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April 13, 2022

Cone Denim first to launch US-grown hemp in BastCore collaboration

US-based Cone Denim has unveiled a new US-grown hemp denim collection in collaboration with hemp processing innovator, BastCore.

By Beth Wright

Cone Denim is the first to partner with BastCore in a move it says expands its sustainable denim offerings and increases its support of the American agriculture industry, featuring denim made with Alabama hemp and US cotton and dyed with natural indigo grown in Tennessee.

BastCore has created patent-pending technology and a proprietary process that produces clean, mechanically processed, Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified and USDA bio-preferred hemp fibre out of its operation in Montgomery, Alabama.

The company transforms hemp, a low input, high-yielding crop, into numerous sustainable biobased products from the bast and hurd (wood), expanding the use cases for the full hemp plant to bridge the gap between farmers growing hemp and industries demanding cost-competitive, sustainably produced raw materials.

Cone’s US Hemp Collection includes a range of fabrics featuring classic 3×1 and comfort stretch to modern workwear constructions. The collection further expands upon Cone’s sustainability and traceability practices, driving the future of the industry.

The proximity of the hemp, indigo, and cotton crops in the US to the company’s mills in Mexico is also key in creating the smallest environmental impact and footprint possible, the company says.

“BastCore’s innovation of American hemp opens great opportunities to create sustainable denims made from US-sourced agriculture products located in close proximity to Cone’s manufacturing operations in Mexico,” says Cone Denim president, Steve Maggard. “US farmers have world-class sustainable growing practices and produce quality products used in Cone’s denims including cotton, corn for sizing starch, natural plant-based indigo, and more recently, hemp. We are proud to support the American agriculture industry and work alongside like-minded partners who share our passion and commitment.”

Hemp offers many key benefits in creating the next level of sustainable denim, according to Cone. These include:

  • More than 50% water savings occur, compared to cotton
  • No chemicals, wet processing, pesticides, or herbicides are used
  • Hemp grows in a variety of soils with excellent biodegradability, is antimicrobial, has high tensile strength, moisture regain content, and tenacity
  • Hemp and natural indigo crops have high rates of carbon sequestration, which ultimately benefits the environment and improves the soil’s health for other crops (climate positive)

“Cone’s prior work and commitment to sustainable innovations made a perfect fit with BastCore and our mission to bridge the gap between farmers growing hemp and industries demanding cost-competitive, sustainably produced raw materials,” says BastCore managing director, Austin Bryant.

“Developing new products is not easy and involves a number of challenges and obstacles. The expertise and passion of Cone’s product teams provided great collaboration in navigating through those challenges to bring the many advantages of hemp fibres to denim.”

Cone recently reaffirmed its commitment to responsible sourcing by extending its partnership with supply chain traceability specialist Oritain in light of the recently enacted Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.

Meanwhile, Just Style recently explored if hemp is likely to replace cotton as a must-have fibre.

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