Source: RTS | Tuesday, 11.06.2019.| 09:25
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Levi Strauss manufactures jeans and jackets from blend containing 31% hemp

(Photo: Andris Tkacenko/shutterstock.com)
With the legalisation of hemp in the United States last December, the industry has been exploding. Reports and Data estimates it'll be worth EUR 11.5 billion (USD 13.03 billion) by 2026, Business Insider reports.

In March, Levi's debuted a collaboration with the Outerknown label that includes a pair of jeans and jacket made from a 69%-cotton/31%-hemp blend that feels like pure cotton.

This is significant because hemp, a cannabis plant with a negligible amount of the psychoactive chemical THC, uses significantly less water and chemicals than cotton. Unlike cotton, though, the material is difficult to work with. The cotton fibers in your shirt are derived from a puffy bud on top of a plant, while hemp fibers come from a tall, sturdy trunk.

However, the legendary manufacturer has found a way to make hemp fibers soft and able to blend with cotton.

Levi's head of global product innovation, Paul Dillinger, said Levi's is continuing to work on improving the quality of its cottonised-hemp, to the point where it can be nearly half of a cotton-blend for most apparel, as well as fully hemp for certain products, Business Insider writes.

Dillinger said that the need for cotton alternatives became apparent when looking at the growth trajectory of cotton demand compared to access to fresh water required for its cultivation and processing.
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