© Charlotte Ekberg (used with permission) Hemp has half the carbon footprint of carbon, but clothing manufacturers have been reluctant to use it until now. Levi Strauss & Co. has been working hard in recent years to rebrand itself as a forward-thinking, sustainably-minded denim company. It has done an admirable job, introducing a water-saving finishing process , offering recycling services for old clothes in all U.S. stores, launching a line of jeans made from old fishing nets , and encouraging clients to wash their jeans less frequently (or never ). Now, it has just announced a new collection made from a cotton-hemp blend. The Levi’s® Wellthread™ x Outerknown collection launched on March 4th and is the company’s first foray into using a special kind of hemp that has been "cottonized" to feel like cotton. Hemp is known to be a far more sustainable material than cotton. It is a densely growing plant that chokes out competing weeds and reduces the need for pesticides. It requires half as much water as cotton to grow, and when you factor in processing, the difference is four-fold. It also returns 60 percent of the nutrients it takes from the soil back to the […]

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