Fabric for Life – HMPLB
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The textile industry has grown out to be one of the most polluting industries in the world

THE NEED FOR AN ALTERNATIVE


The last decade we have seen a sharp decline in the production of plant based materials apart from cotton. This is mostly a result of the advances in cotton production and the development of synthetic fibers. This is a very concerning development for the livelihood of our planet.

The textile industry has grown out to be one of the most polluting industries in the world. This needs to change. The currently used raw materials for most textile products are damaging the planet beyond repair. We are convinced that the world needs to use more plant-based fibers to produce better sustainable textiles. Therefore, we would like to inform consumers about the necessity of developing more environmentally friendly products. As a result, we want to share our knowledge and appreciation for hemp as a raw material for textile products, as it brings so many ecological benefits and solutions for global problems.





COTTON

Cotton is globally known as one of the premium textile fabrics. It has a lot of benefits for consumers, but the production of cotton heavily burdens our environment due to the excessive need for fresh water and the high amount of chemicals used in both the cultivation and processing of cotton. Cotton has a low natural growth efficiency, a lot of synthetic fertilizers are necessary to effectively grow cotton to produce enough material for fabrics. In addition, regular cotton is almost always cultivated as a monocrop, which means that cotton is the only crop grown on the farmland. This allows pests and insects to easily invade the land and destroy the crop. Therefore, farmers are forced to use huge amounts of pesticides and herbicides.

The need for water and the use of pesticides and herbicides have shown to be very harmful for the natural environments surrounding the lands where the cotton is grown. Fortunately, the industry has begun investing in organic cotton. Organic cotton is produced without irrigation water, synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Yet in comparison to other plant-based fibers, cotton produces a very small amount of fabric per acre of land.


SYNTHETIC FIBERS

Next to cotton, there has been a major rise in the development and production of several synthetic fibers like: nylon, acrylic and polyester. These three synthetic fibers have dominated markets because they are well known for their durability, they are relatively cheap to produce and can resist a high amount of pressure without breaking. These fibers are developed for commercialisation and can be produced in many different forms. However, the production of these fibers bring a huge burden to our environment.

Synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon pose a significant risk to the environment because they are non-biodegradable. This means that once the material is produced, it is really difficult to get rid of it, leaving us with great amounts of waste material. Fortunately, there has been a sharp growth in the resources invested in recycling synthetic fibres, like PET and polyester. But this still seems to be a rather ineffective solution to a problem we are still creating ourselves.

Besides the ecological dangers that these fibers pose, they can also bring harm to consumers. Synthetic fibers are often not resistant to heat damage and some are even highly inflammatory. Hazardous chemicals are used in the manufacturing process of synthetic fibers ranging from alcohol to soda and even acid. This can lead to both allergic reactions and respiratory infections, although the cases in which serious incidents occur are relatively rare. Plant based fibers are often hypo-allergenic and are way less harmful to our skin and overall health.




TEXTILE PRODUCTS BASED ON HEMP FIBERS

Hemp as a raw material offers a great solution for reducing pollution in the textile industry. Hemp requires less water in cultivation, processing of the crop and turning the fibers into textiles as opposed to cotton. This is commonly referred to as the most important aspect of producing sustainable products. The hemp crop is globally known for its natural growth efficiency. It needs minimal land, water and no synthetic fertilizers. The hemp crop is also naturally protected against insects and pests and thus needs minimal amounts of pesticides and no herbicides during growth. Altogether, these natural benefits of the hemp crop make it the most environmentally positive crop on earth.

ECOLOGICAL BENEFITS OF HEMP

Since ancient times, people have been using hemp fibers to make ropes and other textile materials. The characteristics of the hemp fibers make it ideal for any textile products that need strength and durability. The biggest drawback of hemp is that it has been a relatively rough fiber as opposed to the smooth cotton fiber. Yet, the last decade, technology has enabled softening and smoothening of hemp fibers. Therefore, hemp fibers have become more suited for consumer wearables and products that touch the skin. Hemp fibers are plant-based, they are hypoallergenic and antibacterial. The fibers are biodegradable and thus way better for the environment than synthetic fibers. As HMPLB, we invest in researching the potential of hemp for textile products, and develop products that are perfect for day to day use. We provide consumers and companies with not only beautiful, durable and comfortable products, but with hemp also a fabric for life.

ORIGIN OF OUR HEMP


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