Why are sustainable fashion products so important?

Why are sustainable fashion products so important?

The fashion industry is second behind the petroleum industry as the most pollutive industry in the world, and it’s growing rapidly. Boston Consulting Group reports that the current consumption of textiles globally is 63 million tons a year, and predicts it to grow 63% to 102 million tons by 2030. This is driven by population growth in general, and GDP growth in developed countries that consume fashion products.

Why does that matter?

While there are many ingredients used within the fashion industry, the world consumes approximately 25 million tons of cotton per year. If the demand for cotton follows the demand for clothing, then by 2030 the world will need 40 million tons of cotton. That means 15 million additional hectares of land just to grow the cotton.

Think of this. The world will need a land mass roughly the size of Australia just to supply the annual demand for cotton.

Is there an alternative?

Hemp fibers can be used as a substitute for cotton fibers. According to a study done by the Stockholm Environment Institute, hemp productivity levels are much greater with yields of up to 3 tonnes of dry fiber per hectare compared to 1.35 tonnes of cotton lint per hectare (1 tonne = 1.102 US tons). Not only that, industrial hemp grows quickly so it is possible to produce three times the amount of hemp fiber as cotton from the same amount of land.

Not only are hemp productivity levels higher than cotton, it also requires approximately one third the amount of water per kilogram of fiber to grow than cotton requires (Stockholm Environment Institute).

Hemp is a low maintenance crop requiring low inputs, including agro-chemicals, during the growing season. Hemp grows rapidly and to date, has not been plagued by pests. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better...did you know that one ton of harvested hemp removes 1.62 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere?

Once hemp is harvested, it can be used for many things from paper to construction materials, reducing the need to cut down trees. At Bohempia, we are turning industrial hemp plants into shoes and other fashion items, reducing the need for cotton.