotter? Well, hemp plants absorb and trap (or sequester, to use the correct term) more CO2 per hectare than any other commercial crop. The more you support hemp fashion, the more you’re supporting a crop that’ll keep us around for a little longer.
It’s a great conversation starter:
‘Thanks, it’s hemp’
‘Wow. That’s pretty cutting-edge. Let me buy you a drink, hot guy.’
Without fail, this is what my life is like while wearing hemp shirts. Even if I’m not at a pub, people will find a way to buy me an alcoholic drink once they learn that I’m wearing hemp. Of course, that’s not true, but I do bring it up at every possible occasion, so that’s gotta count for something, right?
It’s stink-resistant: At times, if it’s hot or I’ve been doing some kind of exercise, I have been known to work up a sweat. And when sweat arrives, body odour will surely follow. However, because of hemp’s antibacterial properties, my hemp shirts rarely smell bad, no matter how much of a sweaty mess I become. So, fellow stinkers, there is hope for us after all.
There are no microplastics in hemp clothing: Synthetic textiles like polyester are a primary contributor to microplastics in the oceans. And if the well-being of the fishies doesn’t concern you, bear in mind that the average person swallows a credit card worth of plastic each week… Natural textiles, however—like hemp—don’t contain microplastics because they aren’t made from oil.
Growing hemp doesn’t require pesticides: Why are you still reading this article? You should be out buying hemp clothing by now. Here’s another fun fact to get you out the door: Hemp requires no pesticides or herbicides. Pesticides and herbicides are bad because they can contaminate soil, water and other plants, which can negatively impact the environment and the wildlife within it.
Honestly, I could go on and on about the benefits of hemp. They are myriad. Unfortunately, because of its association with marijuana, the hemp plant has been chronically underutilized. But don’t let that stop you. Go get some hemp clothing and try it for yourself.