Local, biobased, or upcycled materials are essential for the fashion industry to reduce its impact on the environment.
Fashion is turning to more eco-responsible fibers.
Most ready-to-wear brands, including the giants of fast fashion, are gradually converting their collections to eco-responsible materials. Sustainable cultivation needs to meet several criteria, including a small quantity of water, little to no pesticides, possibility to produce locally.
In addition to the “alternative leathers” made from cacti, apple, grape, or even mushroom, hemp is proving to be a fiber that tends towards a more responsible fashion.
Hemp is resistant to drought, disease, and insects.
Hemp fiber represents a naturally sustainable alternative for the fashion industry. Hemp has been used for centuries by the textile industry until it got discarded in favor of other materials.
According to the LCB association (Lin et Chanvre Bio), hemp “is not very sensitive to diseases and insects (…) and does not require weeding,” which means it doesn’t require pesticides to grow.
The plant is also drought-tolerant; therefore, it requires less water to grow. Hemp proliferates, and its fibers are considered highly resilient.
Technological innovation will help reduce costs.
Why did the industry stop using hemp? The answer lies in its transformation process. Transforming hemp fiber is very complex and, therefore, more expensive than other fibers.
However, we can expect that technological innovations will ultimately reduce the costs and processing time to make hemp a more accessible material.
Brands are switching for hemp fibers.
While brands specializing only in hemp textile remain rare, there are, on the other hand, many brands offering collections made out of hemp and other material.
The brand HempAge remains one of the best known. Most of their pieces generally combine hemp and organic cotton (or wool), which explains the more affordable prices.