Nowadays, hemp is the most sustainable fabric to produce flags (and many other things) with. That is why we encourage the transition of the industry to hemp made fabrics. We do this by transitioning our supply to hemp made products.
As a company that wants to promote sustainability, we made the choice to work with a more environmental-friendly way of producing our newest sailing flags. It was a whole process, but we have the first flag online. Hemp is right now the most sustainable way to fabricate various clothing products, such as, underwear, socks, T-shirts, ribbons, rugs and household textiles. It is also used to feed livestock. It is made out of the fibers from the stems of the Cannabis sativa which makes it very unique and resistant to mold, mildew or other microbes that could be harmful. In addition, this fabric is a 100% bio-degradable, recyclable and there is no need for irrigation. When growing the plants, there is no pesticides or herbicides needed to grow them or to keep them from insects, due to its resistance, durability, and their immense speed of growth.
Most flags (and material in general) are made out of polyester, which is a synthetic fabric. It is a big problem to the environment due to the release of micro-plastic from the fabric into the air. This “exhaust” of plastic poses a threat to the nature and to our health which is why EarthStore always looks for sustainable alternatives and wants to reduce the global use of this synthetic, plastic fabric. Hemp is even environmentally friendlier than natural fabric such as cotton which consumes a huge amount of water during the growing process and is said to last 3 times longer than any cotton fabric. The goal with EarthFlag is also to make this fabric become more popular and to raise awareness of it’s existence. To help us with transitionning to hemp , you can buy a HempFlag here.
Why is hemp not as popular?
In ancient times, the middle age, hemp was one of the most used materials to produce textiles and clothing because of its durable characteristics and versatility. Even after the middle age, this material entered mass production and became the most popular material to use. Nevertheless, increasingly more countries changed their legislation concerning Hemp due to the origin plant that this fiber is made of. Governments were ignorant of the difference between the drug marijuana which is rich in THC and hemp which is made of the sativa of the plant and contains almost no THC.
However, the fabric is gaining a lot of popularity recently and is being appreciated in many more countries now. Markets such as China and America dominate the production of hemp and it is also nowadays used for modern interior designs and in the fashion industry which is one of the biggest polluters to the world.
How is hemp produced?
Below there is a simple illustration of how hemp is produced and processed in order to make it a useful material:
First of all, Farmers collect and the hemp plants with a specialized machine for the harvest. Usually, the female Cannabis plant is being harvested for the production of Hemp however, the Cannabis sativa is very low on THC level and has less accentuated sticky buds.
Then, in order for the material to rett in the field, the fibers will be separated from the bark after they have been put into bales. The retting takes about 4 to 6 weeks.
Afterwards the retting, they need to be carded into the strands and will be cleaned and removed from all impurities and irregularities
Depending on what the final product will be, the fibers will be pulped (for paper goods), matted in order to make mats and fleeces or steam exploded to fuse the hemp into a fiber that can be used for weaving.
The final step is to weave it into textiles or to be spun into it.
As you can see, the production of hemp is not as laborous as other materials such as cotton for instance and brings so much more advantages than other fabrics that are more popular.