Over the years, I’ve become more of a fan of hemp clothing due to it having a lot in common with bamboo clothing. I’ll be honest, I was a bit timid on the idea of using hemp clothing because of the stigma around hemp and its less likable family friend. However, I learned that they’re completely different versions of the cannabis sativa plant, with the main difference being that hemp plants do not produce the psychoactive chemical THC that marijuana does. That was a big relief!
The further I investigated, the more I started asking myself why I wasn’t using more hemp clothes, and products in general, for my family and I. As a matter of fact, hemp is used for a plethora of products, including jeans, shirts, dresses, hats, bags, ropes, canvas, skin care products, building materials, paper, and food.
It’s also true that prior to the 1920s, hemp fabric was present in around 80% of all clothes produced in the USA. It’s even true that George Washington used to have hemp fields for the sole purpose of producing hemp fabric for industrial rope and other products. I never learned that in history class!
Sadly, hemp has the unfortunate stigma of being associated with a recreational drug that has almost nothing to do with hemp. So I decided to break down the misunderstandings around hemp by letting you know all about the benefits of wearing hemp clothing.
1. Strong as Nails
OK maybe it’s not as strong as nails, but it sure is one of the strongest materials and the most eco-friendly fabrics on the planet. The reason hemp is such a strong material is due to the nature of its fibers being rather long and highly coupled together. When you compare this to cotton, it’s a huge difference, but not a huge difference when compared to bamboo.
The strength of hemp directly translates over to hemp clothing because it ensures your clothes will be able to stand up to the elements more effectively than other fabrics. Rough and tumble activities are no match for the strength and durability of hemp, so you can rest assured that your hemp clothing will last a while.
2. UV Protectant
Whenever we’re out in the sun, we want to make sure our clothes are UV protectant. No one wants unwelcome sunburns, even if they lead to a nice looking tan later on. One of the best qualities about hemp clothing is that they’re UV protectant, so even a thin layer of hemp will keep your skin safe.
For me, this is a big deal because I want to make sure my family and I are safe from the powerful and, sometimes harmful, rays of the sun. Knowing that they’ll be safe due to wearing the right clothes is an easy win for us.
3. Soft Feeling
We all know the feeling of touching and putting on exceptionally soft clothing. The comfort level you experience with hemp clothing in terms of softness is excellent. It’s just one of those fabrics that looks and feels great, regardless of the thread count. The reason this is the case is due to the fineness of the hemp fibers.
As a matter of fact, the same number of thread count experienced with linen and cotton versus hemp produces a softer feeling with respect to hemp! The higher the hemp content in your fabric, the higher the level of softness you’ll experience. Who wouldn’t want this?
4. Gets Softer over Time
Did you know that there are some fabrics out there that get softer with time? Well, hemp clothing definitely belongs in that category! When I found this out, I was shocked. The truth is that as you continue to wash and wear your hemp clothing, the hemp fabric actually becomes softer and more comfortable.
This is by far one of the most unique qualities of hemp clothing and even where it differentiates itself from bamboo clothing. This tied with the strength and durability of hemp clothing lead me to believe (and experience!) the true value that hemp clothing has to offer.
5. Excellent Breathable and Insulation Properties
Some clothing fabrics are there to keep you warm in the Winter and others to keep you cool in Summer, but only a few are able to do both. Similar to bamboo, hemp clothing does just that. The unique structure of the cellulose fibers in hemp clothing produces the combination effect of breathability while being able to insulate at the same time.
This is a huge win, in my opinion, because hemp clothing is able to keep your true body temperature at the level it’s naturally settled at. This is not only useful for hemp clothing, but also hemp bed sheets, blankets, and pillows. In my opinion, hemp and bamboo bed sheets are much better than cotton bed sheets.
6. Abrasion Resistant
You know what it’s like when you accidentally hit your jacket against a wall, door, or some other hard object, and you get a little abrasion on it. Well, with hemp clothing this is far less likely to happen due to its strong and durable properties.
Unlike other fabrics, hemp is less amorphous, meaning that it’s better at keeping its shape. This allows it to be less prone to change in shape even at the small, molecular scale, so knicks and abrasions are less likely to cause damage to the fiber. That’s some tough fabric!
7. Water Absorbant
Staying dry can be tricky in some weather and even trickier when wearing the wrong fabrics. Luckily for us, hemp clothing is one of the most water absorbent clothes out there. There are, however, several other effects other than being able to keep us fresh and dry.
One of the best outcomes of hemp clothing being so water absorbent is that it easily retains color dyes. The reason this is an advantage is that hemp fabric can be blended almost perfectly with other fabrics that might not necessarily have all the positive qualities that hemp does. If it wasn’t water absorbent, dying it would be tough and this wouldn’t be as easy.
8. Fashionable All Season Long
We all want to look good all season long regardless of how warm or cold it is outside. Well, hemp clothing is so versatile in so many conditions that it’s a natural fit for any season. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the few fabrics that looks and feels great year-round, including bamboo clothing.
On top of that, more and more eco-friendly clothing brands are producing hemp clothing, which means there are a bunch of cool and fashionable designs out there for everyone. Regardless of your style, you’ll be able to take advantage of the benefits of wearing hemp clothing year-round.
9. Naturally Biodegradable
There are times when our clothes get stained beyond cleaning or just wear-out beyond repair. Sadly, this can mean that it’s unlikely you’ll be able to donate it to a family member, friend, or some charity. Thankfully, hemp clothing is 100% naturally biodegradable, which means throwing it away isn’t the end of the world.
Obviously, no one wants to just throw away their clothes, but it happens to the best of clothes. Better have clothes that are naturally biodegradable for these situations than not to have them at all. Otherwise, they might sit in a landfill for a very long time.
10. Efficient Fiber Production
Harvesting a plant that yields more pounds of fiber in the same amount of acres another plant is capable of is definitely an efficiency advantage, which is why hemp is able to outcompete other similar plants. For the same amount of acres that cotton can grow, hemp is able to produce up to three times more fiber.
Being more efficient as a fiber producing plant is extremely beneficial to our planet and economy. Under these conditions, we’re able to more easily and sustainably extract the necessary resources in a friendly way from our environment. And with hemp being a highly renewable resource, this bodes well for planet earth.
11. Highly Antimicrobial
We all know that funky smell our clothes emanate after not being washed for some time or even sitting in the washer for too long. When it comes to hemp clothing, this is not the case due to its natural antimicrobial properties. The super-plant has super-powers!
Since hemp clothing is naturally antimicrobial, it’s able to stay smelling good for longer while also being able to resist any mold and mildew that comes along. This keeps your hemp clothing, as well as the surrounding clothes, from entering the smelly zone and staying fresh for a long amount of time compared to other fabrics like cotton.
12. Zero Chemical Fertilizers or Pesticides Required
When it comes to cotton and other fabric-based plants, one of the most harmful elements of their lifecycle is the use of dangerous chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Similar to bamboo, hemp clothing absolutely does not need any of these synthetic, harmful chemical agents, which is a huge plus for our environment.
The use of harmful chemicals is all too common in the clothing industry, so any move away from this trend is a good one. The main issue is that these chemicals end up lingering in our soil and waterways causing massive pollution to our planet. This hurts every citizen of the world, including our animal friends, and should be reduced as much as possible.
13. Needs Half as Much Water as Cotton
Hemp is an efficient plant in terms of fiber production and other aspects of the product lifecycle, but one of the most advantageous attributes is that it doesn’t consume nearly as much water as cotton. In a world where fresh, unpolluted water is becoming a limited resource, we can use all the water-usage efficiencies we can get.
This is a major plus for the environment and this quality is shared between both hemp and bamboo. Being able to preserve our natural, freshwater supplies will become more and more important as time goes on, so supporting the use of eco-friendly fabrics is of the utmost importance. This is a fantastic reason for wearing hemp clothing today!
14. Everything Gets Used
It’s hard not to be wasteful sometimes, especially when it comes to food. Luckily, hemp has a lot of valuable uses that go beyond being used simply for hemp clothing. This versatile plant can also be used to produce physical products, oil, and food. As a matter of fact, the hemp seed has a lot of antioxidant properties!
Striving for a world where we reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as possible is beneficial to us now and for future generations. The fact that the hemp plant can be used in its entirety and in multiple use-cases is an extremely valuable asset. Just another reason hemp is an efficient resource and a fantastic reason for wearing hemp clothing.
15. Grows Quickly
It can take a long time to grow trees, cotton, and other plants that we cut down for resources and depend on so greatly. However, hemp is one of those plants that can grow very rapidly and has been known to grow twice or more the speed compared to cotton. That means it’s possible to harvest two or more times the amount of fiber just based on the plant’s rate of growth!
Being able to quickly regenerate resources after harvesting yields is incredibly important for a planet striving for sustainability. As the world population grows, we’ll need more and more efficient resources that can grow quickly. We should be benefiting much more than we are today with plants such as hemp and bamboo, and I’m sure the time will come when we do.
16. Grows Anywhere
One of the most powerful methods for creating a more sustainable planet is to allow local areas the ability to produce their own eco-friendly resources. Hemp is absolutely one of those resources since it’s been found all over the world, including China, North and South America, Europe, Australia, and even the Arctic.
This is huge because by having the ability to grow hemp almost anywhere means less need for having to transport it all around the world. Transportation not only costs money, but it also produces more pollution due to the use of petroleum. Also, it empowers local areas to take their environmental future into their own hands, making more self-sufficient and productive communities.
17. Replenishes the Soil
Growing plants that produce clothing and other products are great, but it should also be beneficial to the local environment. By far one of the greatest attributes to growing hemp for clothes is that the plant helps replenish the soil. Through its deep root system, it helps preserve topsoil erosion, similar to bamboo.
Also, since the soil used to grow hemp is being replenished, it doesn’t need to be rotated as often, which means the same plants can be harvested numerous times before being replanted. This saves time, money, and resources, which are just more reasons for wearing hemp clothing.
18. Absorbs Toxic Materials
Nowadays there are so many toxic materials in our environment due to pollution and heavy use of chemicals that it’s no longer a surprise when we hear about these issues. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a plant that could help us reverse the presence of these toxic materials?
Enter hemp. Hemp is one of the most effective, natural resources used to help reduce and remove toxic materials in our soil. It’s been proven that hemp is effective at eliminating toxins from the surrounding environment. This is one magic plant!
The reasons for wearing hemp clothing are clear. Not only is hemp a comfortable, long-lasting fabric, but the plant used to produce it is one of the most eco-friendly plants in the entire world. At times I wonder why we don’t have more hemp fabric in our stores as opposed to more wasteful materials, such as cotton and polyester.
With the knowledge of all the fantastic reasons for wearing hemp clothing, I hope you’re able to see the clothing you buy on a regular basis in a new light. It’s important that we step back and think about the clothes and products we buy and ask ourselves “Is this good for me, my family, and my environment?” When it comes to hemp clothing, the answer is a resounding “Yes!”