Natural fabric blends, including those with hemp, are one of the up and coming trends that has come out of 2020, the year with no fashion shows. Fashion designers have been forced to slow down and rethink their industry and business models. Consumers have also been forced to be more mindful and change their shopping habits. At large, this could be great news for the planet and the hemp textile and fashion industry.
While the average person may be just starting to read the labels on their clothing, there is a sub-population that is already intentionally experiencing the advantages and luxuriousness of hemp. There are also a growing number of fashion makers who are using mostly hemp in their creations.
In 2021 most clothes available to the masses are made with plastic. You have to really search online to find fashion made with hemp and other eco-friendly textiles.
There are many boutique maker shops to be found on Etsy from around the world where you can get a wide variety of handmade hemp clothing, accessories, and home decor. For the most part I have had good luck on Etsy finding well-made, unique, and fashionable hemp clothes. That being said, I also feel like I have had to swim through a lot of fashion makers that are using hemp but not designing styles I would wear.
On ebay, I have found deals on designer European dress clothes and accessories. Italian, French and other European designers are known for using hemp fabrics in their canvas and jean fabrics. Look closely when you see Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Louis Vuitton…or any fashion coming out of Europe. Unlike the US and many following countries, some nations never banned the production of hemp for textiles so their industries continue and have been able to preserve the craft of turning plants into beautiful fashions.
There is Amazon which appears to be a limited source of Chinese hemp fashion. China has been growing hemp and using it in textiles for centuries and still leads the way in making fabrics with hemp, cotton, and plastic. My hemp fashion purchases made in China thus have included a pair of sneakers, a bikini, and some hemp silk tops.
Then there are the now infamous Hemp Hoodlamb coats, clothing, and accessories; designed in Amsterdam, and made in China using hemp, organic cotton, and recycled plastic bottles. While this company recently declared bankruptcy and closed their doors for good, they had been producing high quality clothes from hemp, organic cotton, and recycled plastic bottles for over two decades.
Tips to Help You Buy Hemp Clothes Online:
- Read labels closely to learn where your clothes were manufactured and what exactly they are made of. Anything you are buying online should be able to provide a picture of this label and give you the type of fabric blend. I’ve found plenty of hemp clothes that are made with a blend of non-organic cotton and polyester.
- Search a variety of shopping sources with “hemp” as a keyword. Consider also looking with other languages (ie. canapa, canva, chanvre, hanf, hamp, hampa)
- Read the description very closely. Sometimes the word hemp is used in the item title but there is no hemp in the fabric blend.
While hemp and other natural textiles are currently more expensive and less plentiful than polyester/acrylic blends, the slow trend for big brands and designers to put out eco-friendly collections that reduce their large ecological footprint will eventually happen. Until then it is up to you and me to be conscientious consumers as we drive our own desired market.