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  • Writer's pictureRenauxView

FASHION HEMP



Expanding initiatives sustainability was given a portfolio (see REFAZENDA ), RenauxView has launched a baseline woven with hemp yarn to offer more sustainable alternatives to the Brazilian fashion industry.


And you? Do you know the differentials of this millennial fiber and why hemp is attracting the mutual attention of environmentalists and fashionistas?



What is hemp?

Hemp is a plant of the Cannabis sativa species. It is one of the oldest plants cultivated by humans and has been used for thousands of years by various cultures around the world. The plant is prized for its medicinal properties and for its strong, durable fibers, which are used in the production of a wide variety of products, from rope and fabric to paper and building materials.

Hemp is often associated with marijuana, better known for its psychoactive effects and recreational uses. Although it is the same plant, the Cannabis sativa species grown for industrial and commercial hemp purposes, contains low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the plant's psychoactive substance.



Sustainable advantages of hemp

While cotton accounts for about 97% of the area planted with natural fibers on the planet, hemp occupies less than 1% of this area (behind jute and flax). And even though the consequent cost of this disproportion is reflected in a higher price, hemp is gaining ground in the fashion industry because of its more sustainable environmental credentials. Among the main factors that differentiate the culture of hemp from other natural fibers and make it more sustainable, we can highlight the following:

1. Water Use: Hemp requires significantly less water than cotton to grow. The plant can produce the same amount of fiber with 50% less water.

2. Pesticides and herbicides: hemp is a plant that is naturally resistant to pests and diseases and therefore requires far less of these chemicals. As it is also a very adaptable plant, being able to be cultivated in a great variety of soils and climates, depending on the location, some cultures of the plant can dispense 100% of the use of pesticides and herbicides.

3. Soil health: The hemp crop is low impact and due to its root system the plant can even improve soil conditions by improving its structure and preventing erosion.

4. Carbon Footprint: The hemp crop requires less energy to grow and can be maintained without the use of synthetic fertilizers and other chemicals that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

5. Harvest time: plants grown in hot climates for fiber exploration can be harvested in 70 to 90 days. This allows for multiple annual harvests making it an attractive option for farmers who want a sustainable, fast-growing crop.


Hemp in history

The cultivation of hemp has played an important role in the history of human evolution for thousands of years. One of its most notable uses is its use in the production of fibers and textile products.

Archaeological research reveals that the use of hemp fiber dates back to the ancient civilizations of Mongolia, China and Egypt, who used the plant in various ways, especially for textile purposes. One of the oldest records of textiles from antiquity, by the way, is a piece woven with hemp from 8000 BC, found in the region of present-day Iraq. In the same region, under the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon, pieces of hemp fabric that are over 4,000 years old were also found.

In ancient China, hemp fibers were used to make clothing, paper, and sails. The Chinese, who believed in the therapeutic properties of the plant, also used it for medicinal purposes. In addition to these uses, its strong and resistant fiber was used in the construction of buildings and in the manufacture of ropes.

Its use was also widespread in Europe. During the middle ages, the cultivation of Cannabis sativa was one of the main agricultural crops on the continent. Hemp was used to make clothes, rope and even books. Hemp paper, by the way, was used for centuries until the advent of cellulose pulp as an alternative to papermaking in the early 19th century.

In the United States, hemp cultivation was also one of the main crops until the beginning of the 20th century. Some of the “Founding Fathers” of the USA, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, grew hemp on their properties. Fibers from the plant were used to make clothing, rope, paper, and even the first American flag.



Hemp in Brazil

Hemp was also historically cultivated on a large scale in Brazil during the colonial period, mainly for use in the production of rope and fabric. Hemp planting was also encouraged during World War II, when Brazil needed to produce its own war materials and hemp was considered a valuable raw material.

However, hemp cultivation was banned in Brazil in 1946, following the global trend towards criminalizing drugs, which included Cannabis sativa. This ban lasted until 2019, when the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) approved the regulation of the medicinal use of cannabis-based products, including hemp.

Nowadays, hemp is cultivated on a small scale in Brazil, mainly for use in the production of CBD oil (cannabidiol), which is used as a medicine to treat various health conditions. There is also growing interest in the use of hemp fibers in fabric production and sustainable building materials.

For new uses in the fashion industry, however, Brazil depends on the costly import of hemp yarn from countries such as China and India.



Hemp in fashion

Hemp has attracted increasing attention from the fashion industry, especially for the production of more sustainable clothing and accessories. Hemp fibers are durable and strong, making them ideal for producing clothing and fabrics that can last for years to come. Additionally, growing hemp is considered more sustainable than growing many other textile materials, as the plant requires less water, less chemicals and less time to be ready for use.

Whether it's the fiber's intrinsic qualities, such as strength and durability, or its low-impact environmental credentials, fashion brands, in increasing numbers, are starting to incorporate hemp into their collections. Applications abound! Hemp garments can offer comfortable solutions for trousers and shorts, shirts and t-shirts, skirts and dresses, blazers and jackets, swimwear, bed and table linen, among others.


And if, on the one hand, Brazil still depends on the costly importation of hemp yarn from countries such as China and India, now, on the other hand, it has inspiring foundations woven by RenauxView to add sustainability and more ecological alternatives to collections

from the creators of Brazilian fashion.


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