Cotton Vs. Hemp

Hemp has been making a lot of noise lately, especially with the growing awareness surrounding the use of hemp oil for treating cancer. Although the word ‘hemp’ still often gets confused and lumped into the same definition as Cannabis, a similar but psychoactive plant, it’s important to realize hemp can be a major game changer for our world if used to its potential.

Cotton vs. Hemp

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  • 1400 gallons of water for every pound you intend to produce.
  • Farm areas running out of fresh water due to the production of cotton as well as food


  • Requires about half the amount of water to produce hemp.
  • Hemp produces about 200% – 250% more fibre in the same amount of land compared to cotton.

Related Article: Sustainable Fabrics: The Good

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  • Production of cotton worldwide takes up about 25% of the world’s pesticide use.
  • Chemicals can end up being absorbed into our skin as we wear clothing.


  • Requires no pesticides to grow. In fact, it doesn’t require any chemicals at all to grow.
  • The growing nature of the plant competes with weeds and over-powers their ability to sustain themselves.

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Comfort and Longevity


  • Generally very comfortable to begin with, as you continue to wear cotton it ‘breaks in’ to become even more comfortable


  • There is no denying how soft cotton can be, but it is also true that cotton fibres break down over time and the more it is washed the faster it breaks down.[/su_list]


  • The hemp fibre used in clothing is a strong natural fibre that, like cotton, gets progressively softer with each passing day you wear it and each time you wash it
  • Repeated washed will not break the fibre down anywhere near as quickly as cotton. Creating more hemp clothing would mean we would need to produce much less clothing. 

Breathability & Wicking
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  • Breathability is certainly a strong suit for cotton.
  • While cotton has a natural wicking system, it also holds moisture a little longer than what might be considered most desirable. [/su_list]


  • Performs very well when it comes to breathability and wicks moisture away from the body effectively.
  • Hemp also carries anti-bacterial properties that trump any other natural fibre.  [/su_list]

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 23.35.30Related Article: What’s the deal with natural fibres?





Cotton comes naturally in white, cream and off-white. Cotton can be dyed naturally or synthetically to achieve a desired color. Hemp can be naturally creamy white, black, green, grey or brown. Without even requiring the use of dye, hemp comes in a variety of colors. HEMP

you are still able to dye hemp both naturally and synthetically. Hemp is quickly becoming more and more popular in the fashion market as designers see the potential in the material while being a very environmentally sound option. Since it is durable and lasts a long time, it can be attractive to certain designers.

Overall Winner:


Winner by knockout and growing undisputed champion of natural harmony, HEMP! This isn’t to say that cotton, especially grown organically, is not a good material, it simply isn’t better all around than hemp. In some cases, cotton could be a must use if something specific is being produced. The biggest differences are in the facts that hemp requires much less water and no pesticides to produce. Not only that, it boasts a lot more fibre per acre. Concerned about excess CO2 in the atmosphere? Hemp is spectacular at sequestering CO2! Take the time to check out some hemp clothing around the internet or see if there are some local stores who sell it. Although options can sometimes be limited right now, look out for more hemp clothing as awareness continues to spread!

Information source: Collection Evolution: Hemp Vs. Cotton

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2 thoughts on “Cotton Vs. Hemp

  1. Pingback: Cotton vs. Hemp debate - Trusted Clothes

  2. Pingback: Grow Hemp and then Wear It: A sustainable alternative to cotton – Essex Sociology Consumption and Sustainability Blogs

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