Mind Your Materials: Hemp vs Synthetic Clothing

 

Looking for a way to combat plastic pollution in our waterways? Look no further than the inside label of your favorite tee. Yep, that pesky little label that you only read AFTER you accidentally shrunk your favorite shirt. That’s the one, and it turns out reading it before you buy can really help the environment. We’ll explain as we make the case for switching to a hemp-based wardrobe for the health our planet.

Hemp Dress, Mara Hoffman From Svn Space Print Issue 001

Hemp Dress, Mara Hoffman From Svn Space Print Issue 001

Check the label

Go ahead, check that label right now. On the back side of all those symbols that we always forget to read, is the fiber content of your garment. If you’re wearing polyester, rayon, acrylic, spandex, nylon or some other synthetic fiber or synthetic blend — you are, in fact, wearing a garment made from plastic. 

All materials shed fibers, especially during a wash. Estimates vary, but it’s possible that a single load of laundry could release hundreds of thousands of fibers from our clothes into the water supply. Unlike hemp and cotton however, plastic microfibers from synthetic materials (like those listed above) don’t biodegrade. Instead, they lose structural integrity and break down into even smaller microscopic pieces too small to be caught by any filtration process and eventually making their way into our waterways. In an investigation by Orb Media, scientists concluded that 94% of all tap water from the domestic samples they collected had been contaminated by plastic micro particles. Scary, but there is something we can do.

Hemp/Organic Cotton Jumper From Svn Space Print Issue 001

Hemp/Organic Cotton Jumper From Svn Space Print Issue 001

Mind the material

With synthetic materials cheaper to produce and the fabric of choice for many fast fashion companies, checking the label is more important than ever. Look for fabrics that are : 

  • Naturally derived and biodegradable

  • Made using a low impact process to manufacture

  • Extremely durable that can with-stand many washes so you can wear them for a long time. Fabrics like organic cotton, linen, silk, wool, and cashmere are great choices but hemp is at the top of our list for many reasons.

Hemp is a durable natural fiber that’s cultivated with low impact on the environment. Once woven, it has a beautiful drape that is comparable to linen. We love the way it softens with every wash but still retains its strength. It’s more porous than cotton so it breathes better helping you keep your cool. The only real way to describe it is magic. If you’ve worn it, you know what we mean and if you haven’t, we really think you should.

Aliya Wanek Hemp/Organic Cotton Dresses

Aliya Wanek Hemp/Organic Cotton Dresses

Hemp/Organic Cotton Svn Space Tee

Hemp/Organic Cotton Svn Space Tee

Arraei Collective Hemp Trench Coat

Arraei Collective Hemp Trench Coat

Thread up yet?

If you’re fed up with plastic pollution in our waterways, make a conscious decision to swap synthetics for naturals. We’ve listed some of our favorite hemp-based clothing brands below so you can make the switch.

Svn Space Hemp/Organic Cotton Tees 

 Jungmaven

Back Beat Rags

Aliya Wanek

Mara Hoffman

The Hemp Temple

Arraei Collective

Written By:  Hannah Jayne