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This Patagonia Sweater Is Made From… Weed?

The Women’s Fog Cutter Sweater by Patagonia is one of 89 products made from cannabis available for purchase. The sweater is a combination blend of recycled cotton, organic cotton and recycled hemp. Hemp is a member of the cannabis family, best known for its industrial uses. Its long, sturdy stocks make it an ideal source of durable fiber.

Since 2018, Patagonia has made it its mission to return hemp to the United States on a wide-scale level. This is not some passing craze for the company. Patagonia’s plans for hemp have the potential to alter the textiles industry forever (imagine the end of the cotton industry).

What Hemp Can Do for Us

Hemp is a multi-million-dollar industry for every country except the United States. Other nations, such as China, the leading global producer of hemp, have long reaped the benefits of hemp production. It’s finally our turn to take advantage of what this crop has to offer.

Primarily, hemp is one of the fastest-growing plants on the planet. Hemp can be harvested for fiber usage after merely 60 days. A fast-growing season gives farmers the opportunity to sell more product annually than previously with less sustainable alternatives, such as cotton. Hemp also takes up less resources than other natural plant fibers, requiring very little water, less fertilizer and zero pesticides. Additionally, hemp can pretty much grow anywhere (I mean, come on, it’s a weed). This can be extremely beneficial in areas that rely on agriculture for a living but are experiencing difficulties growing other crops due to the severity of droughts.

The plant’s ability to replenish essential nutrients in the soil and prevent erosion makes it the perfect crop for these drier regions. Patagonia strongly believes hemp can stop these towns from drying out and save the agriculture industry in the American Midwest.

Why Now?

There is overwhelming growth and prosperity linked to investing in the hemp industry, so why has it taken so long for the United States to get involved? Unfortunately, due to misinformation, corrupt agendas and racism, hemp was criminalized in 1937 along with marijuana. It took 81 years, with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, to get hemp production back on American soil.

Now, the United States is playing catch up with the rest of the world to make up for eight decades worth of innovation and research. Luckily, Patagonia has teamed up with Hemp Fortex, a company based in China dedicated to creating high-quality, eco-friendly textiles, and the state of Colorado to create a sustainable hemp industry in the United States.

The brand has already developed two of its own types of hemp canvas. Their Iron Forge Hemp canvas is used for their workwear line and has proven to be 25-percent more abrasion resistant than conventional cotton duck canvas. Their All Seasons Hemp canvas is a lighter-weight fabric used for a range of products from aprons to shorts. It is only a matter of time until hemp takes over the textiles industry (goodbye cotton!) and the country becomes one of the top producers of hemp on the planet.

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Retail Entrepreneurship major at FSU a girl with a passion for fashion certified girl boss
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