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hemp is a vital force in fashion’s future

I strongly believe this. We will need vastly more fibre to satisfy both the growing rate of per capita consumption and the booming global population. The predominant fibres that we use today will simply not be enough, and they will not be a sustainable solution. 

Polyester is currently the world’s most popular fibre, and for a long time it’s been supporting our need for more and more clothes. However, it’s no news that polyester is a major pollutant – not just at the end of its life in clothes but also at every wash, as plastic microfibres are swept into our waterways. 

Many sustainability advocates and eco-conscious consumers consider natural fibres to be the future of fashion. In many ways, they are. But they have their own set of problems that shouldn’t be overlooked: the use of herbicides and pesticides, immense water consumption, and low yield of fibre. Despite being very well suited for fashion textiles, the world’s favourite fibre, cotton, won’t be able to cater for the growing demand for natural fibres, let alone sustainably so. 

Insert hemp. Aside from the obvious fact that hemp is a natural fibre and can biodegrade, it boasts a number of other ecological benefits:

✓ hemp is a carbon sequesterer proven to absorb more CO2 per hectare than any other commercial crop. This helps to mitigate climate change & create carbon negative end-products.

✓ hemp is a natural bioremediator that absorbs heavy metals and regenerates the soil.

✓ hemp can be grown in more climates (latitudes) than cotton.

✓ hemp commonly requires less water than cotton.

✓ per hectare, hemp yields approximately double the fibre of cotton.

✓ hemp grows densely, controls weeds & therefore does not require herbicides.

✓ cannabinoids act as a natural pest-repellant, reducing hemp’s need for pesticides.

why we should make fashion from hemp

I’ve been interested in hemp ever since I heard about it. I couldn’t reconcile how such a resourceful, earth-friendly fibre could be so overlooked – when the topics like fast fashion and mass consumption, depletion of natural resources and global warming are the topics of our time.

I couldn’t accept that simply due to its genus, this amazing plant, Cannabis Sativa L., had been pushed to the fringes of society and had its opportunity for innovation so stunted.

Whilst studying fashion at university, I thought about hemp and wondered where it was. Why didn’t I see more fashion retailers working with this wonderful natural fibre? I knew it had been used in clothing before.

For my final submission, I interviewed a number of hemp clothing retailers; I conducted focus groups; I ran a survey. I wanted to know why there was a lack of hemp clothing and whether it had a future in fashion. I looked at both demand and supply. I then thought about how we could carve a space for hemp to flourish in the fashion industry. My findings inspired me to create this website to help hemp grow – fashion from hemp. 

about the site

This website is intended to connect ethical and sustainable fashion and homewares brands with hemp products with consumers that want them.

Many retailers that work with hemp are independent businesses that have only a small share of voice online, so they can be hard to discover. On fashion from hemp’s brand directory, you will find an overview of all of the brands that work with hemp (in any significant sense). These brands are categorised for your ease, as well as labelled, so you can search for more specific, niche aspects of a brand. 

By providing this service, I hope to make it easier for shoppers to find what they’re looking for; and I hope to support the success of these retailers. I am motivated by the prospect of a sustainable future for the fashion industry. 

about the author

Who am I? My name is Kelly Sinfield and I’m the editor-in-chief of fashion from hemp. Well, to be honest, I’m the only person working on this website! It’s my passion project. I am a digital marketer by day and hold a Bachelor of Fashion (Merchandise Management) from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

I thrive on challenges, both mental and physical. I am energized by nature and love to go hiking and travelling. I love unusual music and movies, meeting new people and trying new things. My interest in fashion came from my love for the arts, for personal expression and my interest in zeitgeists and culture. Out of my love for the planet I am driven to promote a healthier fashion industry.

This is my first website and my first attempt at writing for public reading. As such, any feedback and comments would be appreciated and valuable. Feel free to submit comments or drop me a line via the ‘general enquires’ form. Feel free to connect with me professionally on LinkedIn as well.

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