After months of research, vertical denim manufacturer AGI Denim is showcasing its latest hemp-based innovation, and it has the accolades to back it up. On Tuesday, the Pakistan-based company announced its new HempX material received a Cradle to Cradle Gold certification.
“Hemp, especially in its cottonized form, is an emerging winner in the world of fibers that can be used to create denim jeans,” said Hasan Javed, executive director at AGI Denim. “AGI has invested in new state-of-the-art facilities designed to maximize yarn and fabric quality with inputs like cottonized hemp and recycled fibers.”
The third-party product certification program measures a product’s sustainability across five categories, including material health, material reuse, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship and social fairness. A product is assigned a ranking of basic, bronze, silver, gold, or platinum for each category.
HempX features a blend of organic cotton, hemp and elastane made from recycled components. Its material health and water stewardship assessments showed significant water savings: AGI recycles 300,000 gallons of water each day, and is able to save 4.4 million gallons of water each month.
Its material reuse assessment showed that, thanks to its DoubleZero dyeing and finishing technology, it’s able to use just half a liter of water per meter of material, and save 85 percent more freshwater than conventional methods.
HempX material is made with 50 percent renewable energy, which helped it earn accolades in its energy and carbon management assessment. In the social fairness category, AGI has helped provide medical care to more than 90,000 people in the community and ensures employees receive fair wages as well as personal and professional development opportunities.
With expanding legislation and new innovations developing around hemp, the natural fiber could become the next big cotton alternative in the fashion industry. Often touted for its regenerative and less water-intensive properties, hemp has the potential to create more sustainable denim, and has been the focus of many recent collections. Levi’s Wellthread made its cottonized hemp debut in 2019 with denim featuring 30 percent hemp, and just two years later increased its percentage to 55 percent hemp.