HEMP IS AT HAND
Image right is of hemp stalks, the outer fibres of which were used ubiquitously as sails, cordage and textiles. They are long and strong, and environmentally friendly, as they do not require massive pesticides or drink up as much water as cotton. Hemp and other natural fibres, such as jute, ramie, flax, nettles and bamboo are catching on. US sales for organic fibre linens and clothing reached $203m in 2006, up 27% from the previous year (source: Organic Trade Association).
A recent article by Tania Fuentez in the Seattle Post Intellegencer notes hemp being used by Calvin Klein and Donatella Versace, as well as Raina Blyer of Ryann, who uses organic hemp. Shalom Harlow of John Patrick ORGANIC notes of the use of hemp and other natural fibres in the fashion world: "It's really about time fashion started looking at its cause and effect on the planet. There's no need to compromise anymore...you can be fashionable and responsible."
ORGANIC is a bit of a newcomer to the movement, there have been hemp and natural fibre enterprises for decades now, including Minawear and GeoMio, both of California. The newcomers have been, however, quite zealous, but at times misled; for example, there has been a rush to use organic cotton, despite the fact that this actually uses more water than pesticide cotton; not that the latter is better, just that we need to move away from cotton.