Hemp

Hemp is durable, comfortable and breathable, and its cultivation has a low impact on the environment.

Why

Hemp is a natural fiber that is cultivated with minimal impact on the environment. It needs little to no irrigation and uses less fertilizer than other crops. Hemp does not need synthetic fertilizer, it replenishes vital nutrients in the soil and it prevents erosion.

We're also researching hemp’s potential use as a cover crop and ways to use the entire plant. For example, the woody core of the hemp stalk—the stuff that’s not used in the textile process—can be used in everything from “hempcrete” construction materials to auto-body fabrication, so no part of the hemp plant need go to waste.

Current rates of population growth and irresponsible farming methods have set us on course to lose all our topsoil by 2076. Record rainfall rates in the American Midwest in 2019 washed enough fertilizer and pesticides into the Gulf of Mexico to create the largest-ever dead zone—an oxygen-depleted, barren patch that is the size of New Jersey. Hemp can help keep healthy soil in place at a time we need it the most.

Where We Are

The hemp we use in our products is grown in partnership with suppliers who use sophisticated processing techniques that minimize waste. We’ve developed unique performance materials by blending our hemp with organic cotton, recycled polyester and TENCEL®.

We created Iron Forge Hemp™ canvas for our Workwear line, a 12.9-oz 55% industrial hemp/27% recycled polyester/18% organic cotton canvas that’s 25% more abrasion resistant than conventional cotton duck canvas, yet comfortable and breathable. Our All Seasons Hemp canvas is a lighter-weight version of Iron Forge Hemp™ canvas (9.6-oz) for warmer weather work. For our sportswear, we use lighter-weight blends of hemp, organic cotton, recycled polyester and TENCEL® that keeps you cool and are comfortable without compromising performance.

What's Next

We’re working with innovative hemp-processing partners on a whole-systems approach to ensure our entire hemp process has an even smaller impact on the environment going forward. Our goal is to use clean retting, decorticating and degumming methods (the processes by which the fiber is separated from the woody inner core and stripped of its sticky lignins and pectins). We are working with bio-composite companies that can transform the “waste” from our crop into building materials and other goods that provide alternatives to plastics and fiberglass.

For the Fall 2021 season, we’re launching our Workwear Hemp Denim line, which uses non-degummed hemp (and uses less water, too).

Hemp
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