A turning point for hemp textiles
Hemp is at a crucial point in the production of textiles. Although hemp is a material with great sustainability potential, it all depends on how the plants are grown. A new paper from Textile Exchange, a global non-profit organization, emphasizes that if we continue to do business as usual, we could experience the same negative impacts that are common in conventional farming today.
Back to the 60s
Global hemp fiber production has reached 1961 levels, but with less land and greater efficiency. Thanks to the easing of restrictions on industrial hemp and increased awareness of hemp fiber products, production capacity is steadily growing.
Work in harmony
Hemp’s sustainability characteristics are well known. However, if hemp follows the typical agricultural profile, environmentally conscious consumers may turn away. It’s not just about growing or carrying hemp, but considering the entire production chain.
Hemp and carbon
There remains a need for guidance on how to account for soil carbon sequestration within the hemp textile value chain. There remains a need for guidance on how to account for soil carbon sequestration within the hemp textile value chain.
Findings & Recommendations
The paper suggests:
- To support research into natural, organic and regenerative cultivation methods for hemp.
- Making data more accessible to support sustainability claims.
- Establish regulations and standards to protect labor rights and communities.
- Brands should embrace responsible fiber sourcing.
- NGOs and industry organizations should develop best practices and promote the benefits of responsible hemp production.
The paper’s authors emphasize the need for collaboration between governments, brands and farmers to establish systems that deliver high quality raw materials with low toxic inputs and maximum environmental benefits. It’s time to learn from the past and use the holistic benefits of hemp to achieve our climate and nature goals.