Distinguishing denim design – Levi’s uses “cottonized hemp”


In California, well-known jean company, Levi’s, is a new form of “cottonized hemp” denim in their spring designs. The hemp has been altered to feel just like cotton.

“We know hemp is good for the environment, but it has always felt coarse,” says Paul Dillinger, VP of Product Innovation at Levi’s. “This is the first time we’ve been able to offer consumers a cottonized hemp product that feels just as good, if not better, than cotton.”

The hemp went through a process developed by fiber technology specialists that softened the material, giving it a look and feel that is almost indistinguishable from cotton. It marks an important sustainable step as the environmental benefits of hemp have long been known – it requires far less water and land in the growing phase and has a smaller footprint than conventionally known cotton.

The new collection includes an array of products that were conceptualized with sustainability in mind from the very first sketch. A pair of jeans and a trucker jacket are made with a 70/30 cotton-to-cottonized hemp blend. The hemp was sourced from a rain-fed hemp crop and thereby reduced the water used in fiber cultivation by roughly 30 percent.