Occasionally dubbed an ecological “miracle crop,” industrial hemp is legal to grow in over 30 countries across the globe, and yet, America’s political class has been dragging its feet on the issue for decades. One part misinformation, one part War on Drugs hangover – America has been long encouraged to forget the vital role hemp has played in history.
Not only did hemp canvas sails help explorers and migrants reach the New World, a similar material was used to create great works of art during the Renaissance. Not long after, the Founding Fathers like Thomas Jefferson would be proclaiming its significance in maintaining our freedom from dependence on foreign resources: “Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country.”
Just as well, Ben Franklin used hemp in his paper mill, and Henry Ford would later tout its practicality as a biofuel and as an additive to strengthen the body of his automoblies. As Ford once said, “Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?”
The reason countries like Canada, China, Russia and most of Europe can grow hemp is because they understand its value in keeping their farmers in business and their nations self-sustaining with vital natural resources. Be it that we can make over 25,000 different products from hemp – including plastics, building materials, biofuels, medicines, food stuffs and even high-performance clothing – it’s hard to comprehend why political interest hasn’t intensified since the federal government’s “Hemp for Victory” campaign during WWII.
We were excited to sit down with the high-minded media team from ATTN: recently to talk hemp and fashion, as well as dive into the potential the crop has to revolutionize America’s industrial and agricultural future. This country’s abundant land resources seeded with profitable and versatile industrial crops makes so much sense it’s almost ridiculous it’s been left out of the cannabis conversation almost entirely. Not to mention that fact that hemp lacks the THC compound found in marijuana, so it can’t get anyone high.
At Recreator, we chose to focus on hemp fabrics for many ethical and environmental reasons, but mostly because we found it to be the top-performing natural fiber in almost every category: It can be quite comfortable, breathes well, dries quickly, resists microbes and body odor, and it’s extremely durable. It also happens to be among the most sustainable crops on the planet.
Want to legalize hemp farming in the U.S.? First, watch and share the ATTN: video below with friends. Next, visit Vote Hemp to find out what’s happening with legalization near you and how you can help. And as always, the more you buy hemp products, the louder our collective voice becomes to revive this forgotten industry.