Apparel Company First to Use U.S.-Grown Hemp
The public and legal perception of cannabis in the U.S. is changing at a rapid rate. Currently, eight states have made it legal to possess recreational marijuana, with a multitude of states passing legislation to decriminalize recreational use and legalize medical use. Because of this, industrial hemp grown in the U.S. will be used for the first time in apparel.
Bastcore, a Nebraska-based company, secured the first contract to supply U.S.-grown hemp on Thursday.
The company has a proprietary process for converting hemp stalks into materials for textile use, according to Business Insider. It will sell the fibers to Recreator, a Los Angeles apparel company that fuses environmental activism and agricultural causes with style.
"This fiber supply contract marks a historic milestone in the U.S. hemp industry, and particularly for American-made hemp textiles, since the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill," Bastcore CEO John Lupien said, according to Business Insider.
The 2014 Farm Bill, officially known as the Agricultural Act of 2014, removed federal restrictions on industrial hemp, and allowed states that have legalized hemp manufacturing to start research programs to study its benefits. This coincided with the legalization of cannabis in Colorado that same year.
"This partnership should encourage rural communities to re-invest in natural fibers and textile production," Recreator CEO Matt McClain told Business Insider. "We are excited to show the pull-through capacity of Recreator by implementing Bastcore's American-grown and processed hemp fiber into our premium apparel line."
While legislation relating to legal cannabis in the U.S. continues to change, it opens the door to a new direction for domestic manufacturing. Companies might not be wholly reliant on domestic cotton production and processing.