Long Wearing High Fashion

Drawing on hemp fiber's special attributes: absorbency, insulation, strength and softness, clothing manufacturers and designers will once again put hemp into linen to produce new lines of durable and attractive clothing, rugs and textiles of all kinds.

The arrival of imported hemp-cotton blended clothing from China in 1989 marked the beginning of a new era for the rapidly-changing world of fashion. And now, in 1998, companies such as Hempstead Company (Santa Ana, CA); CHA - Coalition for Hemp Awareness (Chandler Heights, AZ); Hemp Connection (Whitehorn, CA), Ecolution (Fairfax, VA); and Ohio Hempery (Guysville, OH) all create beautiful and durable fashions and accessories from many varieties of 100% hemp fabric imported from China, Hungary,

Romania, and Poland.

While we applaud the efforts of these nations in supplying first-rate hemp fabrics, we look forward to the day when U.S. hemp fabric will share the runway!

Outerwear, warm bed sheets, soft towels (hemp is four times more water absorbent than cotton), diapers, (even disposable ones that you don't have to cut down trees to make), upholstery, wall coverings, natural rugs, even the world's best soap - all these can now be designed and made from 100% hemp; generally better, cheaper, more durably, and ecologically safer.

Trade barriers on hemp and laws restricting the use of imported cannabis fibers must be removed.

Right now textiles and apparel are the biggest share of imports into the U.S., at 59%. In 1989, textile imports accounted for 21% of the U.S. merchandise trade deficit. Foreign governments often subsidize their textile industries and do not require companies to follow environmental and health regulations.* Hardy hemp does not cause the huge range of environmental problems associated with cotton.

* The Washington Spectator, Vol. 17, No. 4; Feb. 15, 1991.

The United States imports more textiles than anything else. The government no longer obstructs hemp textile and apparel importation. But, hemp textiles will not be fully cost competitive until hemp fiber can be grown and processed domestically, avoiding bloated federal import fees and lowering the costs of transportation.

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