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Conventional and Chemical vs. Natural and Organic
Why choose all natural organic socks over a regular pair? Conventional socks are generally made from either 100% cotton, or a blend of cotton and synthetic fibers, such as polyester and nylon. Hemp-based socks are made from eco-friendly hemp fibers, as well as other sustainable materials, such as organic cotton, wool, flax, or bamboo.
While cotton itself is a natural fiber, its wide scale production is detrimental to the environment. It requires intensive irrigation, and the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Cotton in fact requires the use of more pesticides than any other crop in the world. Its growth pollutes the land and water, affecting the environment, and the people who live nearby. The chemicals used during the growth and production of cotton products often end up in the finished clothing, emitting tiny toxins into the air and affecting indoor air quality and the environment wherever the products are used.
Nylon and polyester are synthetic fibers made from petrochemicals. Massive amounts of energy are required for their production, which also pollutes the air with toxic gases such as nitrous oxide. These materials are not biodegradable.
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Socks made from hemp are good for the environment simply because hemp fibers are extremely sustainable and eco-friendly. The growth of this plant is actually beneficial for the soil. It does not require the use of chemicals for cultivation, and is therefore an organic crop. Its nutrient-rich roots are left behind after harvesting, leaving beneficial compounds for the soil, and preventing soil erosion. Unlike cotton, hemp requires a small amount of water to thrive.
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What are hemp-based socks like? Are they similar to cotton in feel and care? Natural hemp socks are actually superior to conventional cotton and synthetic blends. This Eco-friendly fiber is the most durable material, making it extremely strong. You are not going to have holes in your socks after six months! They are also mold-resistant, lightweight, and absorbent, making them ideal for active, perspiring feet. They can be thrown in the washing machine just like cotton socks, and they are well-suited for Eco-friendly line-drying because they are more breathable than conventional fibers.
100% hemp socks are difficult to find and can be expensive. This is because the fibers alone are not suited for modern production methods. They have to be knitted, which is a more time-consuming process, but creates an incredible, long-lasting end-product. Hemp socks can be used as your favorite pair of warm winter stockings, or even slippers to wear around the house. More traditional natural, organic socks are made from hemp blended with other Eco-friendly fibers. These are comparable in price to conventional socks.
Where to find all natural organic socks? They may not be sold in department stores, at least not until more people show an interest in this Eco-friendly product. Online retailers such as Rawganique, Eco Footprints, and Barefoot Hempster offer socks and other hemp and natural clothing for affordable prices. Try out a pair, buy some for a friend, and encourage the expansion of Eco-friendly, sustainable hemp.
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"Environmental Impacts of Clothing." (Green Choices) <http://www.greenchoices.org/index.php/impacts-2>
"Hemp Clothing." (Earth Easy) <http://www.eartheasy.com/wear_hemp_clothing.htm>
photo by: Knit spin (CC/flickr) <http://www.flickr.com/photos/23888999@N04/2585230027/>