Cottonized hemp is gaining momentum



Financial investors

Machinery and equipment makers

National and regional policy makers

Textile and fashion designers

Cottonized hemp - Hemp has a much lower environmental impact during cultivation but the quality and characteristics of hemp fiber do not match those of cotton. As a result, there are efforts to cottonize hemp

Hemp, by all accounts, is a more sustainable fiber than cotton - lower water consumption for cultivation, higher yield and possibly higher lifetime for the fiber being some of the sustainability metrics in which it scores over cotton.

At the same time, cotton fiber is known for its softness, a property that hemp lacks.

Given these, is it any surprise that there are folks - Levi's, for instance - who are trying to cottonize hemp?

The denim leader reports on its web site that “We partnered with fiber technology specialists to create a “cottonization” process that softens the hemp fiber to make it look, and more importantly, feel almost indistinguishable from cotton.” 

While it appears that they are currently working on commercializing a blend of cotton and hemp, Levi's is also reportedly working on 100% hemp that feels like cotton using a patented fiber technology.

Assuming companies such as Levis are able to transform more sustainable fibers such as hemp to replace cotton, this could lead to a big disruption in the industry.

Apart from hemp, what other fiber could be a candidate with better sustainability footprints?