Hemp is basically taking over the world. In fact, according to recent data, the hemp industry will be worth $13.3 billion by 2026.
Hemp is a type of cannabis with less than 0.3% THC content, the phytochemical that gets you high. Last December, Congress legalized industrial hemp through the 2018 Farm Bill, making it available for use all over the country.
Hemp requires far less water to grow and manufacture than cotton, making it a considerably more sustainably crop. And even though it can’t get you high, *sigh*, it can be used to make anything virtually anything from shoes to diapers.
Thus, in terms of fashion, many companies and designers are making an effort to incorporate the cannabis crop into their clothing. Levi Strauss and Co., specifically, has found a way towards some seriously significant change.
Back in March, the well known denim company debuted a collaboration with the label Outerknown. Outerknown, a clothing brand founded by surf legend Kally Slater and known for their commitment to sustainable design and materials, seemed to be the perfect fit for the innovative collaboration. The Levi’s Wellthread x Outerknown collection features jeans and jackets made from a mix of 69% cotton and 31% hemp. The fabric is developed through a process of softening, which gives the fabric a look and feel almost identical to cotton.
“We partnered with fiber technology specialists to create a ‘cottonization’ process that softens the fiber—using very little energy or chemical processing—to make it look, and feel, almost indistinguishable from cotton,” stated an announcement from Levi’s. “The innovative development of the rain-fed hemp allows it to be woven like cotton into your jeans – same great feel, a lot less water.”
To read more about brands who use hemp, be sure to check out the Emerald’s upcoming fashion edition in September where we discuss designers who love weed. And for more information on Levi’s new cottonized hemp, click here.