26.9.13

HEMPTASTIC

Are we all mugs for buying and wearing polyester apparel? It is chemically based and an environmental disaster. On the bright side it is very durable and cheap to manufacture.
Who really benefits from polyester clothing? Well, the oil companies; polyester is derived from petroleum, the chemical industry; who supply all of the toxic chemicals used and the so called lifestyle/sportswear brands who peddle it. Luckily for those brands they can turn a blind eye to the environmental damage polyester causes. It’s not their responsibility; trouble is it’s no ones responsibility. It’s a win win situation for them. They don’t have to inform the end customer what toxic chemicals they use, there’s even no legal obligation to test any of their polyester apparel to see the level of toxic chemicals contained in the finished garments before retailing.
The idea that any lifestyle/sportswear brands who claim to be responsible and or sustainable when manufacturing millions of polyester apparel is a joke.
It is very easy to moan, and we moan a lot, too much. Is there an alternative to polyester sports apparel? If you look at the natural fibre world the strongest most durable fibre is hemp.
Now hemp has an image problem, industrial hemp used for apparel is different from the cannabis you can smoke to get high or help with your arthritis. Unfortunately for hemp, consumers and the environment, oil and chemical industries are not going to sink their petrochemical dollars into marketing hemp. There’s no point, as hemp doesn't require any of their products.
Why should we ditch polyester and wear hemp?
Many consumers look for comfort and durability in choosing a fabric, so hemp’s softness and high abrasion resistance make it a competitive choice. Hemp has a beautiful natural luster and a lush hand and drape not found with any other natural or synthetic fiber.

Hemp may be known for its durability, but its comfort and style are second to none.  The more hemp is used, the softer it gets: it wears in, not out, thriving on regular use and machine washing without suffering fabric degradation. Hemp actually becomes softer, more resilient and more lustrous as a result of washing. This means hemp retains its sleek sheen every time it is washed, it never dulls, and that it releases stains more easily than other fabrics.

Hemp’s superior absorbency, due to its porous nature, means that it is very breathable and quick drying. Hemp can absorb up to 20% its own weight while still feeling dry to the touch (vs. polyester, which can absorb a maximum of 6%). This is important in the case of any fabric that is in contact with human skin, as perspiration is rapidly absorbed. Hemp’s absorbency allows it to accept dyes readily and retain colour better than other natural fibers.

Hemp has a high resistance to ultraviolet light; it will not fade or disintegrate from sunlight as quickly as other natural fibers.

Hemp grows well without the use of chemicals:  usually no pesticides or fungicides are used because it has few serious fungus or pest problems.

Hemp requires less water to thrive than other natural fiber crops, it is actually drought tolerant and usually grows well without irrigation.

Hemp has a fiber yield higher than any other agricultural crop, thereby requiring less land for equal yield:

Finally, any product made of hemp is fully biodegradable and easily recyclable.

The only people who want you to wear polyester are the self-interest parties of the oil and chemical industry and partnering lifestyle brands with a disregard for the environment who only seeks substantial profits from manufacturing an inexpensive synthetic textile.
source: oecotextiles
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