Levi’s Jeans Company aims to use more hemp for its fashion collections


The latest report from Levi Strauss & Co. provides insight into the cutting edge use of hemp in its clothing collections.

The company recognizes hemp as one of the most effective sources for making their clothing sustainable.

The American clothing company known for its brand of denim jeans Levi’s strong points how hemp is a highly durable fabric because it requires less water and fewer pesticides to grow than traditional cotton.

Between 2019 and 2020, Levi’s partnered with Swedish textile recycling technology startup Re: NewCell to produce Levi’s WellThread collections made from cotton hemp.

But since cotton hemp was too coarse on the skin for unchanged use in denim, Levi’s went to great lengths to produce a softer hemp fabric to resemble cotton.

As the company stated in a Press release, Levi Strauss & Co.’s sustainable development strategy is based on three main pillars: climate, consumption and community. “These categories encompass work the company has already done – such as cutting-edge climate science goals and pioneering material innovations like cotton hemp – as well as forward-looking initiatives on a wide range of environmental, social and human issues. governance. subjects ”, we read.

Supply log reported that Levi’s was one of the first companies to incorporate hemp fiber into its large-scale denim production. He launched a collection in 2019 with denim containing 30% hemp. However, he increased the use of hemp with a Wellthread collection that included 55% hemp jeans in March 2021.

The use of hemp is not new to the fashion industry. Its role has ancient historical roots stretching back thousands of years. China has the longest history of growing hemp. It was used for clothing and to produce paper. Successively, hemp spread throughout the world and it was used in many fields and industries, especially for the manufacture of sails and ship ropes. However, with the rise of cotton, the use of hemp began to decline. Additionally, the onset of the marijuana prohibition era set the use of hemp apart.

But as sustainability has recently become the cornerstone of many industries, hemp fabric represents a valid alternative to cotton for several reasons. Cotton hemp uses much less water than conventional cotton production.

Thanks to this property, hemp can rely on rainwater instead of irrigated water, which could be used for other productive purposes. “Integrating hemp into blends and through our cottonization process presents an opportunity to use a less water-intensive crop that also requires less chemicals and less land use for cultivation,” the report says. .

Additionally, hemp requires about four times less water than cotton, and it requires about half the amount of soil per ton. In addition, hemp crops do not require intensive use of fertilizer as the part of the plant helps replenish the soil and can be used as a fertilizer. Finally, hemp crops can produce up to twice as much fiber per hectare as cotton.

However, cotton hemp is not a certified fabric, although hemp is considered an innovative fiber. But Levi’s said he was working with industry associations such as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition to recognize hemp as a more sustainable material.

In recent years, several companies have developed collections based on hemp. Patagonia, Toad & Co and other brands have helped the hemp clothing market to become more popular also because new clothing manufacturing technologies allow hemp to show its versatility and the quality of its fabric.


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