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Hemp: the next big thing in the fashion industry?

Hemp is a variation of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Previously the plant has being associated with negative connotations, however in recent times it is becoming more recognised and appreciated for its favourable industrial benefits.

fashion model in white suit

Hemp is currently being utilized in a variety of sectors including beauty, food, and fashion in products such as clothing garments, homeware items including bedding and tablecloths as well as upholstery. Current laws allow for hemp to be farmed for industrial purposes meaning that brands are beginning to discover the benefits it can bring to the market and how it can be applied for more creative purposes.

How is Hemp beneficial to the Fashion Industry? 

The plant is eco-friendly and is helpful in working towards a sustainable future for the fashion industry. In comparison to cotton, which is currently used for producing garments, the water usage for hemp is less than half as much per plant. This means that there is less strain on water supply in local areas of production, alongside this, hemp does not require chemical fertilizers and the process is mainly natural allowing for reduced pollution within water sources.  

As for the material itself, hemp is extremely versatile and durable. In comparison to cotton, hemp has been found to be three times stronger and more durable when used in clothing. Once spun into a fabric, it can also be blended together with other fibres, such as silk, to create different textures within materials which can be used for a range of purposes. 

Although this means that at first the material may be slightly uncomfortable, it ensures that in the long run garments will have a longer life span and over time as washed, the material will become softer without losing any quality. 

Hemp is also a massive contributor to the slow fashion movement. The process of creating garments from hemp is lengthy, however, this is only because it takes more time to make higher quality and longer-lasting garments.

Within the process, the plant must be harvested, spun and extracted, followed by weaving and retting the plant. This procedure can take up to five weeks just for the fibres to soften so they can be extracted and used as a material for industrial purposes.   

Lastly, hemp helps to tackle one of the biggest issues within the fashion industry; waste. All parts of the hemp plant are able to be used in one way or another meaning that waste is at a minimum and that the process remains sustainable and not harmful to the environment.  

So, is hemp going to be the next big thing within the fashion industry? It is clear that there are many hidden properties and benefits of using hemp which are slowly but surely beginning to become more widely recognized within industries globally. The plant has the potential to help industries become more sustainable, along with supporting the slow fashion movement and creating a variety of garments.  

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