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We've learned quite a lot about the uses and benefits of industrial hemp since the day that we started this business, and we thought that some of this information would be interesting to customers, prospective customers, and any other curious visitors to our web site.
Many of the topics dealt with here are discussed in more depth and at greater length in the books listed in our hemp bookshelf.
The Hemp Plant
You may be wondering why you would choose clothing made from hemp over clothing made from "traditional" fabrics.
For one thing, hemp is as traditional a fabric as you can find. The hemp plant is the oldest cultivated fiber plant known, with a history of use in textiles and fabrics dating back as far as 8000 BC. The reasons for hemp's continued popularity throughout ten millenia are still applicable today, and are the basis for the renewed interest in its cultivation and use.
For more information on the cultivation and physical attributes of industrial hemp, please see our hemp fact sheet.
Over 25,000 practical products can be produced from hemp--anything from "dynamite to Cellophane", according to an article in the February 1938 issue of Popular Mechanics. In fact, nearly all petroleum-based products, including plastics, could be made as hemp-based products, and with less impact on the enviroment.
Our timeline of hemp in history provides many other examples of the uses of hemp.
For the past sixty years in the United States, there has been a gulf between scientific opinion and legislative opinion concerning hemp. However, the past two years have provided many reasons to believe that the tide of opinion is turning. The legalization of industrial hemp in Canada is an obvious example; the issue is also being debated in several US state legislatures with promising results.
To find out how such a beneficial and useful plant came to be outlawed, take a look at our Timeline of Misinformation, which presents some of the key events that led to the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.
We've put together a constantly growing section on the state of the hemp industry today, particularly concerning Canada and the United States.
A Great Book on Hemp: The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer
The Final Word
The world consumption of natural and synthetic fiber based products is increasing at the rate of 4% to 6% per year. In the last 50 years, mankind has cut down 50% of the world's forests. The human population is expected to double by the year 2050.
Preserving the status quo by continuing reliance on timber- and petroleum-based products is not a sustainable situation. New ideas and new options are needed, and we believe that the production and use of industrial hemp is an idea whose time has come.