On the opposite end of the spectrum, and absent from my closet, are garments manufactured from hemp. Widely considered the most ecological and versatile plant in the world, hemp is used to make clothing, paper, body care products, shoe polish, furniture oil, insulation and varnish. You can even drink hemp milk. It grows without pesticides, herbicides or fungicides, and is biodegradable. Why everything that could be made with hemp isn’t made with hemp but with less eco-friendly sources deserves a column all its own.
In the next few columns, I’ll write about textiles like lyocell (brand name Tencel), bamboo, ramie, wool and hemp to help us find our way out of the toxic closet and into a more sustainable wardrobe.