What's Hemp?



一種對環境友善,同時被污名化的植物—大麻

 

隨著上世紀三十年代,美國首先帶起全球禁制大麻的潮流,使這種植物落得被妖魔化的下場,但因為大麻用途非常廣泛,各國始終容許部分品種的大麻種植。從布料、紙張、食品和建築材料,都有大麻能夠派上用場的地方。

回到布料這個範疇,麻布本身擁有強韌、耐洗和速乾的特色,同時更重要是可分解的材料特性,只要把麻布埋入土中,就能自泥土中分解、消失無蹤。

相對於主流最廣帆使用的人造纖維和綿布,前者不易分解,後者在原材即棉花的種植過程中會大量耗水及使用農藥,對環境的影響甚大。然而大麻這種植物的根部長得深,貼近地下水,所以種植的耕地不必大量引水,同時因為大麻不怕蟲咬,所以也不必施農藥,而且種大麻的田地更不用休耕,在尼泊爾就有大量農民種植大麻為生,也有由婦女形成的家庭式工廠,以手織麻布賺取收入。EARTH.er與尼泊爾的家庭式工廠合作,以這種對環境友善、可以自行分解的材料,製成一系列自家設計的麻布產品。

Hemp - An eco-friendly but maligned and misunderstood plant.

In the 1930’s, America was the first of many nations to ban the use of hemp (marijuana), and ever since then, hemp has become an anathema. But because of the many uses of hemp, some countries still allowed for the use of some species of hemp to make fabrics, papers, in certain foodstuffs and as a construction material. 

As a fabric, hemp is durable, can withstand tough washing and dries quickly. But most importantly, it is biodegradable. Just bury your hemp shirt in the ground and it would have degraded and become a part of the surrounding soil. 

Comparing hemp with synthetic fibres and cotton, the former cannot biodegrade and the latter requires enormous amounts of water and pesticides to grow. Hemp on the other hand, has long deep roots allowing it to access water from deep in the soil which reduces the amount of water required for its cultivation. Hemp is also very insect resistant and so do not require any pesticides. Moreover, because land that is used to grow hemp does not need to lie fallow, this crop is much favoured by farmers in Nepal where arable land is scarce; and its popularity has also allowed for the starting of many cottage industries where the womenfolk transform the hemp fibres into hemp fabric to sell. EARTH.er is collaborating with some of these Nepalese farming families to produce more of this environmentally friendly material in our hemp collections.