Thanks to low-wage manufacturing in developing countries and the rise of fast fashion, clothes have morphed from being valuable possessions to disposable items that we chuck every now and then and this never-ending cycle of consumption is killing people and the planet.
If you’re interested in sustainability, then you probably know that fashion is the second-most polluting industry after oil. Given that we all need to wear clothes, it’s sometimes hard to think of a way to reduce your impact from what you buy. But the truth is, you can buy and wear clothes that harm the environment less, and without hurting your wallet.
One of the options is to switch to natural fabrics that are claimed to be sustainable or eco-friendly.
Hemp is one of them.
Hemp, not to be confused with marijuana comes from a variety of the cannabis sativa plant. The hemp that is used in fabrics; also called industrial hemp, is grown purposefully for its fibre and its seeds. It has very low amounts of THC, the components that affect the human brain, thus making them high.
Hemp is largely grown in the Himalayas and Nepal because of its climate which is a mild, humid climate, that is the best when it comes to growing hemp. This plant has been in Nepal for centuries. Locals use the hemp fibre obtained from the hemp to make bags, ropes, fishing nets, carry straps, sacks, and mats.
It is a more sustainable, organic and regenerative agricultural crop and most everything that you can make with cotton can be made with hemp, with way less impact on the Earth which is why it also has many advantages over other common fabrics like cotton. One of the main reasons why we need to choose hemp over cotton is that cotton needs twice as much land as Hemp but produces twice as much fibre per acre.
Similarly, Cotton needs 9.758L of water to grow a kg of fibre while Hemp needs only 2.123L to produce the same amount of fibre.
Moreover, cotton pollutes the water and leaves the land scorched due to its high pesticide and herbicide needs while Hemp returns up to 60% of its nutrients to the soil when dried in the field. It also accounts for 25% of all pesticide use worldwide while Hemp can be grown on the same land for 14 years consecutively without the soil depletion or yield reduction.
Not sold on hemp fabric yet?
Hemp clearly has more advantages over cotton and other non-organic clothes and it’s not just for hippies anymore. In fact, there are many items that can be made from the hemp fibre.
Some of the hemp products from Nepal that are made from the Himalayan hemp include:
1) Hemp Clothes
Hemp Clothes will be a unique addition to your wardrobe plus the breathable fabric of wears well, getting softer and softer with each wash, and really lives up to hemp’s legendary durability. Clothes made of hemp are good for year-round wear as the hemp fibre is hollow at the core, thereby insulating you against cool breezes yet never stifling you in the heat, making this the perfect piece of clothing for hikes as well as around-the-town outings.
Here are some of the clothes that are made from Hemp Fabric:
2) Hemp Bags
Hemp bags come in different sizes and colours and can suit both male and female. The end product is a strong, durable yet very beautiful bag. The bags come in different designs as well. The fabric is generally more durable and gets softer over time. It can also retain the colour better.
Here are some of the bags that are made from Hemp Fabric:
3) Hemp Soap
This is yet another wonderful natural product from the Himalayas. The hemp soap is perfect for a well cleansed, hydrated, and soft skin. It is gentle and does not leave the skin dry. The soap is mostly mixed with other natural fragrances like vanilla, rose, or lavender just to give it a different scent. The soap is produced from the hemp seed and it contains all the nutrients found in the hemp seed.
Besides these, there are also some other clothing items such as Flip Flops and shoes made out Hemp. Find all the products made from Himalayan Hemp here:
Hopefully, we will see more hemp garments in the future!