There are more than 50,000 uses for hemp. In recent years, hemp products have skyrocketed in popularity and become more widely available for everyday consumers. Skincare products, tea, oils, candy, vaporizer cartridges and other products are available for purchase in all states and due to the plethora of benefits that hemp offers, they continues to progress into more industries, such as fashion.
In an expansion of their successful denim brand, James Jeans, Alkhemist is launching their first hemp-incorporated denim collection.
One has reason to ask, “Why hemp?” “Hemp” could just be a buzzword to most people. What is it and why is it significant? Is hemp the secret missing ingredient for an amazing pair of jeans?
In order to understand what hemp is and why we’re so excited to be using it in our denim, let’s get to know hemp and dive into its history.
Hemp is a crop cultivated for its seeds, fiber and stalk. Hemp contains negligible amounts of THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, making it a non-drug form.
“So hemp and marijuana are not the same.” Correct, here’s more as to why!
Aside from the near absence of THC in hemp and its presence in marijuana, hemp plants require minimal care and can be grown in most climates, whereas marijuana must be grown in a controlled environment of warmth and humidity. Hemp is typically a taller tree with skinnier leaves, and marijuana looks more like a short bush with broader leaves.
Industrial hemp is commonly used for automobiles, skincare, food, construction, and yes, clothing. Hemp fiber, cultivated from the inner bark of the stem, is used to create textiles or blend with other fibers to make fabrics for apparel.
It is believed that hemp was used dating back to 8,000 BCE, making it one of the oldest industries on the planet. For thousands of years, it was used around Europe, Asia and Africa for rope, pottery and food, and was introduced to South America in 1549. The first settlers of America grew hemp for many uses, such as rope, sails, clothing, and even as paper to draft the Declaration of Independence.
In 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act was signed and placed a tax on all marijuana, discouraging hemp production. Despite hemp proving itself to be a more sustainable option for paper than trees, producing four times the amount of paper, and its thousands of possible uses in products, the Controlled Substances Act (1970) classified hemp as an illegal Schedule I drug. This imposed harsh regulations on industrial hemp, forcing a decrease in its production.
Over 30 years later, however, things began to look up for the hemp industry as the sale of hemp foods and body care products is permanently protected as a result of Hemp Industries Association vs. DEA in 2004. Ten years later, the Farm Bill was signed, allowing for research or government institutions to produce hemp. Finally, on December 20, 2018, the Hemp Farming Act removed hemp as a Schedule I controlled substance, allowing it to be classified as an ordinary agricultural product.
With this recent legalization, Alkhemist is excited to announce the launch of hemp-incorporated denim through James Jeans. This line of denim will incorporate hemp while still preserving the look, feel, and fit of premium denim. The dry-aged denim resin process, invented by James Jeans, renders a soft and vintage feeling from an otherwise coarse hemp fabric.
One could wonder why a material that requires so much work to be wearable, is worth adapting for denim. First, hemp is anti-odor and antibacterial, resisting mold, mildew, and making for an overall cleaner fabric. Hemp is also more sustainable than other fabric choices, requiring half the water consumption and producing half the carbon footprint and is recyclable. Hemp also requires little irrigation, pesticides or herbicides, making its growth and cultivation alone more environmentally friendly than its alternatives. Lastly, because of hemp’s durability, you can expect your hemp jeans to last through repeated washes and whatever kind of day you wear them through. Good for the Earth, and looks good on you – it’s a win-win.
Alkhemist Hemp Incorporated Jeans combine the best of hemp’s attributes with the fit and style of James Jeans. As seen on The Oprah Winfrey Show, James Jeans are designed by a woman, for every woman, and are designed based on the three golden rules of “Fit”: Feel, Touch, and Look. The Feel Fit ensures that your jeans squeeze you in the right places, lifting your bottom and holding your thighs to mold the best shape on you. The Touch Fit means that your jeans are soft, yet crisp, inside and out. Lastly, the Look Fit ensures that you look amazing in the mirror – the ultimate test.
Alkhemist is committed to engineered transformation, and bringing you the best quality, hottest fashion. Therefore, in addition to their proprietary resin treatment process, Alkhemist’s hemp incorporated jeans also feature James Jeans’ signature pockets, creating the ultimate slimming, straightening, and lifting effects in every pair of jeans. These effects are created and implemented by designing each pair of jeans on a 3D body, and not using computer-aided designing and drafting (CADD) technology. This is what makes James Jeans equal parts artisanal heritage and fashion. The marriage of 3D origami darted pockets, handcrafted patterns, and dry aged denim resin are the trifecta that encapsulates James Jeans core identity and come together to create your perfect pair of jeans.
The handcrafted, innovative style and fit of James Jean and the fabrication of hemp are a match made in heaven. Is hemp fabric made for Alkhemist, or is Alkhemist made for hemp? It’s a divine fit. After 15 years of perfected quality of denim, Alkhemist is finally launching the heavenly union between the two.
As the world progresses towards more sustainable processes and greener lifestyles, Alkhemist is a step ahead with their hemp incorporated line of denim. Hemp jeans are the apparel of the future, allowing you to look good, feel amazing and help sustain our Earth’s resources.