Levi Uses Hemp For A New Line Of Sustainable Clothing

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December 2018 marked a historic moment in the USA with the hemp legalization.

Levi Uses Hemp For A New Line Of Sustainable Clothing

Levi’s/New Hope


December 2018 marked a historic moment in the USA with the hemp legalization. No wonder the industry is currently flourishing. It's been estimated that the industry may go up and stand at a value of about $13.03 billion by the year 2026. You may have already come across hemp-derived products in the market, though Levi Strauss & Co. is now capturing a part of the fashion world by using hemp for sustainable clothing.


Levi’s is a denim icon, and several people will swear by its name. However, to keep up with its goodwill, as well as do something for the planet, Levi’s is going for sustainable clothing. While you may believe cotton is a harmless product, the water requirement of cotton is huge, about 2,655 liters of fresh water, only for cultivation. With processing and using it in garments, it takes approximately 3,781 liters of fresh water. Those are data that has been collected from the Stockholm Environmental Institute. Using alternatives such as hemp can cut down the water use by 2/3rd.


Therefore, in March 2019, Levi’s collaborated with the Outerknown label, to introduce a jacket and a pair of jeans made out of 69 percent cotton and 31 percent hemp blend that gives the pure cotton fuel. The cannabis plant uses a lot less chemicals and water than cotton, but it's a bit difficult to manage as well. While cotton is derived from the puffy bud found on top of the plant, indicating its softness, hemp fibers are taken from the trunk. According to Paul Dillinger, the head of Levi’s global product innovation, it is coarse and stiff. It can be converted into a sturdy rope easily but for clothes – it simply doesn’t seem like the ideal material.


Nevertheless, Levi’s knows how to mix and match ideas and come up with a working solution. Dillinger observed the growth trajectory of cotton demand and compared it with the fresh water requirement in both cotton processing and cultivation. It was pretty apparent that alternatives had to be found. Hemp wasn't in his mind, until the company discovered cutting-edge research that was being conducted in Europe in places where hemp was legalized, but within three years, the final product was in their hands, ready to be integrated into their clothing.


If cottonized-hemp can be entirely integrated with the products of the industry, it can make way for a revolution. However, according to Truth Theory, Dillinger doesn't want people to get their hopes too high for now. The process is still in a novice state, and an overnight revolution won't be possible. More research should be conducted before a shift can be made. It is more likely that hemp will become another natural cotton alternative rather than a replacement of the versatile cotton.


Dillinger does not believe it will be a fad either. When people go for a sustainable product, they generally have to sacrifice some quality which the non-sustainable product was being boasted about. They would often make that sacrifice out of ‘choice’ or because it’s ‘cute.’ However, for cottonized-hemp, such a sacrifice wouldn't be necessary. According to Dillinger, customers will no be able to spot a proper difference from pure cotton. Once a proper research is done, he believes that within five years, such a product and the revolution is possible.


If it turns out the way Dillinger hopes it would, we can save up a lot of freshwater. With our planet’s depleting resources requiring rapid preservation, that can be a massive development. So, kudos to Levi’s, if they can make this work.

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Thinking Humanity: Levi Uses Hemp For A New Line Of Sustainable Clothing
Levi Uses Hemp For A New Line Of Sustainable Clothing
December 2018 marked a historic moment in the USA with the hemp legalization.
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