Linen and Hemp: a natural choice?


Linen is a natural fibre from the flax plant. Clothing made of linen is characteristic because it is a soft and airy fabric and because of the small thickening (slub) in the fabric. Relatively little poison or fertilizer is needed to grow the plant, but the processing process is quite labour intensive.

Organic linen

Organic linen, unlike regular linen, is grown without the use of pesticides, fertilizer and genetically modified seeds. Clothing made from organic linen can be recognised by the GOTS quality mark on the washing label or on the hangtag in the clothes shop.


Hemp is a natural fibre from the hemp plant. This plant grows twice as fast as cotton. When growing hemp, considerably less artificial fertilizer is needed and this causes less pollution in the soil and the soil is less likely to be exhausted. In some areas it can even be harvested 3 to 4 times a year. Another advantage is that the hemp plant does not suffer much from insects and this means that little or no pesticides and other chemical pesticides are needed. So you could say that a field of hemp is better for nature than many other agricultural crops.

However, processing the hemp fibre is somewhat more difficult than other natural fibres. Because hemp dust is very stiff, it has to be processed or the fibres mixed with other fibres. Mixing the hemp fibre with organic cotton, for example, does create a soft fabric. But because of the mix of different types of fibres, the fabric is more difficult to recycle later on.