Cultivated for industrial and commercial purposes, Cannabis Sativa (better known as hemp) has a myriad of uses, for it can be utilized for fuel, food, cosmetics, soap, building materials, paper and apparel. In Canada hemp clothing is now increasing in popularity; and consequently hemp production in the country has more than doubled within the last decade. For instance, in Canada, in 1999, 2400 hectares were allocated for hemp production, whilst in 2009, more than 5600 hectares were used for hemp cultivation.
In Canada hemp clothing commands a steadily increasing demand, and this has led farmers to show a growing interest in the development of this versatile crop which can sometimes even generate $80 per hectare, made all the more attractive by the fact that it can be sown several times an year, whilst generating a yield per hectare that is much higher than that of cotton.
Apparel made of hemp is often blended with cotton, and as cotton generally consumes more resources than hemp; the Canadian National Resource Council (NRC) in collaboration with Hemptown clothing have now patented a ground-breaking enzyme process that transforms industrial hemp into white, soft-to-the-touch “Canadian cotton”, popularly referred to as “Crailar”. This has indeed been a boon to the Canada hemp clothing industry.
Certain retailers, who derive a competitive edge by appealing to the eco-conscious, play an invaluable role in the Canada hemp clothing sector, by emphasizing the all natural, fair-trade ethics of Canadian made garments that use biodegradable material.
The drawbacks that the Canada hemp clothing retailers initially faced were mainly twofold. Firstly, hemp and its association with marijuana had led to the mistaken assumption that it was a product favored only by hippies, which image has now undergone a drastic change with effective advertising campaigns which mark hemp related products as a stylish and wearable alternative to more commonplace apparel; and instructive environmental awareness programs which highlights the minimal use of pesticides that go into hemp cultivation.
The other disadvantage that the hemp clothing industry has to contend against, is the relatively high cost of its garments, presented against a backdrop of cheap imports made of more environmentally destructive raw materials.
To overcome this, in Canada hemp clothing wholesalers have now embarked on discount programs, with the promise of lower shipping, customs and brokerage fees for all bulk buying customers. Similarly, in Canada hemp clothing retailers offer various items on sale, whilst also placing a keen emphasis on the advantages that hemp clothing presents, especially to those who are sensitive to chemical and environmental allergens.