After replacing more and more conventional cotton with organic cotton, we decided to take the next step and find an even more sustainable alternative. We (re)discovered hemp. It was being used already 10 000 years ago and has many environmental advantages compared to cotton and other fibers, for example reduced water usage and pesticides-free farming. In addition, hemp is one of the strongest natural fibers on the planet.
With increased global demand of cotton it's getting more difficult to find high quality organic cotton, which is the reason we want to find alternatives. We discovered the advantages of hemp and decided to bring it back. Curiously, the Swedes were growing hemp in large scale for fabrics and ropes up until the 1920's.
Hemp grows quickly and can grow in nutrient-poor soil, it also binds the soil with its long roots, which means that it prevents soil erosion. Hemp requires no pesticides or chemical fertilizers and the amount of water needed to produce hemp is lower than for cotton. For example, conventional hemp has less environmental impact than organic cotton. The hemp we use in our clothes is processed with dew retting, the stalks are then left to rot in the field and natural bacteria is used in the process. Dew retting is the favored process from a sustainability perspective.
The range of clothes made out of hemp is still quite small, but we hope to inspire other companies to use it now that we're launching our Kaiparo collection. Hemp has great environmental benefits, grows fast, is extremely durable, has a pleasant cooling effect and wears in – not out.