Updated: Jan 17, 2019
The phrase “cotton is king” was coined in 1858, and since then the textile has enjoyed top billing as the world’s primary fabric.
Accounting for less than 2.5% of cropland worldwide, cotton uses 16% of the world’s pesticides. Unsafe use of chemicals severely impacts ecosystems that receive run-off from farms, decreasing animal fertility and freshwater biodiversity.
It can take more than 5,000 gallons of water to produce 2 pounds of cotton, the equivalent of a single T-shirt and pair of jeans. As one of the most “thirsty” crops, cotton is heavily irrigated and is depleting our limited freshwater sources.
(Image source: matthewniederhauser.com)
For thousands of years, hemp has been used to produce durable textiles in massive quantities. However, the broad-spectrum prohibition of cannabis made industrial hemp just as illegal as marijuana. In the process, the hemp textile industry was destroyed.
Studies show that hemp farming uses considerably less water than its thirsty cotton counterpart. Its fiber can be woven into light materials for clothing, durable textiles for commercial industrial purposes, and even into very strong ropes and cables for heavy lifting and pulling. Unlike cotton, hemp holds its strength when wet, and it also possesses anti-bacterial properties. Its even said that "hemp fabric wears in, rather than wearing out."
(University of Kentucky Spindletop Farm)
With the growing decriminalization and legalization of cannabis across the country, hemp has the opportunity to knock cotton off its throne, and become the fabric of our future.
For more, read our original Leafy aritcle at