Hemp has been used for clothing for centuries. In fact, it’s been reported that until the 1920’s, hemp provided textiles for 80% of all clothing.  Often when people think about hemp fashion, they envisage a loosely woven scratchy material.  But that couldn’t be further from the beautifully soft hemp fabric we use and love.

Here at Thought we think hemp is an environmental, renewable, reusable and recyclable resource.  And there are so many reasons why it’s one of our favourite fibres.  Read on to discover why.

hemp fashion sustainable fabric

Hemp fashion: why we love hemp

It’s grown in an eco-friendly way

Hemp is naturally pest-resistant, and it grows so densely that no other plants can grow around it. It requires little or no fertiliser and returns 60-70% of the nutrients it takes from the soil and can be grown in many different types of climates due to the little water it needs.

Hemp plants also have a clever, deep-root system that improves soil quality. This helps prevent soil erosion, removes toxins, and aerates the soil to the benefit of future crops.

We love its planet-friendly processing

It takes very little to turn hemp from a plant to fabric – it hardly needs any processing at all. Hemp fabric is made from the long strands of fibre that make up the stalk of the plant. These fibres are separated from the bark through a process called ‘retting’. The fibres are then spun together to produce a continuous thread that can be woven into a fine, linen-like fabric which gets used alone or blended with other fibres. It’s as simple as that!

hemp fashion sustainable fabric

It is versatile and has some great properties

Once spun into a yarn, hemp can be blended with other fibres to make it even softer. We think it’s great to use alone or with organic cotton.

Hemp has some wonderful properties too. It’s stronger and more lasting than cotton; it softens with use and yet, remains hard-wearing. Hemp’s strength and durability means the fibres tend to keep their shape well. Hemp is also very breathable. It regulates your temperature, keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter.

hemp fashion sustainable fabric

After use, it biodegrades

Hemp fabric will biodegrade quickly. So when something’s beyond repair you can quite literally throw it to your compost heap (if you have one). It’ll naturally break down, although we recommend tearing or cutting it into pieces to help it along.

Hannah Hemp fashion sustainable fabric

What do you love about hemp fashion? We’d love to hear! Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @wearethought.

You might also love reading our organic cotton post.