Hemp clothing is quickly gaining popularity in Australia as consumers become more aware of its environmental and personal benefits. Hemp is one of the most sustainable textiles on the planet. It requires minimal water and pesticides to grow, replenishes soil with nutrients, and can be produced with much less energy than cotton. For those who wear it, hemp clothing offers comfort and durability well beyond traditional garments.
Australia is in a prime position to capitalize on the global hemp market, which is projected to grow to $15.26 billion by 2027. The country’s ideal climate supports hemp agriculture and its innovative fashion industry is embracing hemp as the fiber of the future. Australian hemp clothing companies are pioneering everything from stylish everyday hemp t-shirts to bespoke tailored suits. Their high quality, ethical products cater to savvy Australian consumers looking to make better choices for their health and the environment.
This article will explore the top 8 hemp clothing manufacturers driving Australian’s booming hemp fashion scene. We’ll learn about the origins, products, and manufacturing processes behind hemp brands making waves across the country. Understanding who the leading Aussie hemp fashion labels are provides key insights into where the country’s hemp clothing industry came from and where it might be headed next.
Benefits of Hemp Clothing
Hemp has been used for textile production for thousands of years, but only recently has it begun to rival cotton as an eco-friendly alternative. Australia’s hot, dry climate is perfect for growing industrial hemp plants that thrive without herbicides or excessive water. Hemp fabric offers durability, breathability, and UV protection that conventional fashion materials cannot match. Here are some of the reasons hemp clothing is becoming a staple fiber:
Hemp is one of the planet’s most renewable resources. It adds nutrients back into the soil, preventing erosion. Hemp plants produce more fiber per acre than cotton and do not deplete groundwater levels. Hemp production uses less energy than cotton for everything from planting to manufacturing garments. Most hemp fabrics can be machine washed, reducing trips to the dry cleaner. Overall, hemp’s low environmental impact makes it ideal for eco-conscious Aussie fashion brands and consumers.
Garments made from hemp are extra durable, outlasting cotton and synthetic blends. Hemp’s long fibers create a strong, abrasion-resistant material. Hemp clothing maintains its shape and does not stretch out or sag. With proper care, pieces made from hemp can be worn for many years without losing their integrity. Brands that value longevity over fast fashion are embracing hemp for its ability to create high-quality investment pieces.
Hemp fabric has microscopic pores that allow heat and sweat to ventilate away from the body. This makes clothing pieces stay dry and comfortable in hot Australian climates. Hemp’s breathing properties also allow it to maintain heat during cooler weather. The fiber’s versatility across temperatures makes it ideal for high performance activewear and everyday wear Down Under.
In addition to breathing well, hemp fabric readily absorbs moisture. It is highly absorbent, absorbing up to 20% of its weight in water. Hemp clothing pulls perspiration away from the skin into the fabric itself. This moisture control property keeps wearers dry and comfortable in humid environments. It also reduces body odor caused by bacteria growth in damp fabrics clinging to the skin.
Top Hemp Clothing Brands in Australia
A new wave of Australian fashion designers and manufacturers are pioneering hemp clothing production across the country. Their use of locally sourced hemp textiles promotes small businesses while reducing environmental impacts. Here are 8 of the top hemp clothing brands to know in Australia’s burgeoning hemp fashion industry:
- Kindred Spirits
Kindred Spirits was founded in 2009 in Byron Bay, Australia’s bohemian heartland. Owner Jessica Owens was inspired by hemp’s sustainability and created a line of hemp fashion essentials. From airy sundresses to sturdy surf trunks, Kindred Spirits caters to stylish Aussies who value ethics. Their simple, organic clothing celebrates the laid-back Byron lifestyle. Kindred Spirits manufactures their hemp textiles in a solar-powered facility in China. They retail boutiques in Byron and Melbourne as well as online.
- Hemp Hoodlamb
Hemp Hoodlamb is based in Sydney and specializes in hemp-hemp blended hoodies and t-shirts. Owner Garth Brett turned to hemp as a renewable, anti-bacterial option for his clothing line. Hemp Hoodlamb’s casual streetwear features playful prints and basics in soft eco-fabric. They manufacture their CoHemption pieces at factories in Turkey using hemp sourced from China. In 2010, Hemp Hoodlamb launched Australia’s first hemp-blended denim.
- Hemp Clothing Australia
Hemp Clothing Australia launched in 2010 when father-son duo John and Callum Campbell saw a gap in the local hemp clothing market. They focus on everyday hemp basics like t-shirts, polos, dresses and shorts. Their clothes are designed for comfort and durability to become wardrobe staples. Hemp Clothing Australia works directly with farms in China to source organic hemp. All manufacturing takes place in Shanghai through a fair trade partnership built on transparency. Their simple, ethical products ship domestically and internationally.
- The Kind Crew
The Kind Crew is based in Melbourne, with all production facilities located in Australia. Owner Lisa Caldwell was inspired to create athletic hemp wear after her own health issues. The Kind Crew specialized in yoga and activewear like leggings and sports bras. Their fabrics blend hemp with organic cotton for maximum movement. As ambassadors for healthy lifestyles, The Kind Crew works exclusively with Australian grown, chemical-free hemp. Their Mindful Manufacturer program ensures transparent, ethical production.
- Urban Hemp
Urban Hemp brought stylish hemp fashion to Queensland in 2010. They focus on everyday hemp essentials for men and women. Their comfy basics like tees, tanks, and pullovers come in earthy, neutral hues. Urban Hemp prides themselves on quality over quantity. Each small batch piece is handmade locally in Brisbane from start to finish. Their CyberHemp line even incorporates hemp fiber insulation for added warmth. Urban Hemp ships worldwide, spreading Aussie hemp style globally.
- Flora & Fauna
Flora & Fauna is an eco-luxury womenswear brand born in Byron Bay in 2012. Founders Courtney Adamo and Jack Rossi envisioned a line of refined hemp pieces inspired by nature. Their collections of dresses, jumpsuits, and separates combine hemp with silk, cotton and lyocell. By working with small local artisan workshops, Flora & Fauna ensures fair labor practices. While designed in Australia, their fabrics are sourced internationally from vetted partners. Their elevated styles make hemp wear work from weekend to office.
- Little Green Steps
Little Green Steps creates organic basics for babies and kids in Perth. Owner Jane Abercrombie believes children’s clothing should be chemical-free and good for the planet. Little Green Steps’ rompers, onesies, and play sets use certified organic hemp and cotton. Their fun prints and earthy solids appeal to eco-conscious parents. As longtime advocates for sustainable parenting, they donate 5% of each sale to environmental causes like Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Known for its sustainable sneakers, Etiko launched its first hemp shoe in 2017. Etiko was Australia’s first certified B Corporation footwear brand. Their prototyping and manufacturing facilities are located in Melbourne. Etiko Fair Trade shoes use hemp, recycled plastic bottles and rubber tapped responsibly in Sri Lanka. The brand offsets its carbon footprint through donations to animal and environmental protection groups. In addition to unisex sneakers, Etiko offers men’s and women’s t-shirts and sweaters blended from hemp.
The Future of Hemp Clothing in Australia
With its reputation for innovation and ideal climate, Australia is poised to become a global leader in hemp production and manufacturing. Fashion industry experts predict hemp clothing will move from niche to norm in Australia over the next decade. However, realizing the full potential of a hemp textile economy Down Under requires overcoming challenges. Here is what the future may hold for hemp clothing in Australia:
Australia’s warm weather and rich soil can support an enormous hemp industry. Currently just 4,000 hectares are planted in hemp crops annually. Experts estimate the country could sustain over 80,000 hectares dedicated to food-grade hemp. As demand grows, cultivating textile-grade hemp on a commercial scale can provide jobs and tax revenues. Hemp’s lower environmental impact will also help Australia achieve its sustainability goals.
With China dominating current hemp production, Australia has an opportunity to become Asia-Pacific’s leading provider of hemp clothing. Homegrown hemp textiles can support local fashion manufacturing as well. As more Australian brands shift to eco-friendly hemp, they can spur progress through the entire supply chain.
Challenges and Opportunities
Developing a robust hemp textile industry comes with hurdles Australia must overcome. The current lacked of commercial processing infrastructure poses a challenge. Facilities for turning raw hemp into yarn and fabric are limited and centralized in China. Building local textile mills would allow Australian brands to control manufacturing from start to finish.
Outdated policies and perceptions also inhibit hemp’s potential. Despite having no psychoactive compounds, industrial hemp is still classified as a controlled narcotic. Reducing restrictions on growing hemp crops would allow the industry to expand. Brands launching innovative hemp products can further normalize the material in the mainstream.
Based on current growth, analysts predict the Australian hemp clothing market will exceed AU$150 million annually by 2025. They forecast increased commercial hemp farming backed by government subsidies and R&D funding. More major retailers will begin offering hemp clothing lines to compete with niche sustainable brands. Manufacturing facilities for yarn, fabric, and garments are also likely to open across the country.
The greater availability and acceptance of hemp textiles will drive fashion creativity. Designers will combine hemp with recycled synthetics and plant-based materials for new sustainable blends. Technical innovations may enhance hemp’s natural moisture-wicking, antimicrobial, and insulating properties. Australia’s leading hemp brands will gain global recognition for both ethics and quality.
Australia’s burgeoning hemp fashion movement offers promising solutions for the future of ethical, eco-friendly clothing. The country’s top hemp clothing brands are pioneering ways to cultivate and produce hemp sustainably while making stylish products. Their success demonstrates the opportunities for businesses, farmers, and consumers to participate in positive change through hemp. With innovative thinking and strategic partnerships, Australia’s hemp textile industry can become the envy of the world.
The top 8 manufacturers profiled here represent the vanguard of Australian hemp fashion. Their commitment to environmental stewardship, fair labor practices and quality will influence how Australia’s hemp industry evolves. By understanding these trailblazing hemp clothing companies, we gain insight into how hemp is transforming wardrobes and the world for the better.