Don’t let all the other exciting and innovative uses for hemp at NoCo Hemp Expo 4 distract you. Even though hemp textiles and fashion have been around for a long time (millennia in fact!), wearing your hemp is still an excellent way to support the industry while enjoying a superior product over cotton.
To highlight the importance of hemp fashion and introduce consumers to some of the many innovative companies making high quality hemp clothing and other goods, NoCo 4 has created a Fashion Alley where you can pick out the latest in hemp gear. If you follow the “green carpet” down to the interactive green screen you can vogue it up and get your picture taken in your new hemp gear thanks to the Digital Workshop Center.
While cotton has been the undisputed textile king for the past several hundred years (for sometimes controversial reasons), the challenges of growing and processing cotton have taken a toll on the environment and have made alternative fabrics an urgent need for our planet.
Cotton uses 50% more water to grow as hemp (and 4 times as much once production is factored in!) which is leading to water scarcity and even desertification in some places where cotton is grown.
Hemp plants can be grown very close together which means a greater yield in addition to eliminating the need for herbicides due to the inability of weeds to compete with such a densely grown crop.
Cotton needs twice as much land to produce the same amount of fiber as hemp and accounts for 25% of all pesticide use worldwide.
And this just scratches the surface! Hemp is also much more durable than cotton and just as versatile, which means longer lasting clothes. These facts alone make hemp a better choice for the eco conscious consumer looking to break free from the low-quality fast fashion culture of today.
Furthermore, hemp clothing is great for the whole family. Kristen Kunau, co-owner of Freida Farms and avid hemp consumer, says, “I love that I feel good when my family wears hemp because it doesn’t destroy the earth, it lasts forever, and when it’s worn in it gets really soft and comfy.”
While you may not find much in the way of hemp clothing at your local mall just yet, a quick internet search will lead you to a vast array of hemp clothing options. Many makers are selling their wares via company websites and Etsy, such as some of the retailers that will be at the NoCo Hemp Expo like Satori Movement, Hemptique, Recreator, and many others.
Fashion Alley is sponsored by Hempy’s and EnviroTextiles. Hempy’s sells 100% hemp products that are 100% made in America. They offer hemp t-shirts, hats, wallets, craft supplies, and even jeans! One of their core values is long-term sustainability in all aspects of what they do and they have a total commitment to environmental consciousness and workforce responsibility.
EnviroTextiles is a pioneer in sustainable textiles, specializing in hemp and other natural fibers. They are industry leaders in the effort to improve corporate responsibility and transparency in manufacturing processes and labeling. They currently provide wholesale hemp fabric and finished promotional products to over 65 countries.
These companies are on the forefront of the growing hemp clothing market. Buying hemp textiles and fashion is a great way to make an ecological choice (and look great too!). Be sure to visit the Fashion Alley at this years NoCo Hemp Expo to see the cutting edge styles and pick up a few essentials to round out your wardrobe.
Laurie Hanselmann is a writer, nonprofit management guru, and lover of the natural world. She enjoys exploring how to find more meaning and connection in her life as a ‘Type B’ person through self improvement and productivity hacks. You can find her at persistentlybetter.com.