How has hemp refined the slow fashion movement

Current fashion trends

Fashion is an integral part of our life but in our quest for more and more, we are overlooking the consequences of our action on the environment. Unfortunately, all of the environmental concerns are either caused by or contribute to, the ever-increasing consumption of goods and services. Fast fashion has become the norm. At the speed of consumer’s changing tastes and rapidly changing trends - the textile industry is churning out cheap products, making slow fashion an oxymoron. This has far-reaching deleterious ill effects on the environment.

Fast fashion has to be replaced by slow fashion, as it promotes high quality versus large scale production, durability versus design for obsolescence and mindful consumption versus overconsumption. To achieve this goal we have to find appropriate solutions. Industrial hemp is the answer to this burning issue. It is eco-friendly, requires minimal or no pesticide and is versatile to use.

 

Benefits of Hemp

Hemp is an extremely versatile fiber and can be easily blended with most fibers (silk, muslin, denim, canvas, suede, fleece) to produce a variety of fabrics which are lightweight, durable, soft, strong, and absorbent. Some of the advantages of hemp fabric are warmth, the softness of natural fiber along with superior durability seldom found in other natural fibers. The finished fabric can be used for several products such as upholstery, apparel, accessories, shoes, furniture, and home furnishings. Home furnishings made from hemp incorporates all beneficial qualities including bacterial resistance and zero biotoxins. It is also likely to last longer as it can withstand harsh conditions.  It is stronger than any other natural fabric and is hypo-allergenic, moisture absorbent, fire retardant, a good insulator, UV resistant along with the characteristic of being the only fabric that breathes.

The processes involved in cultivating the cannabis sativa plant, converting the fiber into yarn and finally into the fabric are associated with minimal strain on the natural resources. Hemp fabric is a natural fiber and therefore the end of life of hemp fabric is also sustainable as is breaks down easily.


Changing Mindsets

Hemp is definitely redefining slow fashion and the future of fashion and textile industry. Price is a deterrent for purchasing this material but if one looks at the bigger picture one unit of this sustainable, durable material will outlive five units of cheap material. The best way to reduce any adverse environmental impact is not to recycle more but to produce less and dispose of/discard less. Awareness has to be created among the consumers to buy garments that last longer and promote a fashion culture that encourages the consumer to consume less but tasteful products.  The Idea is to hopefully influence consumers to opt for slow fashion over fast fashion. This conscious decision will go a long way in reducing carbon footprints and the negative impact on the environment.