How Hemp Clothing Improves Australia’s Move Towards Sustainable Clothing

Hemp clothing has several benefits that range from durability to versatility and weather resistance. However, these are not the prime reasons for the current trend in hemp clothing in Australia. In this year’s fashion week back in May, eco-fashionistas raised various awareness concerns that shed light on how Australia still had a long way to go in their path towards producing environmentally friendly textile. The statistics still shows that 20% of fabric used in cloth and shoe design is discarded as waste and most dyes have harsh effects in the environment. These concerns have led to the current emphasis towards production of sustainable clothing and hemp has proved to be a fancied choice.

hemp use in clothing

Why hemp?

Hemp clothing is taking over the market and is set to become the king of fibers replacing cotton. Although hemp has been used to produce high quality durable fibers for thousands of years, cannabis prohibition across the world has often been an impediment making industrial use of hemp just as illegal. However, more states and countries have eased up on their prohibitions and this could not come at a better time. Hemp is undeniably the most durable fiber of our time and its fabrics do not wear as quickly as cotton. Some of the key benefits of hemp clothing include the following;

• Strength

Besides being lightweight and absorbent, clothing made from hemp fibers offer more than three times the tensile strength and last longer than those made of cotton.

• Weather resistance

Hemp clothing are both UV resistant and mold resistant making them ideal for outdoor wear.

• Versatility

Hemp fibers effortlessly blend with other fibers to offer various qualities within a garment. You can find clothing made of hemp/cotton or hemp/silk.

• Cost effectiveness

Growing hemp crops has fewer requirements compared to others. Hemp uses less water (up to 50% less) than thirsty cotton crops.

• Eco-friendly

Cotton accounts for around 2.5% of the world’s crops yet uses 16% of the pesticides. Excessive chemical use is not only hazardous to the environment, but also affects the farmers and field workers. Most of the chemical is washed to streams and water bodies further polluting and impacting the biodiversity in vast areas.Although hemp crops also require similar pesticides, they can be grown in half the farmland required for cotton thus reducing the impact on the environment. There are other minor benefits of hemp compared to other fibers, but most will fall within the above categories. Most countries have began to recognize the true benefits of hemp clothing and the trend is set to be around for the long haul (until a better fiber is discovered).


Australia is one of the countries emphasizing on sustainable textile production and with the hemp trend already in motion, there is no doubt other industries will follow suit. However, industrial hemp cultivation will require comprehensive study to identify the best way of producing large amounts of dry hemp with the least impact on the environment. Hemp does come with its own set of concerns which will require quick addressing before it can replace cotton in various parts of the world especially since there are various species.