By: Neda Shamsdiba
Okay, I’m going to start by saying that I love hemp. It’s strong, biodegradable, comfortable, and one of the most sustainable fabrics. Hemp fabric has so many benefits, but nothing in life is perfect. In honor of our commitment to transparency, I want to talk about some of the disadvantages of hemp fabric, and what you can do about them.
5 Disadvantages of Hemp Fabric
(table of contents)
1. HEMP CAN BE PRONE TO WRINKLING
Unfortunately, like most natural fibers, hemp clothing does wrinkle. But considering how long hemp clothing lasts and that it becomes more soft and comfortable over time, this seems like a pretty small price to pay. Plus, it’s not like you’re stuck with no other choice but to rock a wrinkled look.
Here are some tips to reduce and manage wrinkles in your hemp fabric:
- Don’t wring wet or damp hemp fabric before drying
- When line drying or laying your hemp fabric flat to dry, make sure to stretch or spread the fabric
- When using a drying machine, use a tumble dry setting
- Iron your hemp clothing while it’s still slightly damp
- Remove hemp fabric promptly from the washer/dryer
- Spritz hemp fabric with water or a natural wrinkle release spray when you’re low on time (you can even make your own DIY wrinkle release spray)
2. HEMP CLOTHING CAN BE COSTLY
Another one of the disadvantages of hemp fabric is that generally, hemp clothing is more expensive than other options. While there are a few factors, the main reason why hemp clothing is so expensive is that it’s not as mainstream as other options, like cotton.
If you’ve been on the sustainability and eco-lifestyle bandwagon for a while, you know that whenever something is new, it costs a little more. But, as more people show interest and support in a product, the cost starts to decrease.
While the history of hemp shows that it’s been around since the beginning of agriculture, its reintroduction into our society is fairly new. The passing of the 2018 farm bill, which legalized hemp in the U.S., has been a big win, but we’ve got some work to do with spreading the message of how great hemp clothing is.
What you can do to help drive down the costs of hemp fabric might not be exactly what you want to hear, but the answer is; buy more hemp clothing!
As I said, this might not be the answer you were looking for, but try to keep in mind that hemp is way more durable and stronger than other fibers, meaning your purchases will last longer.
Not to mention the money you spend is making a change and having a positive impact on your health and the environment. It’s also always a good idea to follow your favorite hemp clothing brands (hint, hint) on social media and subscribe to emails, so you never miss out on special offers!
3. THE STIGMA AROUND HEMP
Even as more hemp products, like clothing or CBD, come to market, a lot of people are still skeptical. After all, hemp is marijuana’s cousin, and that adds to the disadvantages of hemp fabric because some people have a hard time understanding the distinction between hemp and marijuana.
Then there’s the association of hemp clothing with hippie culture which personally, makes me like it more, but it’s not for everyone. Some people might not want to fall into that category. But hemp clothing today is far from what your parents might think.
Today, brands are putting a modern and stylish twist on hemp clothing, so you can find the perfect fit for any style. Plus, if you start the switch with hemp underwear, no one will even know. But, you’ll probably love them so much that you’ll want to tell everyone anyway.
4. HEMP NEEDS A LITTLE EXTRA CARE
Sometimes hemp fabrics, especially delicate ones, need a little extra care. Hemp fabric clothing tends to shed a little bit during its first wear, but only if you work up a sweat, like during an intense workout session.
So if you put on a pair of your favorite hemp undies, and notice this happening, don’t be alarmed. It’s perfectly natural, and only happens the first time you wear a hemp fabric clothing item and get sweaty in it.
Plus, while hemp fabric clothing might shed a bit the first time you wear it, synthetic fabrics shed significant amounts of microfibers during every conventional wash cycle. This accounts for a large part of the harmful microfiber pollution that adversely impacts human and environmental health.
On the other hand, any shedding from natural hemp fabric clothing is harmless. If you want to avoid shedding, you can hand wash your new hemp clothing before you wear it. You can easily learn how to hand wash underwear to help preserve the hemp fibers, so your hemp clothing will last even longer.
Keep in mind, when you wear WAMA Underwear, we make trying your first pair of hemp underwear easy. If you want to wash before wearing, we recommend you wash just one pair of underwear and try that one on. That way if you need a different size, you can send back the other pairs of underwear unwashed and unworn.
5. HEMP FABRIC ISN'T RICH IN COLOR
Hemp fabric clothing is natural, and because of that, it won’t carry the color richness that other synthetic materials can. Hemp fabric clothing won’t always look as “nice” as synthetic materials, and instead has a natural, organic look to it.
If you’re big on vibrant colors, this might make the top of the list of disadvantages of hemp fabric. But, neutral and subtle colors are great for accessorizing. With hemp fabric clothing, you can bring out all your favorite colorful and funky accessories without feeling like you’re overdoing it. The more natural colors of hemp fabric clothing also make matching easier.
Plus, hemp clothing isn’t as colorful as other options because it isn’t put through chemical processes and colored with dyes that damage the environment and can irritate sensitive skin. WAMA hemp underwear is made using reactive dyes for a sustainable touch of color like in our hipsters and boxer briefs.
With that said, to preserve the color of your hemp pieces, it’s best to hand wash and line or air dry your hemp clothing.
There are some disadvantages to hemp fabric, but as you can see, there aren’t any that should keep you from using hemp clothing. In the long run, the benefits of hemp fabric far outweigh the disadvantages.
So, what’s your favorite tip for handling the (very few) disadvantages of hemp clothing? Tell us below!