It turns out that “The Fabric of Our Lives” carries some disconcerting environmental baggage.
Cotton, according to WWF International, represents about half of all the fabric used worldwide for clothes and other textiles. But the crop also zaps water sources, pollutes land and air with chemical pesticides, and furthers genetic engineering.
Boulder’s Onno Textiles, makers of sturdy T-shirts from sustainable materials — there’s a hemp/organic cotton blend and a bamboo viscose/organic cotton blend — is a direct response to the global toll from traditional cotton farming. Consider this statement from the Onno Textiles online store: “We like a soft cotton shirt too. But growing conventional cotton is particularly rough on the environment.”
The company manufactures and sells T-shirts for socially-conscious consumers — both men and women — for about $30 each, and boasts a respectable color and style selection.
This is yet another example of a hemp company that puts its money where its mouth is: Onno’s hemp T-shirt purchasing page includes a lengthy article about the upsides of hemp with details about its farming benefits, its natural pesticide and oxygen-producing properties, its super-strong fibers, its myriad practical applications and its historic significance as the contemporary outlaw of American manufacturing: “Between 1993 and 1997, over a half billion cannabis plants were found and destroyed by U.S. drug agents. … Only 14 million of those were marijuana plants. The rest were hemp.” (This detail quoted at onnotshirts.com is tough to verify, but reiterated across the Internet. So it must be true, right?)
But, will hemp shoppers like the Onno Textiles tee? That depends. T-shirt people who prefer a loose, comfortable fit will enjoy the cut of this particular tee. The same is true for people who like their T-shirts to hang below the belt instead of awkwardly floating above the waist or midriff like a roller disco halter top.
If warmth is the goal, Onno Textiles gets a thumbs-up because its 55 percent hemp, 45 percent cotton tee has a heavier weave than the average undershirt, making this a great go-to option for that essential of cold-weather dressing strategies: layering.
T-shirt devotees who like a shorter, more snug fit, on the other hand, might feel like they’re swimming in the roomy Onno Textiles tee.
Onno hemp T-shirts are $28 at onnotshirts.com.