Hemp is one of those eco-friendly products which continues to be overlooked in favour of organic cotton or bamboo (which isn’t particularly eco-friendly). Not only in fashion but with household items too.
The hemp industry has faced many setbacks, often due to a lack of understanding and awareness not helped by the anti-marijuana campaigns of the past. Government restrictions have been lifted in most regions and these days few people would confuse hemp with marijuana so what’s holding us back?
Maybe it’s simply that mainstream fashion labels rarely use hemp, probably fuelled by higher production costs. Without the demand, you won’t see an increase in production and hemp will continue to be seen as unconventional.
It’s unfortunate as the reality is that hemp is a fantastic sustainable fabric. It’s light but durable, looking and feeling a bit like linen. It will keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. Hemp is a low-impact crop, generally grown without pesticides or herbicides while using considerably less water than cotton, both in the growing and processing phases.
But if hemp clothing isn’t your thing, you can still benefit by sourcing sustainable hemp products for the home. It’s easy to find hemp sheets or towels and hemp totes are fairly common at the farmers’ market. But you might not have considered getting a hemp shower curtain in place of those nasty plastic curtains that love to cling to your body while you’re trying to lather up.
Switching from plastic to hemp is an easy zero waste swap you can make in the home.
Hemp Shower Curtains
I’m fortunate to no longer be renting a place that uses shower curtains but I’ve seen my fair share in older rentals I’ve stayed in. The first thing I would do before moving in is buy a brand new shower curtain to replace any used by the previous tenants. Surely I’m not the only one thinking that’s a priority when moving house?
But where to find a hemp shower curtain that will last yet not cost a fortune?
Rawganique Organic Hemp Shower Curtain*
It really is quite difficult to find affordable hemp shower curtains. But when looking at the price, you have to keep it mind the quality and cost of production. Rawganique is your best bet for an organic hemp shower curtain. They are made from hemp canvas and come in a variety of colours from ivory to bright orange or red to more subtle navy and greys. These shower curtains are made in Europe from European hemp and are plastic-free. This is why their product might not be as budget-friendly as others. If you want a sustainable shower curtain, this is a great choice, it’s the perfect addition to a zero waste bathroom.
A few things to note when buying hemp curtains. Look for organic hemp where possible. If the hemp isn’t grown organically they are probably using fertilisers which can have a negative effect on surrounding waterways. Choose products that are PVC-free and cruelty free and from companies that are sweatshop free.
How to Care for your Hemp Shower Curtain
The main drawback when using a hemp shower curtain is the added care required to maintain the longevity of the product. Without proper care, you can end up with mould or mildew ruining the curtains. To avoid this, it’s important to ensure plenty of ventilation to let the curtain air dry completely between showers.
To prevent the continued build up of soap and shampoo, you’ll need to wash the shower curtain every few months and hang out to dry. The alternative is to use a liner (which defeats the purpose if you are trying to go zero waste or eco-friendly) or you can use a natural wax to waterproof the curtain.
Sustainable Alternatives to Hemp
Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of choice if you specifically want a hemp shower curtain. If you’re open to alternatives for a sustainable or zero waste shower curtain you can find fabric shower curtains made from cotton, linen and bamboo. If they aren’t available in your area you could pick an EVA made curtain* which is plastic but PVC-free. Not the best swap but a better choice.
Depending on the design on your bathroom, another alternative is to go without a shower curtain altogether and use a shower squeegee* to clean up after your shower. Again, this isn’t plastic free but something to consider.
If you own your home, in the long run, you might be better off installing a glass shower screen rather than looking for a zero waste shower curtain or screen.