Hemp vs Cotton: Why the debate?

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Can you imagine for a moment that you are on the cusp of a new exciting and dynamic industry? An opportunity that offers revenue potential, disruptive opportunities within current old industries, and is good for the planet? If you could imagine this, you would be imagining the Hemp industry.

The hemp industry is way too broad for this one article therefore, we are going to focus on one area today: Hemp vs Cotton. Hemp is now the low hanging fruit when comparing it to cotton. Hemp is going up against cotton, which is a huge industry. It is worldwide, a popular product, but it has many weaknesses that hemp can address.

In fact, hemp clothing was used for centuries in the past all around the world. It was utilized in ancient China and was even a major crop in the US dating back to before the Revolutionary war. America has a long history with hemp that is now being revived in our modern times.

You can find a wealth of facts about hemp here.

Market opportunity

Stock market with hemp leaf

Let’s start our hemp vs cotton discussion concerning the market opportunity.

Almost everyone wears cotton. It is soft, durable, and comfortable. Cotton accounts for 22% of the world’s clothing. After using 2700 square meters of water to create one cotton shirt, the profitability of cotton per acre comes to around $400. Though, let’s not forget that cotton production accounts for 24% of the world’s pesticide usage.

Contrast this with hemp which uses 1/3 the amount of water and requires much fewer pesticide usage and can produce an income of over $800 per acre. After considering this, you can start to see the opportunities not only from the cost side but also from the environmental side.

From an agricultural standpoint, farmers do not want to waste precious water, pesticides, or costly equipment on their crops if they don’t have to. With hemp, these costs amount to a fraction as opposed to growing cotton.

Click here to learn about using hemp as an agricultural commodity.

Why Should I Care?

Confused man

So, you might be wondering why any of this matters. Why would you prefer hemp vs cotton? Well, the benefits are myriad and growing. Hemp is a strong and durable fiber that lasts a long time, therefore, you do not have to worry about hemp wearing out and looking drab after a few cleanings. 

Hemp is breathable and easy to care for. A unique feature to hemp is its ability to wick away perspiration from your body. When you are out on a hot day, hemp will be just as comfortable as cotton, if not more.

Not only does hemp do great at cooling you down, but it can also keep you warm in the winter. When you are looking at clothes that can give you great insulation, consider grabbing hemp clothing over cotton.

So, think of your favorite shirt that comes out of the wash looking stretched and worn or your cotton slacks that lose their shape. This is not a problem with hemp because they hold their shape and colors. Hemp clothing is resilient and ready to wear over and over again.  For moms with kids that are brutal with their clothes, hemp presents an alternative that will not break the bank and each clothing item lasts far longer, giving you more bang for your buck.

Hemp vs Cotton: Doing Your Part

People holding seedling

One of the biggest concerns for all of us is our environment and the planet on which we live. How can hemp help? Because of our busy lives, most of us don’t have the time to even consider how best to adjust our lifestyle and as a result, we don’t even think about it. Should we just donate to a charity and pick up some garbage? You might consider cutting out plastics or getting rid of your carbon-emitting vehicle, but, that’s just not realistic for our modern society.

When it comes to choosing hemp vs cotton, you are not giving up something to help the environment, rather, you are gaining the added benefits of hemp and helping the planet at the same time. So, what are some of these environmental benefits?

Hemp Uses Less Water

Cotton is a very thirsty crop. It requires A LOT of water to grow. Some parts of the world have literally dried up because of cotton production. Hemp uses about a quarter of the water that cotton does. In the hemp vs cotton debate, this is 1 point in favor of hemp!

Cotton Requires More Pesticides Than Hemp

We all want to use fewer pesticides but, we don’t really have any control over this usually. Buying hemp clothing will greatly reduce this consumption and therefore reduce the number of pesticides used as a whole.

Hemp Crop Rotation

When you rotate hemp crops with your other crops it provides the soil with the absorption of nutrients left in the soil by the previous crop, thereby benefiting our planet.

Cotton destroys the topsoil and its farming practices do not address nutrient replacement for that topsoil. Hemp production is usually practiced by farmers who are conscious of sustainability. In the hemp vs cotton debate, this is another point for hemp!

We all want to help the planet but, does it always have to be a sacrifice? No, it doesn’t. Here is our opportunity to make a difference and improve our families’ lives in the process.

Hemp vs Cotton Summary

Hemp is a product that will benefit us in many ways. So, when it comes to the hemp vs cotton debate, it seems clear which one is outdated and which one is ready to disrupt the industrial fibers industry. Hemp is just as comfortable if not more durable, sustainable, and more cost-effective.

From the hemp seed to hemp oil, hemp is ready to be the cash crop of our modern day. When it comes to a more sustainable future for the human race, hemp can assist us in replacing fossil fuels with biofuels, thereby reducing harmful gasses into the atmosphere. Hemp is part of our future and ironically, a welcomed friend from our past.

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