Is Hemp the New Vegan Wool?
Hemp - The Vegan Alternative to WoolHemp - The Vegan Alternative to Wool

Visitor article by Hannah Boyle.

Why Hemp is the Good Vegan Wool Different

In a world the place we’re all changing into extra conscious of our impression on the setting and the way our day by day choices and purchases have an effect on not solely our planet, but additionally all the animals residing on it, veganism is on the rise.

When folks consider veganism, they normally consider the meals that we eat: meat and dairy.  Not so usually do they consider all the different points that have an effect on animals and their rights. In the present day I wish to speak about vegan clothes. 

I’ll let you know somewhat bit about my story and why I made a decision that I wished to start out making a constructive change by serving to others acknowledge the necessity to transfer away from non-vegan clothes. 

In 2018, I left my 9 to five company job to take a profession break and journey the world with my husband.  Our purpose was to discover less-visited locations and to do an extended journey travelling overland as a lot as doable.  We traveled over 25,000 kilometers by bus, minivan, automobile, prepare, and boat; throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Journey for vegans will be tough sufficient discovering meals and drinks, however there’s additionally the issue to find good vegan and sustainable journey garments.  There are some travel-specific clothes manufacturers, however they typically use wool or synthetics (which might be dangerous for the setting). So I started to analysis this additional. 

Travel clothesTravel clothes

Me, catching a experience behind a pickup truck (sporting an artificial high that was sweaty, sizzling, and moist!)

Why Do Individuals Put on Wool?

Wool is usually utilized in garments marketed for journey as a result of it gives pure properties which might be useful for this goal, similar to being good in several climates, breathable, moisture-wicking, antimicrobial, and smooth.  

When folks need socks to go climbing in, they’d usually consider wool socks as the most suitable choice as a result of they’re recognized to be good to maintain moisture off of your toes, present heat, and never odor as a lot. 

Additionally, wool jumpers are quite common throughout winter or when travelling to locations with a colder local weather, as they assist to insulate you and preserve you heat.  

The newest development I’ve seen is merino wool shirts and jackets. Once more, folks purchase them for journey for those self same advantages talked about above.  

There isn’t a denying that they’re all good advantages to have in journey clothes. This, nonetheless, all comes at the price of the sheep used to get the wool to make the journey clothes.

Wool socksWool socks

Wool socks are sometimes used for climbing.

What’s So Unhealthy about Shopping for Wool?

Within the wool business, sheep are crushed, kicked, stomped on, thrown, mutilated, and even killed by the employees who shear them”

a current PETA Asia investigation uncovered the cruelty inherent within the UK wool business.

Getting wool from a sheep could sound extra harmless than it truly is. Some folks might imagine that, as a result of it isn’t immediately killing an animal like within the meat business, it is not so dangerous. 

These poor sheep endure just about from the second they’re born proper via their complete life, serving one goal – to turn out to be clothes for folks to put on. 

lambs with long tailslambs with long tails

Candy little lambs, with their tails nonetheless intact.

Simply weeks after lambs are born, they typically have their ears punched or reduce for identification functions, then they’ve their tails reduce off. 

Male lambs are castrated at round 6-Eight weeks of age. The method of that is so unethical and simply completely heartbreaking to listen to.  The “moral” approach of doing it’s to tie a band actually tight round their testicles in order that they lose blood provide, inflicting agonizing, long-lasting ache for them.  

The second approach is to chop the testicles with a knife. I personally don’t see how one can label one in all these as extra “moral” than the opposite.  After studying quite a bit about it, it appears individuals are conflicted as to which one is extra “moral”, possibly that’s as a result of neither of them are. 

In Australia, there isn’t a requirement to make use of anesthetic in these procedures on the lambs due to their age. 

The Australian MCOP for sheep states that reducing and the applying of rubber rings are acceptable strategies of castration of lambs lower than six months previous, with out anesthetic.”

lambs with docked tailslambs with docked tails

Two little lambs with their tails docked.

Have you ever heard of the time period mulesing

I keep in mind when a buddy of mine first informed me about mulesing, she stated, “You possibly can look it up on-line, however I’ll warn you now, you in all probability don’t wish to watch any movies, it’s very distressing to see,” and this could not be extra true. 

So take this as a warning, if you wish to learn additional into it, you higher have a powerful abdomen. I nonetheless haven’t watched a video, studying about it’s distressing sufficient. 

In a quick abstract, mulesing is a course of whereby the farmers reduce a big chunk of pores and skin off of the sheep’s bottom (whereas totally aware, and sometimes with no painkillers), as a type of flystrike management.

Mulesing needs to be accompanied by ache reduction the place sensible and cost-effective strategies can be found. Operators ought to search recommendation on present ache minimization methods.”

This quote is a snippet from pointers on the supposed moral remedy of sheep throughout this horrific course of.  “Mulesing ‘ought to’ be accompanied by ache reduction the place ‘sensible’ and ‘value environment friendly’”. That is critically troubling, and that is in Australia which is supposed to be world-leading within the requirements of wool manufacturing. 

Many farms, notably in Australia, are actually saying that they don’t use the mulesing technique, and lots of manufacturers that promote wool merchandise are shifting away from utilizing farmers who follow it.  

That is nice information, but it surely nonetheless very a lot exists and is horrendous for the poor sheep. Even for the manufacturers shifting away from mulesing, this is only one much less painful process that lambs and sheep endure throughout their lifetime of imprisonment, distress, and struggling.

And this does not even start to say the shearing of sheep. Sheep are shorn every year, which is a really distressing course of for them. There are numerous reviews on sheep shearing that present what number of sheep get reduce and worse from the shearing course of. 

Shearers are normally paid by quantity, not by the hour, which inspires quick work with none regard for the welfare of the sheep. This hasty and careless shearing results in frequent accidents, and staff use a needle and thread to stitch the worst wounds shut—with none ache reduction. Strips of pores and skin—and even teats, tails, and ears—are sometimes reduce or ripped off throughout shearing.”

So What is the Different?

Hemp the superplantHemp the superplant
Hemp knitted jerseyHemp knitted jersey

Hemp knitted jersey

The excellent news is that you simply need not use wool! There are numerous animal-free and sustainable pure fibers which might be changing into accessible. 

In the present day I wish to introduce you to hemp. 

Hemp is the brand new vegan wool. It accommodates many related great pure properties as wool.  A few of these embrace moisture wicking, odor resistance, antimicrobial, and breatheability. 

What’s Hemp?

Hemp grows naturallyHemp grows naturally

Hemp grows naturally

Hemp is a plant, so no animals are used throughout any stage of manufacturing hemp and making it into garments. But in addition, hemp doesn’t require using pesticides or fertilizers. 

Pesticides and fertilizers are actually dangerous for our surroundings for a lot of causes. They’re dangerous for the soil, the environment (ozone layer), water (contamination), animals, and they’re dangerous for the individuals who should work with them – they will trigger terrible well being points for folks.

A plant that may fortunately develop with none of those harmful chemical substances is unquestionably the way in which of the long run in my view. Common cotton utilized in most clothes additionally makes use of a number of pesticides and fertilizers to develop, to not point out how water intensive they’re. 

Many individuals rank hemp as essentially the most sustainable fiber to make garments from as a result of it’s so straightforward to develop, may be very sturdy, and really resilient. Not solely is hemp utilized in clothes, however it’s really used for a whole bunch of different issues, as a result of it is really easy to develop, and has great advantages. Hemp is ideal in your new vegan wool! 

What Else is Hemp Used For?

A number of different issues hemp is at the moment used for are: meals, milk, reusable nappies, and hempcrete (for constructing).  However that is solely the start: folks are actually beginning to look into utilizing hemp for gasoline (biofuel) for automobiles, and even in its place for plastic to exchange all single use plastics.

A hemp field during harvestingA hemp field during harvesting

A hemp area throughout harvesting

Hemp Clothes

Hemp is beginning for use increasingly more in clothes, and the extra demand generated, the extra accessible it’s going to turn out to be. Hemp proper now could be dearer than cotton, as a result of it’s usually produced in a extra moral approach. Nevertheless, utilizing hemp is unquestionably a less expensive choice than wool. 

One of many oldest fibers on the earth, hemp helps preserve you heat in winter and funky in summer season, and will get softer the extra you wash it. For all these causes, we additionally contemplate hemp some of the sustainable materials on the market.”

There are 100% hemp garments accessible, however they will really feel somewhat bit coarser in contrast with different materials we’re used to sporting like cotton. Though keep in mind, hemp really softens with each wash, not like basic materials, similar to cotton, which get more durable and fewer comfortable after every wash. 

Some folks like 100% hemp, and others don’t. It is a matter of private desire.

Hemp can simply be blended with different materials. I personally love the texture of 55% hemp with 45% licensed natural cotton. You continue to get all the advantages from the hemp, but it surely has a stunning smooth really feel to it, and that is excellent to exchange sheep’s wool as the brand new vegan wool for the style business.

Try these superior pure properties of hemp, similar to wool, and see why they make hemp so nice to journey in. 

55% Hemp | 45% Organic Cotton T-Shirts55% Hemp | 45% Organic Cotton T-Shirts

55% Hemp | 45% Natural Cotton T-Shirts

Advantages of Hemp for Journey Garments

  • UV Safety – Protects your pores and skin from UV rays. 
  • Antimicrobial – Immune to bacterial development and odors. 
  • Sturdy – Probably the most sturdy pure fiber on the planet. 
  • Will get softer the extra you wash it – Yup, actually! 
  • Moisture wicking – Helps to attract moisture away out of your pores and skin to maintain you dry. 
  • Breathable – Lets the pores and skin breath below the shirt. 
  • Simple to look after – Could be machine washed, or hand washed, normally wants much less washing than synthetics and cotton. 

Advantages of Hemp for our Surroundings

  • Vegan – No animals used at any stage. 
  • Grown Organically – No pesticides or fertilizers used. 
  • Saves water – Makes use of lower than half the water in contrast with cotton. 
  • Biodegradable – 100% hemp is biodegradable (and depending on the dye used). 
  • Good for the soil – Provides again vitamins into the soil, moderately than simply absorbing them. 
  • Pure air purifier – Produces extra oxygen, and absorbs extra carbon dioxide than many vegetation and timber.
  • Grows rapidly – Hemp grows actually quick compared to many different vegetation.
  • Pure fiber – No nasty petroleum or microplastics.
Hemp is a vegan-friendly fabricHemp is a vegan-friendly fabric

Hemp is the right vegan-friendly material for holidays and journey garments

You’ve hit the jackpot of all eco-fabrics: hemp. Robust and sturdy, amazingly smooth and delicate, hemp by no means fails to impress.   Hemp is so quick rising and resilient that no chemical aids are wanted in manufacturing. It may be grown in lots of contrasting climates and situations world wide, and doesn’t deplete the soil, however enriches its habitat- the plant the retains on giving.”

How A lot Does a Hemp vs. Merino Wool Shirt Value?

Merino wool shirts value between $60 and $100 USD per shirt. 

Hemp shirts value between $35 and $60 USD.

So Which is Higher, Hemp or Wool?

So let’s immediately evaluate hemp to wool. 

Beneath is a desk evaluating the professionals and cons for every material:

So there you could have it. As you possibly can see, hemp has almost all the identical great properties as wool, and even further distinctive properties, with out having to make use of or hurt any animals. Hemp actually is the brand new vegan wool, and is implausible for clothes for on a regular basis and for journey.

hemp t-shirtshemp t-shirts

Hemp shirts are breathable, moisture wicking, antimicrobial, and comfortable similar to wool.

My Private Expertise Carrying Hemp

After spending a couple of months researching all of this, I made a decision that there ought to undoubtedly be extra hemp clothes accessible. I wished to attempt to drive consciousness of hemp to indicate people who it’s a extra sustainable and moral choice

So, I went looking for hemp farmers and manufactures. I discovered a beautiful, moral, vertically-integrated producer. They farm all of their very own hemp, knit or weave their very own material, and make customized garments from it.

I had some samples made and traveled round Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Indonesia sporting and testing them out. Throughout my travels, I wore my hemp shirt on buses, tuk tuks, boats, automobiles, prepare, and planes. 

On a number of in a single day journeys, I even slept in it, and I wore it for 5 days or extra consecutively with out washing it. And in any case that, I can safely say that it’s simply excellent for travelling in. 

It was snug, sturdy, breathable, protected me from UV rays, and stored me cool in sizzling and humid climate. And the pure antimicrobial properties meant that I may put on it for days with out my dangerous sweaty smells clinging to it.

hemp travel t-shirthemp travel t-shirt

Trying out some waterfalls within the Philippines in my hemp shirt.

My new model, Hempton, has simply launched, due to a profitable marketing campaign on Kickstarter. We will probably be delivering our first batch of shirts in October, and you may obtain a reduction by pre-ordering on our web site

Thanks for studying, I can not wait to see the way forward for hemp – the brand new vegan wool – and different vegan garments. 

Concerning the Creator

I’m Hannah, a nature-loving, tea-drinking, off-the-beaten path exploring Brit, residing in Australia. I’ve a ardour for Planet Earth and travelling to see as a lot of it as doable, while doing so in a sustainable and moral approach. Thus far, I’ve traveled to 92 international locations, and I’d in the future love to go to each nation on the earth.

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