HEMP is one of the most environmentally friendly fibers in the world. It's also three to eight times stronger than cotton, depending on its processing.
HEMPis also one of the fastest-growing crops in the world, reaching maturity in just four months and naturally resistant to pests and toxins. Studies conducted by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) have found that hemp production has a smaller overall ecological footprint than cotton production, requiring up to 500 liters of water to produce one kilogram of hemp, of which 30 percent is suitable for fiber production.
Hemp can be used to make excellent clothing and shoes, as well as industrial textiles, paper, bioplastics, insulators, biofuels, strong cords and cables. It maintains its strength when wet, unlike cotton. However, hemp is still more expensive to grow, harvest and produce than conventional cotton. But as consumers become more aware of the environmental and social impacts of their closet, hemp could have a bright future. Hemp is an abundant, drought-resistant crop that thrives in a variety of soil types and climates at much wider latitudes than cotton.
It also requires a relatively small amount of land to grow, producing up to twice the fiber yield per hectare as cotton. Plus, it can grow to maturity in just three months and uses less water. From China, hemp spread all over the world and was used not only for clothing but also for ship sails and ropes. But due to stigma associated with marijuana, brands cannot promote hemp products on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Hemp softens over time but takes much longer than cotton or linen because of its high tensile strength.
Hemp has not had the industrial support of its main counterparts such as cotton and therefore its growth as an industry has been slowed down. Hemp oil (derived from seeds) was used for centuries as lamp oil and is also an attractive raw material for biodiesel with a high conversion efficiency of 97% that burns at lower temperatures than alternatives. Hemp has low carbon emissions and is capable of capturing carbon emissions from the atmosphere, making it considerably better for the environment than cotton. Plus, it has a tensile strength three times greater than cotton which is why it was so prized by sailors of yesteryear for their ropes and sails. The hemp plant has been used for years even by ancient civilizations but as a trendy staple it has just returned. In the next century, hemp's reputation began to falter as it became associated with marijuana. In conclusion, hemp is an excellent alternative fiber that offers many benefits over cotton.
It's more sustainable due to its low water usage and ability to capture carbon emissions from the atmosphere. It's also stronger than cotton with a tensile strength three times greater which makes it ideal for ship sails and ropes. Plus, it's naturally resistant to pests and toxins which means it requires very little water to grow with almost no pesticides or fertilizers.