I know many people think that hemp is a rough fiber that is scratchy and a bit “hippy” looking. And although you can certainly make hemp products and clothing this way, it certainly doesn’t have to be this way all the time.
Case in point?
Check out the model at the top of this post. This image is from the wonderful hemp clothing site, Rawganique.
Everything he’s wearing, from his suit jacket down to his belt, is made from hemp.
Amazing, right? This guy could have stepped off the pages of GQ. And yet his entire outfit is eco-friendly and sustainable.
I wanted to spend some time today highlighting belts. Specifically, of course, hemp belts.
Because many, many people buy leather belts. But leather is harmful on several levels.
First, leather is bad for the environment. The chemicals used to keep leather from decomposing are very strong and toxic. Of course, they must eventually be disposed of. And as you can imagine, not all companies do this ethically and safely.
Second, these same chemicals are harmful for us. Think about it: leather is an animal skin. So, it needs chemicals to keep from decomposing. According to PETA:
Mordants and other chemicals often used to treat leather are linked to nervous disorders, asthma, premature death, gynaecological disorders, weakness, dizziness, headaches, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, skin and respiratory infections, cancer and other serious illnesses.
And we want to wear this on our bodies all day?
It’s not good.
And, this doesn’t count the factory farming industry we’re supporting when we purchase leather products. Animals that are raised and slaughtered for their meat and hide live a very, very sad existence.
What We Can Do
We can make a big stand against all this simply by avoiding leather products. And since most belts are made with leather, buying hemp belts instead is a great way to support eco-friendly, sustainable companies, and keep yourself, and the environment, healthy at the same time.
You can also feel good because choosing hemp means you’re not supporting factory farming.
So it’s great all around!
My Favorite Hemp Belts
The good news is that there are tons of really awesome hemp belts out there.
Let’s take a look!
Note: Ok, these aren’t made from hemp. But I wanted to include them because they are made from 100% cotton, and because they’re fair trade. The wonderful eco-store Twine outsources these amazing belts from a woman’s cooperative in Peru.
Aren’t they gorgeous?
As you can see there are some great options without even having to touch a piece of leather for your belt. Whether you go with 100% hemp, 100% cotton, or even a blend of recycled rubber and hemp, all of these belts are much safer for you, for the environment, and for animals.
Filed under: Eco Fashion on July 19th, 2010