Throughout history hemp has been one of the most helpful plants to the human race. Hemp has the power to feed, fuel, and even heal.
Clothing and other things made of synthetic fabric these days used to be made from hemp, which is much more durable than synthetic fibers.
Durability aside, hemp fabric is also much healthier in two very significant ways that may surprise you.
If you are looking to live a healthier lifestyle (which I certainly hope you are), you should consider the health benefits of hemp fabric and clothing.
The Growing Problem of Micro-Plastics in our Water and Food
A significant portion of clothing and other fabrics sold these days are made up of petroleum-based synthetic fibers.
Every time you wash your clothes or sheets or other fabrics made from synthetic fibers, tiny strands called ‘micro-plastics’ or ‘synthetic microfibers’ fall off the clothing into the water, which is then washed away into the sewer system at the end of the wash cycle.
Because the micro-plastics are so small (less than 1 millimeter across), they cannot be filtered out. The micro-plastics are consumed by anything and everything that consumes water on this planet, which is a bad thing.
It’s a problem that has been growing for quite some time. It is estimated that as much as one third of the food that humans eat contains micro-plastics.
This is because plastic takes so long to decompose in the ocean. It’s estimated that plastic can take as long as 600 years to decompose in the ocean, but no one knows for sure.
Micro-plastics can come from a variety of things, such as plastic bottles or bags that have polluted bodies of water. Notably, micro-plastic fibers have been referred to as ‘the biggest environmental problem you’ve never heard of’ by The Guardian.
The clothing company Patagonia conducted a study which looked at how much micro-plastic fiber was shed from clothing during the washing process. The study found the following:
The analyses showed that the top-load washing machine trials had 5.3 times the microfiber shedding of the front-load machine trials and that aging of jackets increased the mass of fibers shed by 1.8 times.
The investigation revealed that microfibers are a pervasive pollutant and could be affecting ecosystems and human health.
The human health factor alone is cause for concern. Micro-plastics can directly harm a person’s digestive system. Also, micro-plastics can leach toxic chemicals into food and water.
This not an issue with clothing that is made from hemp. Hemp is 2.5 times stronger than petrochemical plastics, and doesn’t shed as easily as synthetic fiber.
For the fibers that do shed during the washing process or while the person is wearing/using the fabric, the fibers are not toxic. They do not leach chemicals, and are 100% biodegradable.
Imagine if everyone that currently wears and/or uses fabrics made from synthetic fibers switched to hemp? People’s health (and the environment’s!) would be much better off.
The Antibacterial Properties of Hemp
The hemp plant can do some truly amazing things, but one of the most amazing things is fight the growth and spread of bacteria.
A study in 2008 extracted five cannabinoids from hemp – CBD, CBC, CBG, THC, and CBN. All five of them ‘showed potent activity against a variety of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains.’
Another study from 2009 tested the same hemp extracts against microflora and E. coli and found them to ‘possess a broad spectrum’ of antibacterial activity.
Each year two million Americans are suffer Staph infections while being treated at a hospital, with at least 90,000 of those cases ending in death.
Infections are a very serious problem in America. Everything should be done to fight infections, especially something as logical as using hemp for all fabrics in hospitals and care centers.
It shouldn’t just be for clothing and sheets. Any furniture that is made of cloth in hospitals should be made of hemp fiber.
Many patients are also allergic to latex, which is why latex is banned in hospitals. Anything that latex can do, hemp can also do!
Hemp fiber can and should replace harmful synthetic plastic fibers everywhere that they are used.
As Green Flower pointed out in 25 Things You Didn’t Know Could Be Made From Hemp, hemp is used for all types of things that involve fibers such as carpets, rugs, cloth diapers, bags, shoes, furniture, and of course, clothing.
You have a choice in what you wear, and how you furnish your home. You should try to incorporate hemp into your apparel and furnishings in order to improve your overall health, and the health of the world around you.
Products made from hemp used to be harder to come by, but they are now easy to acquire online. Hemp products are also slowly becoming more available at stores, and at much more affordable prices than in years past.
Do you want tiny plastic fibers in your water and food? Staph infections from the hospital? I know I don’t. We all need to do our part to make the world a healthier place for our family and friends to live in.
Take a look around you. Wherever you see fabric, envision replacing it with hemp. Petrochemical products, fabric or otherwise, are bad for your health. Make the safer choice!