The word “hemp” might conjure up mixed feelings in people because of the long history of social stigma related to the cannabis plant. However, the majority of such people will be oblivious to the numerous proven benefits of hemp.
One of the main uses of hemp is in the textile industry. In fact, hemp fabric has a few striking advantages that make it a better alternative to even cotton. Below are a few things that hold up that statement, giving us every reason to reconsider our choice of selecting for cotton as the major wholesale fabric.
Hemp Production is More Efficient than Cotton Production
Cotton might dominate our daily lives as well the industry, but we cannot ignore the many demerits associated with it. Cotton plantations occupy around 2.5% of cropland across the world, and it consumes around 16% of the world’s pesticides. This severely affects the ecosystem, compromising animal fertility and deteriorating freshwater biodiversity. Besides, it also affects the communities that are closely linked to the cotton industry.
On the contrary, hemp requires only half the space occupied by cotton plantations to produce the same amount of fabric material. Secondly, organic hemp cultivation could bring down the energy requirement by 50%. Hence, the hemp cultivation could bring much better yield with less land and resources consumption when compared to cotton. Furthermore, the ecological footprint of hemp textile is much smaller than that of cotton fabric.
Hemp Consumes Less Water than Cotton
Nowadays, acquiring freshwater resources to irrigate the farmlands has become a challenge, owing to the adverse climatic conditions and changing weather patterns. Meanwhile, cotton is one of the thirstiest crops, consuming huge amounts of water along different stages of growth. Hemp, on the other hand, requires much less water to be cultivated.
According to a study conducted by the Stockholm Environment Institute, cotton requires 10,000 liters of water to yield 1 kg fabric material, whereas hemp requires just about 300 – 500 liters of water to produce the same amount of dry hemp.
Hemp Stays Usable for a Longer Period
Hemp fabric has excellent physical properties in comparison to cotton. It can be used to make light clothes that are good for daily wear, and offers good anti-bacterial properties as well. Hemp can also be used on an industrial scale, as it can be woven into cables and ropes to lift heavy loads. Most importantly, hemp retains its strength even when it is wet.
Hemp was used for thousands of years for various purposes including textiles. However, it got caught in the wave of cannabis illegalization, making the hemp textile industry obsolete. The truth is, hemp is a much better alternative for wholesale fabrics than cotton; in fact, it has clear advantages in ecological and environmental aspects when compared to any other fabric material.