Q: What drew you to using hemp in the Outerknown range?
Hemp has the vibe and feel that’s right for our brand, rich texture, lots of character, and it hits all of our sustainability goals as a fiber. Hemp naturally uses less water and no pesticides. Hemp knits have a tendency to have high shrinking, this can present problems during cut and sew, but we have good partners and they have been able to figure out the controls in manufacturing.
Q: How are you using it?
We use both knits and wovens primarily in blends with organic cotton. Some are blended with recycled polyester.
Q: What’s the future of hemp as a serious mainstream preferred fiber?
Hemp is a great fiber; it’s extremely durable and the textures are amazing.
Hemp has such a compelling history: It was one of the first fibers spun into textiles, it was used to make ropes during mariner’s times when sailing vessels were the main mode of transportation.
There is a certain mystique to hemp too. Cultivation is illegal in some countries, the United States included, although we’re trying to bring it back…
In January of 2015, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act (H.R. 525 and S. 134) was introduced in the House and Senate. If passed, it would remove all federal restrictions on the cultivation of industrial hemp, and remove its classification as a Schedule I controlled substance.
I don’t feel it will overcome cotton as a staple, however.