Levi Strauss & Co. has created a new line of clothing made with hemp that “feels just like cotton.” Hemp requires far less water and land in the growing phase and has roughly half the carbon footprint of conventionally grown cotton but has not had wide adoption in the apparel industry because of its coarse feel.
Now, however, Levi’s has employed a process developed by fiber technology specialists that softens the hemp, giving it a look and feel that is “almost indistinguishable from cotton,” the company says. The new hemp garments in the Wellthread x Outerknown spring/summer collection include jeans and a trucker jacket. They are made with a 70/30 cotton-to-hemp blend. The hemp, sourced from a rain-fed hemp crop, reduced the water used in fiber cultivation by roughly 30%.
Sustainable clothing company Outerknown developed the treatment for the hemp used in the Wellthread collection. Levi’s says more garments will use the material in coming days.
The new collection also includes single-fiber, nylon board shorts, in which all materials – the fabric, the eyelets, the core, the stitching – are made from nylon and are thus fully recyclable, “thus achieving the closed-loop recyclability that has long eluded apparel companies,” […]