March 1, 2014 is going to be a great day for sustainable fabrics when hemp legalization becomes official in Colorado!
Hemp is a amazing crop. It takes very little water and few pesticides to grow, and it actually enriches the soil where you plant it. Compare that to dirty conventional cotton, a crop that uses 16 percent of the world’s pesticides and lots of water to grow. Unlike conventional cotton, hemp is also not genetically modified, which means your yardage doesn’t support biotech giant Monsanto.
The ‘problem’ with hemp is that up until now it’s been illegal to grow here in the U.S. The standard argument seems to be that hemp plants look like pot plants, so growing it would make it easier for farmers to secretly grow marijuana. That is sort of a load of bull, but the point is becoming moot now that Colorado has legalized marijuana and is now making moves to start allowing industrial hemp farming in the state!
Hemp Legalization in Colorado
Hemp legalization actually passed in Colorado last year with a state bill and a state constitutional amendment calling for regulations of this cash crop. Those regulations are going to be finalized March first, and producers can start registering to grow industrial hemp.
You guys, I can’t tell you how jazzed I am about hemp legalization here in the U.S., even if it is only in one state! I’ve been a long-time fan of sewing with hemp. It’s durable without being bulky, which makes it a joy to sew. And hemp fabric softens with wear but actually becomes stronger, so your projects stand the test of time. Creating durable products with sustainable materials is really the best of green crafting, isn’t it?
My hope is that as other states see Colorado raking in profits from hemp legalization, other states will follow suit, and USA-grown hemp fabric will become widely available here in the states.
Are you guys as excited as I am about hemp legalization in Colorado? Do you use hemp now, and will you look for USA-grown hemp for your projects as it starts hitting the market?
Image Credit: Field of Hemp photo via Shutterstock