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Why is Hemp Clothing So Expensive?

If you’ve ever thought about trying hemp clothing, you’ve probably noticed that it doesn’t come cheap. These days lots of people are trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, and plenty think of hemp as a natural friendly material. That is, until they see the price tag. While there is plenty of weed to smoke, you have to hunt far and wide to find decent hemp clothing. Read on to find more about why that is. 

Hemp is one of the most environmentally beneficial fibers in the world. While it is a plant, it is not the same as marijuana. Hemp has minimal THC content, while THC is the main event in combustible cannabis. To be considered hemp, a cannabis plant has to have less than 0.3% of THC. Hemp fabric has the potential to produce a greater amount of fiber compared to cotton. It grows extremely fast, in a 100 day period and in a variety of environments, and doesn’t require a lot of water to flourish. The plant yields a durable and highly versatile fabric. Hemp is considered organic and is grown without the use of pesticides and fertilizers, but it needs to be validated by an official third party to be classified as organic. What’s more, it actually helps the soil where it grows. Making sure that another crop can be planted as soon as the first is harvested. 

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Hemp clothes are so expensive simply due to demand. Economics 101 tells us that the higher the price of a good, the lower the demand. Simply put, people can get natural fabrics for cheaper. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reported that hemp fibers raised only 60,657 tons in 2018. In comparison, more than 30.3M tons of cotton were produced during the same year. Those looking to improve their sustainability can easily try cotton or silk, which are commonly used in high end and low end fashions alike. Hemp isn’t widely used by any designers or fashion labels, which could grow demand. 

Hemp clothes are so expensive because supply is low. Although hemp grows in a variety of environments and soils, it is cultivated in limited amounts. The low availability of hemp fibers is one of the main reasons that the prices of hemp clothing remain so high. The industry is small and because access to hemp has ranged from restricted to forbidden for the last 100 years, which means not a ton of people know about. Since hemp farming was legalized due to the 2018 farm bill, the industry is expected to growth. The success potential of the industry is huge, but it’s very much in the beginning stages. However; as more people decide to reduce their carbon footprint and more people buy, the more prices will decrease in the future. 

Hemp clothes are so expensive because, they have a bad rep. They are most associated with stiff hippie clothing, and a lot of people hold the misconception that if you wear hemp clothing or use it in your personal care routine, it automatically means you’re a hippie. Well, why not? It’s rough on the skin! To make matters worse, some people don’t understand the difference between cannabis and hemp, which means people won’t buy it, because people still believe they can fail a drug test due to wearing it. Cotton is softer and more abundant, but recent technologies have cottonseed the fabric, making to easier to wear.

So should you buy hemp clothing? It’s a vicious cycle, of wanting to wait until there is softer fabric available to buy it, but softer hemp not being available because there’s no interest from the customers. The only way out of this cycle is to start. Try one or two hemp pieces to incorporate into your closet if sustainability is your thing. It’s a gamble, but it’s one that may just be worth it. 

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