Eco Fashion: Eco Friendly Organic, Hemp Clothing

Eco Fashion: Eco Friendly Organic, Hemp Clothing

Posted 6.14.2012 in Articles by Jess

Want to do your part in “going green” but aren't ready to buy a hybrid or electric car? Being eco friendly is as easy as taking part in eco fashion. Organic and hemp clothing are becoming ever more popular in the United States for their small carbon footprint and responsibility to Mother Earth. Organic clothing is not only better for the environment than synthetic clothing, but it's also perfect for sensitive skin or people with allergies since it lacks typical contaminants. Despite the controversy with hemp clothing in the United States, it has a plethora of benefits for the environment and it looks and feels great. Like other organic products, organic and hemp clothing tend to be about twice as expensive as regular synthetic clothing. So, why the added expense?  

Well, it can be possibly due to the production or processing cost. As organic clothing is made of organically grown plant fibers, the processing cost is higher. Basic resources of organic fibers include bamboo, jute, hemp, and organic cotton. What makes these fiber sources organic? These fibers are derived from those plants that are not treated with any herbicides, pesticides, insecticides or chemical fertilizers. Also, the fibers derived from these organic sources are dyed using the non-toxic eco friendly dyes before they are used in making of organic clothing and accessories. Wearing green clothing is a better choice even for those who have a sensitive skin. Therefore, by choosing green clothing is beneficial for both users and the environment, because it is a perfect eco-friendly alternative to nylon and cotton clothing lines.

A company or retailer requires the USDA organic certification status in order to become an organic business unit. To gain this certification, the retailer must handle or produce organic products such as foods, goods, textiles, or fibers. In short, a retailer is eligible for this status only if the company’s products are organic or the product they handle is manufactured or cultivated under the OTA regulated organic conditions. OTA or Organic Trade Association is an organization that works in North America to endorse organic trade in order to protect and benefit the environment. OTA also actively participates in inspecting and monitoring the business standards of organic supply chain including food, textile, and personal product industries. OTA also supports scientific research relevant to organic processing.

For those who are unaware of hemp, it is an eco-friendly crop and a natural plant-derived fiber, just like cotton and bamboo. Since many centuries, it has been used in the manufacturing of apparel, building materials, paper, and other products. In fact, 80 percent of clothing was actually made of the hemp textiles before the introduction of nylon clothing. To grow and cultivate hemp, there is no requirement of pesticides. Hemp crop also needs very little water. Still, each batch of crop renews and enriches the soil during its growth cycle. Hemp plants also have long roots that help preventing soil erosion and retain the fertile topsoil. Temperate climate is best for growing hemp. Since hemp has cellulose fibers, it is used to make eco friendly clothing and accessories.

In many ways, hemp is considered as a miracle fiber as it has several amazing advantages. Clothing made up of hemp fiber is strong and tensile. That’s why hemp apparel and accessories have better durability than the conventional cotton clothing. Unlike cotton clothing, hemp fiber is UV and mold-resistant. Also, the fibers from hemp are more versatile as they can be easily blended with other clothing fibers such as cotton. As the cost of production of hemp is less, hemp cloth lines are cheaper than other green clothing and accessories. Unquestionably, hemp is a better choice of organic clothing when it comes to quality, cost, and sustainability.

Today, hemp is grown for industrial purposes in all over China, Europe, Russia, and Canada. China is the leading producer of hemp fabric in the whole world. However, China uses some alternative chemical methods for both hemp harvesting and processing. In contrast, many European countries use cleaner biologically based methods to process the hemp fibers. In recent times, many European laboratories have started using the enzymatic methods to process the hemp fibers. Still, none of the methods resulted in producing equally soft fabric as organic cotton. Recently, the Canadian federal science organization is able to introduce an innovative enzymatic process that can transform the industrial fibrous hemp into a soft cottony product, called Crailar. As the process is still a patent of Canada, none other countries can use the same process for the hemp fiber extraction and processing.

Unfortunately, the controversy over the industrial hemp production in the United States is still in the same status. After the extensive usage of hemp as a recreational drug known as marijuana, there is an ongoing debate for the industrial hemp production in this country. Even though scientists have proved that the hemp species used for industrial purposes don’t have the psychoactive ingredient tetra-hydrocannabinol, the hemp cultivation in US still hasn’t received a legal approval yet. While other countries are actively participating in hemp cultivation, it is still in its nascent stage in the United States.

A major disadvantage of the hemp cloth line is its price. As the extracted hemp fibers are fibrous, they are usually blended with cotton to produce soft fiber clothing. This process is time consuming and expensive. The hemp fibers are not usually treated with the anti-wrinkle chemicals, which makes the hemp outfits more susceptible to crease. As a result, the hemp fibers are prone to damage if the hemp item is worn heavily. To address this issue, several hemp cloth manufacturers have introduced the "relax fit" hemp outfits; however, these clothing lines are also very costly.

To find some excellent choices of hemp eco friendly clothing, consumers may check out some popular eco fashion online stores. These stores offer the most extensive green clothing line collections including some best quality and reasonably priced hemp clothing lines. Some of the popular online stores are maggiesorganic.com, gian.com, hempys.com, and hempest.com, bluecanoe.com, and dashhemp.com. Each of these online stores is very popular and offers some of the best hemp accessories and clothing lines.

By supporting the ongoing green clothing campaigns and existing businesses, we all can achieve a green and sustainable living. In fact, this is one of the best ways to protect our environment at present. While it is not feasible to replace the traditional clothing lines completely, we can certainly make a small difference by choosing the organic accessories and clothing.

 

Image (CC) kowtow Clothing

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goomba
Posts: 1
Comment
silly
Reply #1 on : Mon October 15, 2012, 14:56:39
the argument against this plant is silly. There are so many benefits to growing, and the only reason this one is illegal is that they confuse it with an entirely different plant.

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