Updated: Apr 11
Plastics, Fossil Fuels, and Fast Fashion are damaging our environment...But there is one super plant that could have the solution...
And that plant is Hemp!
With our recent launch of hemp shirts on Kickstarter, we have been so impressed with people sharing our enthusiasm for hemp, that we wanted to write a blog around the other uses of hemp, to show you just how versatile and wonderful this plant really is.
Also, here is a reminder that our shirts are now available for pre-sale on our website at special prices for a limited time only click here.
So you already know that hemp can be used to make t-shirts, but It has hundreds of other uses and we will cover off a few of the main ones today. But first, I want to tell you what it can't be used for...
To get high.
That's right, despite the stigma around Hemp. It's a different type of the cannabis plant to the one used to make marijuana. There's next to no THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) in the Hemp plant therefore it cannot be used for this purpose.
“Hemp has been cultivated on planet earth for over 10,000 years. It has been an important source of food and fibre with references dating back to ancient China and Mesopotamia. Applications of hemp plants evolved from simple rope and coarse woven fabric to paper and sail cloth.” Source : HempTrade.ca
Did you know? As a farmer in parts of the USA in the 1600s, it was actually mandatory to grow Hemp on a percentage of your land. Each farmer had to dedicate land specifically to Hemp because it was so widely used. This sadly changed when the government ruled it an illegal plant due to its association with the cannabis plant.
Hemp cultivation is becoming more widespread, and as more hemp is grown, it is becoming a highly regarded resource to help make the world a more sustainable and eco friendly place. Hemp is super multifunctional and has proved itself one of the most versatile natural fibres out there. Here's a list of current and up and coming uses for the super plant:
Clothes - Brands such as Hempton Apparel are now bringing out hemp clothing, it is perfect for clothes because is is durable, resistant to odour, UV protective, breathable, comfy, and moisture wicking.
Hemp oil - Hemp oil has many uses and benefits, people swear by it. In fact, it has started to become so popular in Australia, there have been cases of it selling out and being hard to get hold of. Hemp oil contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 which are said to help inflammation, so many people with arthritis are using it.
Hemp moisturiser and skin care - Hemp is used in face moisturisers, and even to help with the aging process, and help treat acne.
Nutrition - Hemp seeds are becoming routine in the diets of many health conscious people. Why? It is great protein (popular in vegans and vegetarians), it also contains Omega 3 and 6 fatty oils, Omega 9, Minerals (Calcium, Iron, Magnesium), and Vitamins.
Food - Not only can you get hemp seeds, and hearts, but people are starting to experiment with hemp in food more, such as Hemp burgers as a healthy, vegan friendly alternate!
Hemp milk - Yup. There’s a new contender for non dairy milk. Hemp milk is pretty darn good for you too. It is lactose, soy, and gluten free, and high in fatty acids and proteins. It is very nutritious, and people have even started making it themselves at home.
Hempcrete - Hemp has been used as a replacement for concrete for many years as I found out last year, and is now becoming increasingly in demand.
I’m certainly no expert in hempcrete, concrete or any other elements of construction, so here's a bit on hempcrete from a far more knowledgeable source:
“It has great energy efficiency. It maintains a steady temperature. It doesn't shrink, so there are no crack lines. It is a breathable material.” Source: Houseplanninghelp.com
Rope - One of the oldest uses for hemp, possibly the original, hemp is used for rope because of its strength and durability. Hemp has been used in rope in all kinds of trades, but is famous for its uses in shipping.
“In 1997, a hemp rope dating back to 26900 BC was found in Czechoslovakia, making it the oldest known object to be associated with cannabis.” Source: Ancient Origins.
Soap - Hemp is known to be gentle on sensitive skin, as well as being moisturising, so it makes the perfect ingredient for natural soap.
Fuel - Hemp biofuel is being discussed as a possibility for the future. As we are becoming more conscious and trying to remove the use of fossil fuels, scientists are looking for a way to make an environmentally and sustainable fuel, and hemp is being talked about a lot right now, so watch this space!
Sunscreen - With it’s natural UV protection properties, and it's moisturising feeling, it has started to be used in making sunscreen, and with much less harmful ingredients, compared with some other options on the market.
Beer - Heck yes. Hemp beer is on the market. Gluten free, vegan friendly beer with hemp in it. Because, why not?!
Pet food - Because we can’t keep this hemp goodness all to ourselves - It’s great for our pets too! There is currently cat and dog food enriched with hemp oil, and some brands have been recommended by vets.
Pet bedding - A safe, natural option for pet bedding, which offers comfort as well as antimicrobial properties.
Paper - Hemp paper has been around for years - in fact it can be traced back to around 200 BC in China.
The first draft of the declaration of independence was written on hemp paper.
Protein powder - I must admit, nutrition definitely isn't one of my expertise so I looked over a few websites to learn a bit more about this. Turns out hemp protein powder is meant to be pretty good.
“Hemp protein powder is a high-quality plant-based protein that contains 20 amino acids — the building blocks of protein. Protein is crucial for developing, growing and maintaining muscles, tissues and vital organs. It also helps boost metabolism and increases fat-burning.” Yoursuper.com
Nappies/diapers - Hemp nappies for babies are becoming a big thing. The main reasons hemp is so good for diapers are; It is environmentally friendly (we already know this), it’s baby friendly - the fabric is tested and certified to be safe to use on young babies and children, it’s durable, it’s soft, it’s stretchy, and it’s absorbent.
To clean soil - I talked about this in a post recently, but it's a valid one for this list. I love talking about it because I just think it’s so wonderful. Hemp produces high quantities of biomass, which returns to the soil and decomposes, giving nutrients back into the soil. Not only that but it also is also able to absorb heavy metals and pollutants (Phytovolatilization). An example of this is:
Hemp was used to help clean up after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine in 1986, due to its ability to absorb radioactive toxins from the ground.
Shoes - This is quite a new thing as far as I know, but i’ve seen a couple of brands of sneakers coming out with hemp trainers, as a vegan, and sustainable option. Sounds like an awesome idea to me, and I will be trying out my own pair very soon.
Plastic - This is beginning to be talked about. The idea of plastic being replaced with ‘bioplastics’, including hemp as one of the runners.
Cars - Believe it or not, this is actually a piece of history, which may well make a comeback. Henry Ford made a prototype hemp car back in 1941, which was also designed to run on hemp fuel. If you read up, it seems that it may also become a thing of the future... I think Mr Ford was definitely well ahead of his time there, and onto something. Time will tell.
I have just made my own brand of hemp shirts, which I am currently crowdfunding to help get off the ground. They are available now on Kickstarter, check out the link here to snap one up at our Kickstarter prices.
I really believe this is just the beginning for hemp, it’s a fibre that has a highly growing market, and now you know why. You’ll be hearing about hemp a lot more in future. Hopefully it can help to turn this environmental crisis around, because its negative impacts are generally much less than current material we are overusing.
Pretty impressive hey? If you know of any other uses for this magnificent plant, please comment below, I'd love to hear of any others you may have.
Be a part of the change today, and get your hemp shirt on an exclusive introductory price for a limited time only click here.
Thanks for reading!