With all of the noise that's been made around hemp clothing in the past couple of years, you'd be forgiven for thinking that hemp fabric is a new innovation. This, however, couldn't be further from the truth.
What may seem like a new fad, ushered in by boho-inspired fashion and a popularity spike in CBD and cannabis-infused goods actually has hidden origins that date back as far as 10,000 years ago.
Durable, sustainable, and often misunderstood, let's take a look at what hemp actually is, it's origins in the textile and fashion industry, and why it makes such a darn good t-shirt.
Given hemp's rapid rise, you'd think that it is new in the world of fabric and fashion, but it's quite the opposite. In fact, the Columbia History of the World states that the oldest relic of human industry is a bit of hemp fabric dating back to approximately 8,000 BC.
Hemp remained a popular fabric choice until the 1800s and the invention of the cotton gin, which allowed for rapid production of cotton and thus became most farmers' preferred plant to grow and sell.
Even still, hemp had its moments. Presidents Washington and Jefferson grew hemp. In the 1910s, the US Department of Agriculture encouraged farmers to grow hemp after studies showed that it produced four times more paper per square inch than trees.
In the 1970s, though, the Controlled Substance Act and an overall crackdown on drug use resulted in strict regulations for all things cannabis-related, effectively strangling the growing and cultivating of hemp.
But wait, what exactly is hemp's relation to marijuana?
Good question, as this topic confuses a lot of people and has placed a negative stigma around this soft, sustainable fabric. The gist is, both hemp and marijuana derive from the cannabis plant, but there's one major difference. Hemp contains almost no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana's psychological effects. Meaning, hemp is not for getting high, and it's use cases are entirely different.
Luckily, in the past decade, these regulations have been loosened, making hemp fabric more readily available.
We're glad you asked. Hemp has a handful of benefits for you as the person wearing it, but also for the environment and world as a whole.
Perhaps the biggest pro of wearing hemp t-shirts is that hemp fabric is a huge environmental win. So much so that you can make a strong case that hemp is the most sustainable, eco-friendly fabric in the world. Hemp grows in small spaces and diverse climates, requires far few chemicals and pesticides than cotton, and uses over 50% less water to produce.
Hemp even actively fights global warming, as it cleans the air by absorbing massive amounts of carbon dioxide, which, if you didn't know, is the gas that directly contributes to global warming.
Mother nature isn't the only beneficiary of adding some hemp into your wardrobe. You're going love the soft feel and durability that hemp shirts have to offer. Hemp shirts feel great, and even soften over time, rather than wearing out. Hemp's durability also means the shirts are going to last longer, meaning you won't have to replace it, and it's not going to end up in a dump.
Do we ever. We're big fans of Royal Apparel's Unisex Hemp Organic Tee. Royal Apparel has really found its niche as the go-to environmentally friendly wholesale t-shirt provider, and their hemp t-shirt is perhaps our favorite of their offerings.
This shirt comes in four earthy colorways: Patriot Blue, Snowflake, Sand, and Herb. Stitched together with 60% hemp and 40% organic cotton, this shirt is durable, comfortable, and even antibacterial, giving it all of the makings to become your go-to t-shirt for years to come.
Ready to jump in and use this hemp tee for your next custom t-shirt project? Click here to upload your artwork and submit your order. Or, if you'd like to talk to someone on the team, click here. We'd love to chat more and help you get started.