Hemp (Cannabis sativa)

Hemp fabric is made from the stems of the Cannabis sativa plant. Until recently, hemp fabric was too rough to be wearable,but new processing techniques have allowed for it to be made into a wearable fabric. Hemp fabric is strong, durable and resistant to ultraviolet light and mold.

Hemp farm
Hemp farm

the fibrous Hemp stem
the fibrous Hemp stem















Relatives
USA_hemp_farming.gif
Hemp on USA currency



Hemp is derived from the genus of Cannabis flowering plants. “Hemp” is present in Cannabis sativa,
which is unique from its relatives because Cannabis sativa has a long, sturdy stem full of fibers

The two relatives are Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis. The major difference between

Cannabis sativa and its relatives is that this Hemp stem can grow up to six meters tall and its fibers

can be used to produce economically beneficial products for purposes other than medicines.


Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Rosales
Family:
Cannabaceae
Genus:
Cannabis
Species:
Cannabis sativa








Effect on Humans

Because of its unique seeds, fibers, and oils, Hemp has a wide variety of beneficial uses for humans. Hemp effects our economy, along with providing nutritional value and clothing. Hemp is now being used to create shoes, along with already popular skirts, shirts, and gloves.

Hemp has many positive effects on humans. Two important attributes of Hemp are its medicinal benefits and its ability to help decrease carbon input into the atmosphere. Medically, Hemp is looked at in a more positive light than its relatives because it has relatively no THC content compared to them. It decreases ecological harm from its ability to be cultivated without the need of many harmful pesticides.

Hemp used for Adidas
Hemp used for Adidas
Modern Hemp dresses
Modern Hemp dresses


Geographic Distribution

The natural geographic distribution of Hemp is indigenous to South and Central Asia. Because of its economic benefits, Hemp is cultivated on farms in U.S.A., Canada, The United Kingdom, Russia, France, and Australia.
historical migration of Hemp
historical migration of Hemp


In Depth Info

Imperfect flowers because the male and female parts, stamen and pistil, are found individually on separate plants. Rely on pollination with each other by gusts of wind. It is a diploid plant that scientists have pinpointed to have originated in the Himalayan Mountains. When referred to as Hemp, one should think that the plant is being used for its non-drug uses. The dried flower buds on these plants can be used as a psychodelic drug, whereas the strong fiber stem can be made into a fabric that is a lot more durable than fabrics made of cotton. Not only can Hemp be made into a wearable fabric, but it is also used for fuels, paper, rope, wax, edible seeds, and even Hemp milk.
The big issue with this plant is the genus that it belongs to. In other words, Hemp has problems with its “big brothers” who give Hemp a bad name. Because its closest relatives’ main use is for the THC content, Hemp is associated with drug usage. After doing research on Hemp, one can find out that it is not used as a drug at all because farmers who cultivate this crop are focused on the fiber stem of the plant, where there is no content in which can be used for extracting THC for drug use.

Wild Card: Marketing of Hemp


Hemp is an economically beneficial crop that is noticeably making a stronger presence in the clothing market. In a country where growing crops has helped us become the "bread basket" of the world, the introduction of yet another fabric plant creates great opportunity. Our country has been dominant in the cotton industry and now that we have discovered how to make Hemp more comfortable than its "potato sack predecessors" we can start to market it as a mainstream plant fabric.

A great example of this is Sanuk, an emerging shoe company out of California that promotes its Hemp designed footwear with a peace and love attitude. While creating a brand that exemplifies values such as protecting the earth, peace in the community, and fund raising for children born with facial deformities, wearing Hemp promotes that the individual supports the cause.

This strategy worked with Toms footwear in its donation to children in need for every purchase of a pair by a consumer. By marketing these Hemp shoes, Sanuk is following in their footsteps, and it should be interesting to see down the road if consumers react positively to the brand.

Sanuk hemp shoe
Sanuk hemp shoe


References:

http://www.ehow.com/list_6373003_plants-used-clothing.html#ixzz2QZxyHgcc (plants used for clothing)

http://www.sanuk.com/sanuk-operation-smile-bracelets/operation-smile,default,pg.html

http://www.toms.com/our-movement

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ncnu02/v5-284.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tdzcng1Hpx4