Farmers were allowed to legally cultivate industrial hemp after the 2018 farm bill was passed. Before the plant was banned, it was widely grown in different parts of the country. The plant’s seed, grain and fiber are used in different industries, including the pharmaceutical, animal care, construction and fashion industries.
Retailers and consumers in the fashion industry are keen on using the plant in their many processes, as it provides a sustainable alternative to synthetic materials as well as cotton. This interest continues to grow as the environmental crisis in fashion also intensifies.
Synthetic fibers are cheaper to mass produce, which may explain why they account for 60% of global fiber consumption. The issue isn’t mass production; rather, it’s the minute pieces of plastic shedding from clothes made from these materials that are the problem. These micro-plastics make up almost 35% of micro-plastics in the ocean.
Additionally, natural fibers require a lot of resources for production to occur. For instance, cotton needs roughly 712 gallons of water in order to produce a T-shirt from the material.
This makes the use of hemp fiber, which is not only sustainable but also biodegradable, appealing. However, before its fiber can be produced on a large scale, the United States needs to reconstruct its infrastructure.
Patagonia Materials Developer’s Alexandra LaPierre, stated that hemp was a low-till crop that needed very little water as well as no pesticides, which made the process of cultivating the plant a naturally sustainable practice. Most farmers in America use hemp as a rotation crop as it replenishes nutrients in the soil.
In order to decrease the waste produced by fast fashion and alleviate climate change, companies are focused on using more sustainable ways to afford consumers trendy styles while also producing less waste. Some companies are already developing solutions to help build an ecosystem around industrial hemp by investing millions that will facilitate the advancement of hemp processing technologies, linking the supply chain and connecting farmers to different partners in the country.
One of these companies is Bastcore, which revealed that it had received about $3 million in financing, which will be used to advance its decortication and degumming technology. Decortication refers to the stripping of the outer layer of the plant. On the other hand, degumming helps separate the plant’s fiber from its woody core and also removes pectins and sticky lignins.
The company plans to employ a huge workforce in order to meet the fashion market’s demand for industrial hemp in the future. As companies such as Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) expand their hemp textile operations, demand for hemp strains specifically developed for fiber production is likely to surge.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) are available in the company’s newsroom athttps://cnw.fm/FLGC
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