Hemp

WHY ADOPT INDUSTRIAL HEMP NOW AND HOW INDIA IS A TRENDSETTER FOR SUSTAINABILITY

Why adopt hemp for sustainable fashion

“Kaal Kare So Aaj Kar, Aaj Kare So Ab. Pal Mein Parlaye Hoyegi, Bahuri Karego Kab” – This is a saying by the famous 15 th century Indian poet and saint – Kabir which means it is better to do tomorrow’s work today otherwise time may pass and you would never be able to do it. The times we are in demand immediate action to save our future. There is widespread climate change that we are seeing in the form of natural disasters and the increasing pollution in the water and air is impacting our health and lives. And the worst part is that in a country like India where the disparity in per capita rural and urban income has remained persistently high and increasing consumption by urban India which is a minority of the population is impacting not just them but the majority of rural India.

The Brundtland Commission, in their 1987 report ‘Our Common Future’, defined the term ‘sustainable development’ as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Indian culture historically has focused on sustainability and simple sustainable consumption values have been passed on to us since generations. In a paper , ‘Indian Culture and Lifestyle for Environment Conservation: a Path Towards Sustainable Development‘ (ISSN: 2249-3255) the idea that India as a country can find out the solutions of sustainable development by approaching our roots of culture & lifestyle has been explored.

While the issue of sustainability and saving the environment has been made popular by a 16-year- old climate activist Greta Thunberg, we can do our own bit by adopting industrial hemp. Cannabis is indigenous to the Indian subcontinent and has helped to preserve the ancient artwork in India’s sacred Ellora Caves for 1,500 years. Traditionally hemp fibres have been used by rural communities across the country for a wide variety of uses from handloom products to building materials. Hence, the path for sustainable development for a country like ours which already has a rich culture of sustainable lifestyle must be a unique one and this is where ecentric seeks to contribute.

By making hemp fashion affordable and easily accessible we intend to unlock value at two levels:

– Make fashion sustainable through hemp fabrics: Whilst cotton fabric has been the mainstay of fashion in India, given the benefits of hemp fabric over cotton this can be a sustainable alternative for our everyday fashion. Exploring hemp blends with other sustainable fabrics like linen, cotton, jute, wool could lead to developing other product categories.

– ‘Made-In-India’ supply chain through industrial hemp cultivation: The industrial hemp supply chain in India is limited and once higher demand is generated, hemp cultivation could be promoted further. Uttarakhand is the first state to have legalized industrial hemp cultivation and through collaboration with the government other states could also roll out similar policies. Since hemp is a great crop with reduced requirement of water and pesticides, fertilizers, supporting its cultivation can benefit the farmer and agricultural community.

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