In recent years, many countries around the world have revised their stance on the hemp plant and its various uses. In fact, after years of prohibition (I've talked about it here) and the stigmatisation of this plant that led to the almost total blocking of its production, many have started awareness campaigns to show that Cannabis Sativa L. has multiple uses, in addition to its psychoactive substance.
Indeed, nowadays, hemp as a raw material for the production of durable and eco-friendly textiles has become increasingly popular. In particular, it is attracting the attention of the hotel and tourist hospitality sector because it is a natural and environmentally friendly plant that can be used for the production of bed linen, towels and bathrobes used by guests.
Hotel sector is growing steadily: but what does it cost the environment?
The various sustainability issues are now present in all industrial and service sectors, including the hotel industry. Debates and awareness campaigns are intended to make people think about the amount of waste and refuse that is produced every hour around the world and how this ends up irreparably damaging the ecosystem.
Although it is true that there are manufacturing and service sectors that pollute more than others, it has to be said that, in its own way, every working environment plays an active role as it produces its own amount of textile waste and scrap. In fact, the fashion industry and, above all, the fast and ultra fast fashion sector, are greatly influencing our approach to fashion and are leaving a not inconsiderable environmental damage. In fact, the textile industry is one of the most polluting sectors and our inordinate consumption is leaving behind a mountain of poor quality textiles made from synthetic fibres.
Having said that, have we ever wondered how much pollution the hotel industry causes? In fact, when we think of pollution we naturally think of the waste produced by factories, businesses, means of transport and so on but, in reality, even hotels have a significant impact on the environment especially that which has to do with used textiles bed linen, bathroom sets, spas and much more. Just as the healthcare sector produces tonnes of disposable waste, the hospitality and travel world also has its share of textile pollution. In fact, in hotels, for every new guest, sheets, towels, napkins, bathrobes and so on have to be changed, textiles that are often made of cotton or synthetic fibres and that leave a considerable impact on the environment to be produced.
We are not only talking about the mass production of everyday items that often have to be changed and thrown away at the slightest sign of wear and tear, but we are also referring to the entire production process behind the production of hotel linen. The fabrics used are often synthetic fibres from non-renewable sources or are natural fibres whose cultivation requires copious amounts of water, use of pesticides and herbicides, or make the soil dry out in a short time as happens with cotton. Not to mention the fact that chemical dyes are used to dye these fabrics, which end up polluting the seas and rivers and damaging the ecosystem, as well as being highly toxic for the workers who have to handle these substances, and perhaps also for us, who end up wearing these clothes.
In short, there is little to say, without realising it even the hotel industry leaves its indelible mark on the land and maritime ecosystem.
Having said that, the question arises, what can be done to change the situation? There are many strategies that can be adopted, and among them the most advantageous is the use of natural biodegradable and environmentally friendly textiles such as textile hemp, which does not require huge water or fertiliser reserves.
Resistant and environmentally friendly, the natural fibre obtained from hemp is perfect for the creation of hotel bedding and bathroom sets and much more because its extreme versatility and numerous benefits mean that it can be used as you need it.
How to Use Textile Hemp in the Hospitality Sector
The Cannabis Sativa L. plant, used as a natural fibre, makes it possible to produce textiles in numerous quantities, which cannot but be taken into consideration by the hospitality sector. In fact, the fibre obtained from this plant allows the production of fabrics that are very robust and resistant, but above all very versatile and easy to maintain. Furthermore, it must be emphasised that it is a fast-growing plant, which completes its life cycle in just 120 days from sowing. Hemp, therefore, has a much higher yield per hectare than other natural fibres, such as cotton. Finally, the cultivation of textile hemp requires very little water and does not require the use of herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers. Its versatility and durability mean that it is possible to create all the fabric items that hotels and resorts need to accommodate their guests while offering the best possible experience.
Let us now look in detail at how textile hemp can help hoteliers move closer to a sustainable and environmentally friendly hotel.
Sheets and mattress covers
The natural fibre originated from hemp is ideal for making sheets and mattress covers for hotels. Unlike the environmentally unfriendly and highly polluting cotton models, those made of textile hemp are characterised by their incredible resistance to tearing and the strongest stresses that can result from intensive use.
In fact, it is important to note that bed linen in hotels is washed very often and at high temperatures. This process, which is necessary in order to disinfect the bed linen, results in greater wear of the textile and thus less durability. With textile hemp, the sheets are more robust, up to 3 times more than cotton, and also versatile because they do not lose shape or stretch due to frequent washing. Furthermore, as hemp is a naturally antibacterial and antigenic fabric, washing of this fabric can also be done at lower temperatures, thus saving both water and detergent when washing. Finally, hemp fabric is a heat-insulating fabric, so it is very cool in the summer and warm in the winter, as well as being breathable, and therefore helps the skin to stay hydrated by avoiding excessive sweating.
Tablecloths and napkins
Nowadays, most hotels offer their guests the possibility of having breakfast, lunch or dinner in the in-house restaurant. This implies having to stock up on tablecloths and napkins that have to be changed and washed very frequently. Characterised by their robustness and non-deformability, hemp table sets are among the most durable that can be found on the market. Their rough appearance gives them a special handcrafted look. They can also be washed at low temperatures without having to worry about damaging the fabric, while at the same time helping the environment because less electricity and water is consumed. Also very pleasant to the touch, as they are washed they become softer and softer to offer diners the best dining experience.
SPA centres - towels and bathrobes
For high-end hotels, which also contain beauty and wellness centres, such as heated swimming pools, saunas and steam baths, the use of textile hemp towels and bathrobes can be an added value in terms of sustainability and customer well-being. Indeed, textile hemp towels and bathrobes are very soft to the touch, breathable and, especially in this case, absorbent. Textile hemp bath sets are environmentally friendly and antibacterial, thus helping to protect the health of guests during their wellness and massage hours.
Decorative textiles - cushions and curtains
A further use of hemp fabric in the hotel sector is in connection with the decoration, and thus the interior design, of the accommodation facility. Cushions, curtains and mats made of 100% hemp fabric are some examples of the new frontier of sustainable decoration. Durable and breathable, hemp fabric is naturally not subject to mites, mould, fungus and moths. This is why it becomes a valuable material for busy hotels that receive guests from all over the world.
The green transition is now underway and more and more travellers appreciate, and even purposefully choose, hotels that are oriented towards sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of the individual guest. Textile hemp, as currently the only fabric that can meet the requirements of an ecological and sustainable textile, will certainly find its widest application in the hotel sector, despite the currently very high costs of the raw material.
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[F1]:Photos by cottonbro studio, Pexels