Project 2021: Pioneering American-Made Hemp Clothing
We’re breaking ground by making clothing from hemp grown in the USA.
We’re taking Kentucky-grown hemp, blending it with North Carolina-grown cotton, and making it into 2,021 t-shirts (to celebrate the year of this groundbreaking project).
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The Challenge: U.S-Grown Hemp with Nowhere to Go
America is waking up to the possibilities of hemp.
Hemp is one of the oldest plants cultivated by humans, but for decades it has been illegal to grow it in the United States. In 2018, new federal regulations made it possible for U.S. farmers to once again grow hemp commercially. Compared to cotton, hemp grows more quickly and produces more fiber with less inputs per acre. People can’t wait to get a chance to wear locally-grown clothing made from this beautiful, durable, environmentally beneficial fiber.
There’s just one catch: no one has produced clothing from hemp in the U.S. in a long time. Textile machinery to turn hemp plants into clothing simply does not exist in this country.
Farmers want to grow hemp for fiber, and consumers want to wear American hemp. It just hasn’t been possible.
The Solution: Creativity, Collaboration, and Courage
Fortunately, American ingenuity is here to save the day. A small group of dedicated people have come together to boldly go where the American textile industry has never been before. We’re developing new technologies and new ways to use the manufacturing facilities we already have to make hemp clothing that is U.S.-grown and U.S.-made.
We’re taking Kentucky-grown hemp, blending it with North Carolina-grown cotton, and making it into 2,021 t-shirts (to celebrate the year of this groundbreaking project). We sourced the hemp and cotton directly from our farmers to ensure transparency, and also to make sure the farmer had a voice in the price that they were paid.
All the making is taking place in the Carolinas, because we believe keeping things local is the best way to benefit both people and the planet.
Blending hemp with cotton means we can make clothing on the textile machines we already have here. It's a new process that involves experimentation and takes a lot of guts.
Our hemp/cotton blend will bring new dimensions to the natural fabric world, providing more durability than 100% cotton. In addition, providing a new natural fabric will be an antidote to pervasive (and increasing) use of polyester in the apparel industry.
Ready to take a deep dive into the present and future of the American hemp apparel industry? Read Hemp: A Challenge to Bring it Home, a white paper by Eric Henry, CEO of TS Designs and Solid State Clothing.