Be a Conscious Consumer! Choose Hemp
In support of Earth Day, we want to share with you why we choose Hemp as one of our main fabrics!
Hemp is sumptuous, soft, and also incredibly sustainable. Sustainable is not always a sexy word – but it should be. Sustainability is about committing to a conscious planet. It is about bringing mindfulness and awareness to everything we do, but why exactly should we choose to wear hemp?
Hemp is a sustainable rapid growth fiber which does not require pesticides or vast quantities of water to produce, unlike cotton which requires both.
One of Rachel’s many favourites in the collection - the Kate dress is a hemp maxi dress – comfortable and fluid; hemp silk designed to move and flow while wrapping your body elegantly. We call it the ultimate goddess dress as it makes the wearer feel like a stunning grecian goddess, and because its made of eco-friendly hemp, a sustainable goddess as well!
Why wear hemp on holiday? Hemp silk feels fantastic on the skin –soft and sensuous and it keeps the body cool which is great when you are on the road. It’s a breathable fabric. It feels great and washes well. When we’re on the road we travel with a little bottle of Dr. Bronner’s unscented castille soap to hand wash our hemp FARA pieces in the sink. Hang them up before you go to bed and they’re dry and ready to wear the next day!
The hemp Fresh Kaftan is a vacation favourite as it can be worn in so many ways: as a beach cover up, a little black dress for a fancy dinner party, or even with converse and a backpack for a day of sightseeing.
Why wear hemp rather than cotton or other fabrics?
Simply put, hemp has much less of an environmental impact than most of it’s textile counterparts. It is good for the earth beneath our feet – not just because of reduced water consumption and pesticides but also its long roots prevent soil erosion. It can even grow quickly in soil with poor nutrients. It is a more conscious alternative to even organic cotton (cotton uses a lot more water when it is produced). It’s sustainability comes from its durability – it doesn’t wear out like cotton or synthetic fabrics. Hemp is one of the strongest natural fibers on the planet. When you understand how incredibly hardy the hemp plant is, it only makes sense that once it is turned into a fabric, the fabric is equally strong.
By simply asking the question why wear hemp, we are creating a dialogue about the sustainability of fashion. By its very nature fashion is not sustainable. Being on trend is transient and styles change every season. FARA creates wearable timeless pieces that are much loved. FARA’s clothes capture the imagination. They are design conscious and sustainable. Our ethos encompasses the idea that instead of purchasing many different items, we should instead purchase a select few, that we hold dear, can wear in a multitude of instances, and will last a long time.
Being a Conscious Consumer is a Choice. We can choose every time we go shopping to support sustainable products and handcrafted items rather than mass produced cheap textiles or produce. Our ethos is based on fair trade - that means fair to our tailors, to ourselves, and also to our customers - and this is something we take great pride in.
Buying disposable high-street fashion impacts our environment as much as the car we drive or the plastic bags we choose to use or not use. If we are to be truly respectful people, we must increase awareness about who we are, what we want in and for the world. This includes making sure the tailors that sewed our outfit were paid a fair wage, as well as that the materials we wear have as little ecological impact as possible. Our style statement should be ethical and conscious.
Why Wear Hemp?
Why choosing sustainable fashion is important.
Cotton farming uses only 2.5 per cent of the world's cropping space but packs a mighty 25 per cent of global insecticide use. Seven tablespoons of chemicals are used to make one cotton T-shirt.
In the UK alone alone 1/2 million tonnes of clothing goes into landfill sites every year. Disposable fashion contributes to our carbon footprint just as much as our weekly supermarket shop.
Everything we do day to day, every action, has a ripple. But choosing sustainability makes waves. We invest in the world at large as well as ourselves. Sustainability is a path towards self preservation and self awareness. Why wear hemp? To make waves of course!
Each product should also be a mirror reflecting those producing the item as well. Is that mirror clear? Is it a transparent process from farm to table? From weaver to wardrobe? What are the lives of the people producing our food and garments. Are they being paid a fair wage?
If we choose handcrafted, we are supporting small or ethical business trying to make a difference rather than fast fashion retailers trying to make big business no matter the cost.
Independent businesses are typically small enterprises, so they take up less land and resources.
Raw silk, natural fabrics, local artisans, traditional dying techniques, handcrafted wisdom… FARA is style and substance. There is a feel-good factor to buying FARA for more reasons than one.
10 Steps to A Conscious Wardrobe
- Make educated decisions while shopping
Do your research about the items and brands you buy. Choose clothing that will be worn often, and that you can trace. If something isn’t clear to you, feel free to ask the company more questions. The best way to do this is to quit “shopping sprees”. Instead, each season, take inventory of what you will need in the coming months. After you’ve decided what you need, take your time researching the best options. Take your time with this, and once you actually purchase, you will know you made the right decision.
- Wash with care
Buy green laundry detergent. We recommend The Laundress. It is just as effective and less harmful to both your clothes and the environment. Normal brands are harsh and full of synthetic chemicals that harm the environment and pose health hazards. To save energy, turn your washing machine down to cold or, simply handwash (FARA clothes like to be caressed by hand.) Also if you have dry-clean items, seek out an eco-friendly, organic cleaner in your neighborhood that doesn’t use perchloroethylene (perc) - It’s been listed as a hazardous air pollutant by the Clean Air Act and a carcinogen by US Environmental Protection Agency
- Discard responsibly
In 2009, the EPA found that more than 25 billion pounds of clothing and household textiles were generated in the U.S alone and currently more than 21 billion pounds are discarded in U.S. landfills. That’s about 70 pounds of clothing and household textiles per person each year. Instead of throwing them out, give old clothing and sheets to vintage shops, charities or have a swap-party (see above). Another idea is to donate them to local animal shelters, as the shelters use old clothing to line the kennels and keep the animals cozy. Also it’s both wallet friendly and environmentally friendly to simply ask yourself before you buy - “Do I really need this?”
- Upcycle and Revamp
We have lost the art of repairing. On the streets of India, and most of Asia, you can get your old umbrella fixed, your clothes restitched and new soles for your worn out shoes. Give old, tired or discarded clothes and accessories a second life with a little bit of love and a whole lot of DIY magic. Get crafty.
- Say No to Plastic
Biodegradable shopping bags aren’t just for the grocery store. Make sure to bring them shopping with you and tell the sales clerk to hold the plastic. When you buy clothing at fancy boutiques they often wrap your purchase in paper and boxing, which usually just gets thrown out, you can always just throw your new purchase into your reusable shopping bag. This can also apply to online purchases. Feel free to contact a retailer and ask them to send your item to you as sustainably as possible. This may include slower shipping or less fancy packaging, but in the end you receive your purchase all the same. This year we took the steps towards being more sustainable have invested in biodegradable bags to ship in. We are currently on the lookout for even more ways to become as low impact as possible.
- Skip fast fashion
We all love a bargain. But what is the real cost of a $3 T-shirt? It means someone, or many people, in the chain weren’t paid fairly and it means cheap fabric and production - all in all, unsustainable. And it’s a false economy. Be fashion savvy - Cheap garments are often made to fall apart, so that we need to stay involved in the consumption cycle. Unethical labour practices, chemicals and sweatshops – we can vote against all of this with our wallets.
- Be Brand Conscious
When you buy into a brand, you’re not just buying a statement bag or a great pair of trainers. You’re indirectly giving your consent to its labor and environmental practices. Check out ‘Labor Behind the Label’ who provide information on many high street brands and fashion favorites.
- Street-Style - Invest in your shoes
Take new shoes to the shoe repair store as soon as you buy them and invest in their longevity with heel covers and toe treads, so you don’t damage the bottom of your shoes. Continue to take them to the cobbler as they age. You are making your shoes last longer, and also providing business to cobblers who are quickly becoming lost to our high-street shopping tendencies.
- Know your fabrics
We have already talked about the fashion benefits of hemp – but there are also other conscious textiles out there like bamboo, silk, and organic cotton.
- Buy FARA – Conscious sensual clothes that feel great.
All of our clothing is produced under fair trade conditions, without the use of harsh chemicals. Our raw silk is handwoven by skilled artisans in the holy city of Varanasi. We strive at every level to make women feel great in our clothing, all while leaving as little impact as possible on our beloved Mother Earth.
Check out FARAs other blogs here