After eight decades of incorrect agricultural policy regarding hemp, the 2018 Farm Bill was a game-changer. Even though it is now legal to cultivate hemp in the United States, there is still a long way to go before hemp fibres are used in clothes more regularly.
Longtime advocates of the hemp industry have emphasised how much more environmentally friendly hemp is than cotton and synthetic fibres. In this regard, the Vancouver, Washington-based garment firm Jungmaven’s founders claim to be committed to ensuring that the textile industry becomes less polluting and more regenerative.
Hemp-An Underrated Textile Fibre
Why then utilise hemp? Hemp production and growth in the United States had a long history prior to the 1930s and 1970s when it was treated in the same manner as another cannabinoid variant, marijuana.
Slaves previously farmed hemp on the farms of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, in part due to its adaptability and because Virginians could pay their taxes with hemp in the 18th century.
During World War II, the parachute that saved the life of former president George H. W. Bush was reportedly lined with hemp fibre. During the 20th century, however, regulators panicked over the usage of “marijuana,” and all forms of cannabis earned a negative reputation.
It is now publicly known why hemp is an attractive crop for both farmers and consumers. From food to rope to paper, hemp has a multitude of uses. Certain species are drought-resistant, which is significant in the western United States, where water shortages have become an issue.
As a phytoremediation crop, hemp may rehabilitate soil; in fact, it was planted at Chernobyl after the nuclear disaster in 1986 for this purpose. In addition, hemp is a potent carbon sink, according to its proponents.
Garments crafted from hemp and Jungmaven 2.0
Over time, hemp-made clothing and other products remained on the market, but they were now manufactured using hemp imported from China and Canada. As long as we’re discussing apparel, most of it is more symbolic of “The Age of Aquarius” than trendy. Jungmaven fills this need with apparel collections as brilliant as their hues.
These are not the loose-fitting hemp-based clothing you are accustomed to, nor are they the ponchos sold in gift shops at cruise ship ports. Jungmaven’s broad clothing lines are well-fitted and available in a variety of designs and vivid hues. The “Wild Eyes Baja” threads are particularly notable.
Robert Jungmann, the company’s founder, first became interested in hemp in the early 1990s. Almost thirty years ago, he was a founding member of the Hemp Industries Association, whose work helped pass the 2018 Farm Bill. Jungmann believes that clothing made from hemp may be both fashionable and beneficial to the environment.
Jungmaven has 18 employees and outsources its manufacturing to the United States. Before the company can expand, it must first surmount fundamental obstacles.
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One reason is that the manufacture and knitting of cotton and synthetic fibres continue to dominate the supply chain of the global textile industry; therefore, the industry must transform in order to accommodate hemp materials.
Furthermore, reforming the American agricultural system will take time; even four years after the historic Farm Bill was passed, it would be naive to expect farmers to switch to hemp overnight. According to Jungmaven, until American growers are able to fill the void, the company will obtain its hemp from the Chinese provinces of Shanxi and Heilongjiang.