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The sustainable fashion movement is rapidly growing. People care about where their clothes are from, who made them, and the impact they are having. Curating a wardrobe nowadays isn’t just about trends and top quality; sustainability is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. But with so much noise and every brand claiming to be sustainable, how do we know who to believe? One thing is certain: hemp fibres material is the best sustainable material. Even big companies like Levi’s are getting in on that act to making clothing more sustainable using hemp fibres. e We take a deep dive into the material and how it can help us protect the planet whilst enhancing our wardrobes. 

What is hemp?

Hemp is part of the botanical class of Cannabis Sativa cultivars. It’s predominantly used for medical or industrial purposes (e.g. for clothing and other material goods). The hemp plant has a long green stem with a head of large, pointy leaves. Hemp is often confused for marijuana. Although these two plants come from the same family and look similar, they aren’t the same.

What makes hemp sustainable?

Hemp is one of the fastest-growing plants on Earth. Its growing properties are similar to that of bamboo. Unlike other plants, hemp doesn’t require any toxic chemicals or fertilisers to assist the growing process. In addition to this, it’s naturally pest resistant and able to grow in a variety of different climates. Despite its appearance, hemp is extremely durable. 

hemp fibres material

What is sustainable fashion?

Sustainable fashion is clothes and accessories that work in harmony with nature. The traditional fashion industry is immensely damaging. Plastic, toxic chemicals, overconsumption, and waste are rife in the fashion industry. Sustainable fashion aims to counteract this negative impact and encourages people to invest in clothing with less harmful consequences. Examples of sustainable fashion include:

  • Investing in high-quality materials that will last longer
  • Using organic and eco-friendly materials (e.g. hemp)
  • Wearing your outfits multiple times
  • Washing your clothes less
  • Shopping with brands that work on-demand
  • Mending old and broken clothes rather than buying new

There are several ways we can adopt sustainable fashion habits, but prioritising Earth-friendly materials is number one.

The future of hemp in sustainable fashion

If you’ve never heard of hemp clothing, you’re not the only one. One of the main reasons people aren’t aware of hemp clothing is its history. Up until the early 1900s, hemp was legal (illegal??) in the UK. And confusion surrounding hemp and marijuana has garnered the plant a bad reputation. The good news is, as more people become aware of the different facts of the Cannabis Sativa and its abilities, hemp is gaining the recognition it deserves. Sustainable fashion brands are beginning to use hemp in their clothes, and an increasing number of people are seeking eco-friendly materials for their wardrobes.

The Hemp plant contains many products including oils, fibres and CBD

We get hemp oil and fibres, and CBD oil from different parts of the Cannabis Sativa plant. CBD comes from the flower, bud, stem and leaves as these have the highest concentration of CBD. However, hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of the plant. And hemp fibres (used in clothing) get extracted from the stem.

Hemp contains trace amounts of THC but not in the fibres

Another misconception is the link between Hemp and THC. THC is the psychoactive compound in the marijuana plant (a Cannabis Sativa species) whereby the flowers contain high %s of THC. The classification for Hemp means it has to have less than 0.3% THC in its flowers – which means it does not get you high.  Most CBD products remove the THC altogether through a process called Chromatography.  The fibres of the hemp plant are found in the stalk and contain no THC or CBD whatsoever.  Traditionally THC is known as the molecule in the cannabis plant that taken recreationally to get high, but there is garnering momentum and evidence that it has significant medicinal qualities.

The Cannabis Sativa is a phenomenal plant with unparalleled capabilities. From hemp to CBD and health to industry, there’s not much this plant can’t do! If you’re keen to learn more about hemp and CBD, and how they can transform your life, take a look at the Mee CBD blog. Every week, we take you on a deep dive into the wonderful, powerful world of the Cannabis Sativa.

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/hemp-vs-marijuana#marijuana

https://www.the-sustainable-fashion-collective.com/2014/12/02/hemp-fibre-fabric-eco-benefit/#:~:text=Derived%20from%20the%20Cannabis%20Sativa,yellowish%20grey%20to%20deep%20brown.

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