Updated: Jun 5, 2020
You may have noticed many fast-fashion brands, certainly, some of the well established high-street fast-fashion brands are very slowly reacting to the needs of socially conscious consumers. People who care about the people working in the supply chain. A handful of fast-fashion brands are claiming to be 'sustainable', which, just by reading the label and product description is unclear why?
The processes behind how fast-fashion is manufactured are not sustainable, in fact, the truth is in the name 'fast-fashion', which is clothes designs and the fabric designs being copied directly from the catwalk by a click-click forward press of a mobile phone furthermore ending up on a fast-fashion retail floor within a matter of days. Consumers innocently buy fast-fashion clothes cheaply, wear-it-once-throw-it-away and this is fast-fashion. The life-cycle of a fast-fashion garment or fast-fashion accessory, incorporating copied fast-fashion fabric is sadly short. If the garment found it's way to the shop floor and into a consumers wardrobe, the consumers will wear it once and throw it away alternatively up to seven times. If the garment doesn't make it to the shop floor, then it ends up as landfill and this is why the fast-fashion industry gets such a hard time environmentally. Most of the clothes we wear are made of cotton and polyester. Just look at the washing instruction label in the top you have on now, what fabric is it? Generally, we are all wearing a synthetic which redesigns the fabric organism and in most garments, this is a combination of cotton and polyester. What natural alternatives are available? In LA, Hemp is among the latest wellness regime. In a previous blog, I have talked about other plant-based sources such as wheatgrass, green tea and matcha however in LA, Hemp can be found in cocktails, and an upscale juice shop will add a few drops of CBD infused olive oil to a beverage. If you have lived or spent uncountable summers in Ibiza between 1990-2000 or anywhere in Europe, to be honest, you will not be surprised by this, as infusing drinks is nothing new.
Hemp or industrial hemp is one of the most active plants on the planet and it is the first plant to be spun into usable fibre 10,000 years ago. Currently, hemp is refined into things like paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, building insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed. It is widely used and naturally appreciated by many socially conscious industries. Hemp has been widely used for decades, however only since 2018, THC and CBD at 0.3% have been legalised furthermore it is commonplace on out high-streets in specialist stores and health-food store. Pure hemp has a texture similar to linen (for more about linen), another versatile natural material, particularly when it is mixed with lyocell for use in clothing. When it comes down to finding a natural ingredient for food, drinks, building materials, nutrition and fabric let's face it hemp is winning so here are 5 plant-powered reasons to consider shopping for hemp: 1. Food - Hemp seeds can be eaten raw, ground into hemp meal, sprouted or made into dried sprout powder. Hemp seeds are also made into a liquid and used for baking and beverages such as hemp milk. The leaves of the hemp plant, while not as nutritional as the seeds, are edible and can be consumed raw as leafy vegetables in salads and again cold-pressed to make juices and smoothies. 2. Fibre - Hemp fibre has been used extensively throughout history, with production climaxing soon after being introduced to the New World. For centuries, items ranging from rope to fabrics, to industrial materials were made from hemp fibre. Hemp fabric is known for ageing well: in fact, the more you wear it, the softer it becomes. 3. Nutrition - Hemp is super nutritious. I00 grams of hulled hemp seeds supply your body with 586 calories. Next time you pop a vitamin pill, slurp an energy drink or suck on an energy gel, take a minute to read the label. Hemp seeds are notable in providing 64% of our DV (daily value). It is rich in dietary fibres and used in: Vitamin B, Manganese, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Zinc and Iron. About 73% of the energy in hempseed is in the form of fats and essential fatty acids, mainly polyunsaturated fatty acids, linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids.
4. Building materials - A mixture of hemp fibre, kenaf, and flax are used to make composite panels for automobiles and to insulate buildings (thermal panels, concrete-like blocks etc.) as it is extremely strong and durable. Also, a variety of not-so-environmentally-friendly car makers use hemp in their car production, including Audi, BMW, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Honda, Iveco, Mercedes, Porsche and Volkswagen. It is used to make jewellery, shoes and sailing rope the list goes on and on. 5. Environmentally friendly - Hemp requires fewer pesticides and no herbicides. It is actually much more resistant than cotton and it is one of the most environmentally friendly fabrics currently available. The Hemp plant is very naturally resistant to pests and growth requires little water. Discover more by subscribing to my blog here.