It’s not a very common thought to have… “What could be better than cotton?”
Nobody stops to think about a beloved fabric that has been around and served people for thousands of years.
In fact, we use cotton so frequently it’s a staple in regular everyday households. We view cotton as a natural product that provides us with durability, even going so far as to being pretty weather resistant. It’s easy, it’s comfortable, and it’s strong material. Who could ask for more in terms of clothing fabric, right?
…Well, our good friend hemp is here to tell you all about why cotton isn’t actually as good as you think it is. Despite being a controversial plant, more and more research has been done on hemp and it’s finally beginning to get the recognition it so rightfully deserves – ranging from its many benefits and the fact that it is completely friendly to the environment.
Although cotton can be softer and more comfortable, hemp is stronger, more absorbent, more durable, and more insulating. It won’t stretch out of shape and maintains its color throughout normal wear. It keeps you cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold. Hemp is much more versatile since it can be used for clothing, ropes, and paper, where cotton is exclusively used for clothing. Need more convincing?
Cotton is a water and pesticide plant to grow, meaning it uses a lot of water and requires many pesticides – which is not only expensive, but not good for the environment. This contaminates the soil and water surrounding it, which can be harmful to animals and humans. Cotton is also typically mixed with plastics and synthetic fibers, which further adds to the pollution in oceans and the air. Hemp, on the other hand, is just simply made from hemp and requires no pesticides in order to grow. It uses very little water and grows quickly (within 70 – 100 days, compared to cotton’s 150 – 180 days). Because of being a durable rotation crop, hemp crop can be ploughed back into the soil as fertilizer. This enriches the soil to allow growth for the next crop.
Hemp and cotton both have many things in common, including having very long histories. While for now cotton is the more popular choice when it comes to clothing – mostly due to its familiarity, hemp is obviously the clearer choice when it comes to the many more environmental benefits and advantages. Hopefully in the future we start to see industries accepting and relying more and more on hemp cultivation.