Kontoor Brands Inc., with a model portfolio led by Lee and Wrangler, introduced an enlargement of its collaboration with Dallas-based Panda Biotech, an rising chief within the industrial hemp fiber trade, on Tuesday.
Kontoor Brands and Panda Biotech will work to deliver traceability and scale to the textile-grade cottonized hemp grown and processed within the United States.
“Sustainable hemp creates the perfect complement fiber to cotton,” Dhruv Agarwal, senior director of worldwide materials innovation and product growth at Kontoor Brands, stated. “We are excited by the opportunity to advance the denim industry’s use of environmentally friendly hemp to craft high-quality, eco-conscious apparel. Our work with Panda Biotech has been focused on making truly sustainable hemp, unlocking an additional commercialized fiber crop for American farmers and providing consumers with access to more sustainable apparel.”
As Kontoor and Panda Biotech work towards the commercialization of domestically grown and processed hemp, the businesses are centered on attaining traceability from farm to product. Industrial hemp is a regenerative crop as a consequence of its capacity to develop with little water, minimal-to-no pesticides and herbicides, manufacturing of a excessive per acre fiber yield, and absorption of extra carbon dioxide per acre than any forest or industrial crop, the businesses famous.
“As a leading global denim manufacturer, with vast experience in bringing innovative fibers and processes to market, Kontoor Brands has been an invaluable ally as we build the largest industrial hemp processing facility in the United States for high-quality, textile-grade fiber and hurd for numerous sustainable manufacturing applications,” Dixie Carter, president of Panda Biotech, stated. “We have been working with Kontoor since our company was founded, and we are aligned in our desire for our domestically grown fiber to be the most traceable hemp in the world and processed using renewable practices. We are excited to be working with Kontoor and its iconic global brands to expand access to domestically grown and processed hemp.”
Earlier this 12 months, Kontoor introduced the enlargement of its Indigood program, an initiative that targets water financial savings in the course of the cloth development part of the attire provide chain. Bowing in 2019 with the introduction of foam-dyed denim, the Indigood program has expanded to incorporate water financial savings know-how in attire cloth manufacturing that makes use of at the least 90 % much less water than standard cloth manufacturing.
Kontoor stays centered on sourcing and producing attire and equipment in a manner that’s good for folks and the planet and is dedicated to bringing shoppers the newest in sustainable trend via the commercialization of “cottonized hemp,” a course of that scale back fibers like hemp and flax to a brief staple that works on cotton equipment.
Through the Panda Biotech collaboration, which first kicked off in 2019 after the passing of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Kontoor Brands plans to have U.S. grown and processed hemp in market in its denim attire by 2023.
Based in Dallas, privately held Panda Biotech is a primary mover within the rising U.S. industrial hemp fiber and hurd (a fabric appropriate for non-wovens) trade. Panda Biotech’s government management has developed 22 tasks representing roughly $12 billion in invested capital. The firm is at the moment growing large-scale, industrial hemp gin amenities. Panda’s first facility, the Panda High Plains Hemp Gin, is situated in Wichita Falls, Texas, and can be operational in March 2022. It would be the largest hemp processing and cottonization facility within the Western Hemisphere and believed to be the most important on the planet.