Monday, November 13, 2006

Hemp Gospel in Slate

Chances are that a good portion of what's hanging in your closet is made from cotton. The fiber is tough to grow, so cotton farmers use enormous amounts of energy-intensive, CO2-emitting chemicals and fertilizers. To produce one pair of regular cotton jeans takes three-quarters of a pound of fertilizers and pesticides. Each T-shirt takes one-third of a pound. The farming of organic fibers, by contrast, releases less CO2 into the air and uses 50 percent less energy. Cotton, hemp, bamboo, ramie, linen, and silk can all be grown organically. (And hemp and bamboo are pretty good for your CO2 count, even when they're not organic, because they need little if any fertilizer to grow.) Organic wool, alpaca, and cashmere are also excellent choices. So is lyocell, a textile made from wood pulp. Anything in your closet made of nylon, polyester, or acrylic, on the other hand, comes drenched in CO2-laden petroleum (not literally, but you get the idea).
Dress green and support hemp! Check out my local retailer on the web, Clothing Matters. Almost every piece of clothing I have bought over the past 2 years has come from these folks. I love them and the clothes they sell.


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