Levi’s “Cottonized” Hemp Is Ready to End Cotton’s Reign
Is hemp the new alternative to cotton? Levi’s believes so. In early March, the iconic denim brand launched their Wellthread x Outerknown collection, the company’s first attempt at using a special kind of hemp that has been “cottonized” to feel like cotton.
However, Hemp is known to be a far more sustainable material. It can produce two to three times more fiber than an acre of cotton; can detoxify soil by removing harmful chemicals and pollutants while enriching the soil with nitrogen and oxygen; and is a more durable material, making products last longer.
According to the Stockholm Environmental Institute, hemp also uses less water. An estimated 10,000 liters of water is used to produce 1kg of cotton compared to about 300-500 liters of water to produce 1kg of dry hemp matter. Also, about 30% is suitable for fiber production. While speaking with Levi’s VP of product innovation Paul Dillinger, he confirms that the hemp used in their Wellthread x Outerknown collection “came from a rain fed field so it actually has no ground water use, and uses substantially less water than cotton.” Nearly 70% less water, to be more precise.
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By Kyle Hodge