We use hemp due to its sustainability, performance, and health benefits. Hemp is an amazing plant and fiber that's development was stifled in the US due to political special interests. In December 2018 hemp became federally legalized and shortly after we started utilizing it here at Hempress!
In terms of sustainability hemp has many advantages including being resource efficient, biodegradable, and carbon negative. Compared to cotton hemp uses up to 5X less water, 3X less land, matures 2X faster, and due to being antimicrobial uses no pesticides or herbicides, which cotton is the #1 user of worldwide. Hemp also sequesters 6.69 tons per acre, compared to trees which sequester 2.6 tons per acre, and cotton which emits 300 lbs per acre, hemp sequesters 2.6X more CO2 than trees, and 44.6X more CO2 than cotton (and that is only with one harvest which hemp has up to 3/year AKA 20 tons per acre)! Therefore, harvesting, processing, and transportation of our fiber is carbon neutral. Hemp is also one of the top 5 crops for biodiversity friendliness. It does not strip the soil key nutrients but restores soil health, and due to these factors does not require crop rotation and intensive fertilization like most crops.
Hemp has many key performance benefits including moister wicking, absorption, and strength. Compared to cotton hemp can absorb up to 2X more, and our menstrual hygiene products in particular perform equal to or better than the current organic cotton products on the market.
Is Hemp Safe?
Absolutely yes! Our hemp fiber is Class 1 Oeke-Tex certified, which is the highest safety rating. Hemp is also naturally antimicrobial therefore we do not use any pesticides or herbicides in its growth, meaning no chance of residue on our products. In production we use no harsh chemicals like chlorine & bleach, or any dyes, synthetic materials or fragrances. The fiber is thoroughly cleaned using natural compounds and is processed to resemble something very similar to other fibers like cotton, rayon, or wool. As discussed above, our hemp fiber contains little to no CBD or THC and we have partnered with gynecologists to ensure our products are medically as safe as possible. We are also undergoing all the FDA and regulatory testing and our tampons are pending FDA approval.
Do Hempress products have any THC or CBD?
We use hemp specifically grown for fiber. Therefore it is a completely different hemp strains used for CBD, and hemp is a different plant than marijuana which is grown for THC. Our hemp has a THC content less than .02% and a CBD content of approximately .25%, which are both insignificant and do not cause any side effects.
Why Not Reusable?
We love the shifts society is making to be more sustainable but if there is anything we have learned it is that it is very difficult to change consumer behavior. For decades people have been accustomed to single use disposable products, primarily made of rayon and plastic. While many environmentally minded people are beginning to make changes to reusable products throughout their lives, the reality is the vast majority are not. Especially in menstrual hygiene.
98% of women use disposable pads and tampons
88% of tampons sold have a plastic applicator
So we decided we need to make sustainable single use products that can be available to all women.
That is why our products were made to meet that demand with:
- A sustainable supply chain very closely located to reduce any shipping induced carbon emissions
- Sustainably sourced materials that are ALL naturally biodegradable
- 100% Hemp fiber due to it's sustainability, performance, and health benefits (discussed above)
- No plastics in our products, including applicators and wrappers
- No toxic chemicals like bleach, chlorine, dioxin, etc
- Recycled plant-based packaging
This is how we ensure our products are legitimately sustainable and we are never greenwashing or putting a bandaid on the real issue. We are solving the sustainability problems in this industry at its source, while providing a sustainable alternative to women physiologically or mentally uncomfortable using reusable products. That being said we do offer menstrual cups for the ladies who prefer reusable.